Wednesday, June 15, 2016

God is the Creator of Differences

In our backyard, we planted five rose bushes. We love roses. A rose is a rose, is a rose. Right?

No. All five of ours are different.

Roses got me thinking about people, and people got me comparing ourselves with Biblical characters. The people in God's Word were human like us with lots of different personalities. Look around at your family and friends. Not a one alike, are they?

So, let me introduce you to our rose bushes.



Our yellow rose bush reminds me of Elijah.

But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree, and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is enough, now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
                    1 Kings 19:4
Sickly.. Smells wonderful. At the edge of a raised bed
 
Our yellow rose bush is sick, weak, handicapped. Despite its lack of leaves, it produces a few delightful blooms, and they give us the best fragrance of all our plants.

Depression held Elijah captive. Though he was weak and handicapped, God used Elijah to highlight a few fantastic miracles; Withholding rain and bringing it when it was time, sending fire to lap up the sacrifice on Mount Carmel; feeding the widow and her son when there was only a small amount of meal and oil.



Our dark pink bush near the house makes me think of Jesus' disciple John.

And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:
                                                          Mark 3: 17

big thorns

big blooms


We planted our dark pink rose bush close to the patio when we first moved here. Thick stalks and big thorns made it look strong and indestructible.
It doesn't have a lot of blooms, but they're huge with a slight fragrance. The mark of this bush is its faithfulness. During the course of its life, other roses buses have died, but this one lives on and is still strong. Now, at seventeen years old, I spot extra shoots coming from the main bush with blooms of their own.

When Jesus called John, he named him and his brother "sons of thunder." They were fiery and ambitious, strong and opinionated. Throughout Jesus' earthly ministry, and until John's death probably in his nineties, John remained strong in his faith, despite others falling away. His loyalty and faithfulness influenced many. His words challenge Christians of today and give us a glimpse into the future.



In our white rose bush, I see the apostle, Paul


Be not afraid. These were the words of Paul in Acts 18:9
pushy and gives groups of blooms together

Not always the most liked or agreeable person, still Paul accomplished more than them all in the early church. He was persistent and courageous. He was never bashful but would spread his wings and preach the Gospel to sometimes large, angry mobs. He pushed his message whether it was wanted or not, and in doing so, brought about the salvation of throngs of people.

Our white rose has no fragrance. It spreads its branches wide and tall, intruding on other bushes that can't withstand it's power. Never will you find a single white rose. Blooms always burst forth in clusters.


We have one real red rose bush. It reminds me of King Saul.

And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.
                                                                               1 Samuel 9:2

1 rose on a tall, full plant

Saul wowed all Israel. They chose him as king. He was taller and more physically attractive than all others. In their view, he would be the best specimen to lead their nation. But, Saul had few victories. His heart turned against God. So enthralled with himself, he forgot where his true strength lay.

Our red rose bush stands taller than any of the others with full, rich greenery. At first glance, we would believe it to be the healthiest, most vibrant rose, but it gives few blossoms and very little fragrance.

                                               


Last but not least, we have a lovely pink rose. In it, I see Mary, the mother of Jesus.


For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
                                                                      Luke 1:48
Many buds promise more and more blooms

Mary was a young teenager, insignificant in the eyes of the world, but God chose her to bring His Son into the world in human form. Because she was willing, God blessed her beyond hope or expectation.

Our pink rose bush is the shortest of them all. Its fragrance is slight. That insignificant-looking plant produces more blooms than all the rest, continuing several times a year to give us color and beauty.


From the lesson given by five rose bushes in our backyard, I learn how God made us all different but valuable.

God creates differences for a reason.



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Salute to Our Flag

Happy Flag Day
 
 
In a day when patriotism isn't in vogue, I just want to saw, I'm proud to be an American. The flag waves in front of our house today to salute our country, our founders, those who have served our country, and God, who ordained the United States of America.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Author Interview of Jodie Wolfe

Today, we meet a new author and discover a new book. She's a fellow contributor of mine to Putting on the New blog and a writer of both devotions and Christian fiction. Welcome Jodie Wolfe to Writing with God's Hope blog:

 

Where did you get the idea for your book?

I started by asking a 'what if' question. What if twin sisters made a promise to always stay together? What would it take for one of them to change their mind? That became the kernel of my idea for Hearts Tightly Knit.

 

How did you find your publisher?

This novella was Indie published, but I have an agent who is trying to find a home for several of my stories. J

 

Are you working on any other projects that you can tell us about?

 I'm about ready to start working on the second book in the Twins & Needles Series - Love in the Seams. It will be out in November and will tell the tale of the twin who didn't marry.

 

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

My favorite books to read are Christian historical romance with a thread of humor. I love to laugh, so I try to add humor into my stories as well.

 

What has your writing journey been like so far?

 Now that's a hard question to answer. I started writing my first novel at age 13. In my high school years and early twenties I worked at writing and trying to get published. Then my boys came along and I spent the next 20+ years raising and teaching them all the way through high school. In 2009 God called me back to writing fiction. I acquired Linda S. Glaz as my agent three years ago. She pitches my stories on a regular basis. I also am a columnist for Home School Enrichment magazine and have been published with Christian Devotions.

 

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

 For me, it's a toss-up between Disney World and Alaska. J

 

Tell me a fun fact about yourself.

I have two granddaughters and another one on the way.

 

If you could be a song, what would it be?

 "Live Like That" by Sidewalk Prophets. 

 

Give me you contact info:







Blogs I contribute to: Stitches Thru Time, Putting on the New and of course, Quid Pro Quills.

 

Tell us about your new book.
 
Orphaned at age ten, Ellie Stafford and her twin sister Mae made a vow—to stick together and never marry. Now in their mid twenties, they are bucking convention in Calder Springs, Texas, as women with respectable occupations who can take care of themselves. Ellie works at the Good Fixin's Diner and spends her evenings knitting garments for The Children's Aid Society. When a handsome local rancher shows up searching for a cook, she's hardly tempted, despite his good looks.

 
Luke Rogers owns a spread just outside of Calder Springs. It was running as smooth as cattle going through a chute until his cook up and marries and high-tails it back east. With no cook and a bunkhouse full of ranch hands ready to revolt, he persuades Ellie to temporarily fill in until he can hire someone else. He should have known better than to get tangled up with another woman.

 
 
Available for purchase at:


 

Jodie Wolfe got bitten by the writing bug as a young girl after reading and watching Little House on the Prairie.
She loves writing stories about feisty heroines and strong, godly heroes. The power of story to influence lives and change hearts is what motivates her to weave tales that tell of the Savior’s faithfulness and forgiveness. Her books provide history, hope, laughter and happily-ever-after.
When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband, reading, walking and being a Grammie.




Thanks for visiting with us, Jodie.  I loved getting acquainted. What a delightful interview. Any of you have a question for her? I have one more. Jodie, is this your debut novel, or do you have other books?
 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Reposting of My Popular Blog Post on Emotion

EMOTION
Joy at my grandson's high school graduation
Emotion permeates our actions, body language, and words.

My emotions spur me to better living or worse reactions. Some people appear grounded in fact instead of feelings, but are they really? Facts can be altered to meet our worldview, our beliefs, or our interpretation.

WRITING TIPS Regarding Emotion

Emotion deepens our writing. Until we make the reader feel for our character, he or she won't like what we write.


Understated emotion in our stories hurts worse than allowing us to see the character cry unless we've proven that the character never cries.

Withhold the showing of emotion. Wait. Wait.

Tantilize us with episodes of fear that turn out okay. Produce a longing for love that remains unfulfilled. Build the anger to a fever pitch.

Name several things that would sadden your character. Bring to pass the worst things on your list. Make the reader sense the full brunt of shock.

In my family, we have a saying, "Murphy's Law." That means if it can get worse, it does. Be mean to your protagonist. Put them in a maze, and watch them crawl out in their own power.

In writing inspirational fiction, the writer takes the form of the devil seeking to tempt the protagonist beyond their ability to stand. Then, show God overcoming the devil through that person.

COMPULSIVE OVEREATING - Overcoming Emotions

Emotion is tied to compulsions and addictions. For other compulsive overeaters out there like me, how many times have you binged because you were sad, anxious, or happy?

Each day give your life, your will, your choices to God.

Allow God to heal your emotions. Bouncing from the highs to the lows wears you out and prevents God's control.

Reward yourself with a non-food item when you conquer a difficult situation.

Thank God as soon as you realize you've had a God moment where His power took over your compulsion.

Spend quiet time alone with God every day.

Pour out your emotions (fears, anger, resentments) like Mary's costly perfume at Jesus' feet. Giving them up can cost more that monetary involvement.

How do your emotions affect your eating?
How can using those emotions on paper improve your writing
 
 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Congratulations



Congratulations to Sherry Moe.


She's the winner of Diane Dean White's book This Side of Heaven.

How exciting! Woo-hoo!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

6 New Tips for Weight Loss

For those of us, trying to keep down our weight or lose weight, I wanted to give a few extra tips. Little changes add up to big life turns.


1. Just a few bites or a little dab of something might trigger a binge. 
Looks promising for success
a. Make a list of your trigger foods and beware.
b.A good friend of mine struggles most with potato chips.
c.One doughnut to me is like one drink to an alcoholic.

 

2. Plan ahead for potluck dinners or barbecues.
a.Bring a dish that will help you.
b.Take a chair or stand away from the food spread.
c.Put the emphasis on visiting.
d.Don't go there hungry.

 

3. Watch out for deceptive packaging.
a.Low fat means more sugar, and sugar free could mean more fat.
b.Read the label. If sugar or fat is in the first three ingredients, stay away.
c. Low calorie or low fat doesn't mean you can eat an extra big portion.
d. Danger terms: trans fat, saturated fat, corn syrup, high in carbohydrates, any word ending in ose, ie sucrose.
e. Sometimes, a small portion of the real thing is better for you than the "diet" food.

4. Time with Jesus should be like your vitamin of the day.
a. Read God's Word.
b. Pray
c. Meditate
d Read excerpt from inspirational material on weight such as Divine Dining: 365 Guidelines to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness.
 

5. Insomnia can cause weight gain. Make sure you get adequate rest and relaxation.
 
6. Scales aren't the only indicator of success or failure. There are many others.
a. your energy level
b. medical test numbers, such as decreased blood sugar or blood pressure
c. your increased stamina for exercise
d. the way clothes fit
 
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ― Winston S. Churchill
 
I pray these six tips help your weight loss efforts this summer.
 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Author Interview with Diane Dean White

Christian author, Diane Dean White visits our Writing with God's Hope blog today. Diane, I'm eager to "meet" you. Thanks for stopping by.

Hello, Janet. Thank you for allowing me to share time on your nice website with your readers.
 
 
Where did you get the idea for your book?

 
The idea for, THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN, has been with me since my hubby’s work took us to rural GA, in the late 70’s. It’s one of those stories that took a long time before it could be told. The title was through a critique partner and something I was reading of hers, and a phrase jumped out at me. I ask if she was going to use it and she wasn’t ,so I did!

 

How did you find your publisher?

 

I had been with two different publishers for previous books, and had also self published. I was headed down that road again, but at the last minute researched a few smaller publishers…and happily Winged Publication liked my book.

 

Are you working on any other projects that you can tell us about?

 

Yes, I’m contracted with Winged for a winter romance, a run-away bride, and a story about the orphan trains. I’m having fun working on them. With all my books I share the plan of salvation and pray that those who read the pages and don’t know Christ will think about that important step. 
 

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

I enjoy a variety of genres.  I like both Christian historic and contemporary romance, and suspense. Some of my favorite authors are Eugenia Price, Victoria Holt, John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon and Barbara Taylor Bradford. Sadly several are no longer with us.


What has your writing journey been like so far?


I have always enjoyed writing and asked for a typewriter in 6th grade. That summer I wrote a short book, but probably only my artist friend and grandmother read it! In the 70’s I did some newspaper reporting. Once the bug bites you, your name is in print along with your stories, and people enjoy your column…it doesn’t stop. Our children were preschool at this time, and although I continued to do stringer work and ancestral history research, my writing was put on hold until our youngest was in his junior year of high school. After that I had a number of short stories published in various books and, magazines. I had a four year weekly column in a Michigan based magazine, and then I took time off to write ON A SUMMER NIGHT, and my writing hasn’t stopped.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Since we’ve been living in first South Carolina for twelve years and now Florida, I enjoy going back to our home state in Michigan. My parents are both gone now, but for years we enjoyed their summer home on Lake Michigan, and our daughter and family have a home in MI too. It’s wherever the kids gather and we can go!


Tell me a fun fact about yourself.


I had a small boutique of collectibles and antiques when we lived in SC. They were packed and put into storage while we became acquainted with Florida after our move, while were living in a small high rise. When we purchased our home those boxes of antiques and collectibles were placed in our new 2 ½ car garage. My poor hubby has never used it for our car, and people in Florida are down-sizing and not interested in my cherished collectibles and antiques...I’m considering an auction sale! It’s really hard to see a good buy and pass it up!

If you could be a song, what would it be?


“This World is Not my Home.”  Thank goodness we have the assurance of a place in Heaven, especially today with all the changes in our world.

I so agree, Diane. Thank you, Jesus. I can identify loving to be with family.

Where can we find you online?



 

Give us links where your book can be purchased. 





Darlene arrives in rural Georgia with her two preschoolers to escape an abusive marriage. In hiding, she struggles to adjust to a secretive life among the pecan trees and gardenias. Then comes an unexpected visit from a neighbor. Detective Brett Gafee is married to his job and his community, and heir to large pecan orchards. Expectations of a loving relationship dwindle over the years, and he sets aside all thoughts of marriage. Then he introduces himself to Darlene. Is it fate or the Lord that brought them together? Will Darlene adjust to the southern ways and become the loving wife she so desperately wants to Brett? Can she imagine the life that awaits her?

 

 

Diane started her writing career at an early age when she asked for a typewriter for Christmas. She pounded the keys writing poetry and short stories in grade school on an old black Royal manual. It wasn’t until her husband’s work took them to a southern town she wrote her first column, “Yankee Viewpoint’s” for a local newspaper, covering hard news and feature stories in the area. Upon returning to their home-state of Michigan, she did stringer work, ancestral history, and donor appeal letters for non-profit organizations; while doing her favorite job ever, a stay-at-home Mom.
She is the author of Beach Walks and Carolina in the Morning, On a Summer Night, Stories from a Porch Swing, Winter Wonderland, Texting Mr. Right and This Side of Heaven. Diane was a columnist for a weekly magazine, for four years, and her stories have appeared in a number of magazines and books. She is the author of over three-hundred short stories. She and hubby, Stephen, have been married for forty-three years, and they are the parents of three grown children and three grand-gals. Diane thanks the Lord daily for her loving husband, three great kids and for giving her the desires of her heart.
 

Visit Diane on her website at www.DianeDeanWhite.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianes-Author-Page/547038885384768?ref=stream


Hopefully, you'll gain new likes, Diane. I love the idea of the story. May God continue to bless your writing.