Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Great News!

I just received a phone call that my manuscript, "Hope's Gentle Touch," has made it to the finals of the RWA Emily contest. I'm so excited! Final judging will be decided in February 2012.

Monday, November 21, 2011


“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:17-18

This is Thanksgiving week. Here in the US, that means gorging on food and then going to the stores and gorging on consumer items the following day. The stores aren’t waiting this year. The gorging will begin in most places before Thanksgiving Day is officially over.
That’s not to say we Americans are without our problems. The economy continues to trudge along poorly. Many people are without jobs and are on the brink of losing homes. The reality is stretching the paycheck becomes more of a challenge each day. Yet despite this, we are still the most blessed nation in the world. No matter the difficulties, we enjoy the most basic commodity others lack worldwide. Consider these facts:
Today’s water crisis is not an issue of scarcity, but of access. More people in the world own cell phones than have access to a toilet. And as cities and slums grow at increasing rates, the situation worsens. Every day, lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills thousands, leaving others with reduced quality of life.

The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.
Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.

In just one day, more than 200 million hours of women’s time is consumed for the most basic of human needs — collecting water for domestic use. This lost productivity is greater than the combined number of hours worked in a week by employees at Wal-Mart, United Parcel Service, McDonald’s, IBM, Target, and Kroger, according to Gary White, co-founder of
To go one step farther, how many in the world have running hot water Americans are blessed with?

It’s easy to focus on what we lack during tough times—nationally and individually. But on Thursday, take a moment to count your blessings, no matter how small they may seem.
(Ital. facts from Water.Org)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Are You On God's Facebook Page?

Since joining Facebook, my community of family and friends has expanded. It’s fun being a part of a group of people who respond when I comment, care about what I have to say, sympathize and pray when I need it, and rejoice over my accomplishments. The invention of Facebook has given us the ability to connect daily in a way we didn’t have before.

God created us for similar reasons. He wanted our companionship but didn’t want us to be puppets or robots. His nature is not so different from ours, huh? He wanted us to choose Him. Thus, He gave humans a free will. That’s the only way to ensure a genuine relationship. When we screwed up and corrupted the relationship, in his Holy way, God provided a way to mend that--the sacrifice of His son.

For those of us who claim that relationship, do we enthusiastically log onto God's page each day and comment about the wonderful things going on in our lives? Do we go to Him to share our sorrows? Or thank Him for our blessings? Ask Him for counsel instead of trying to fix something ourselves?

It’s easy for our prayers to become rote or to imagine God as a grandfatherly type who resides in the heavens. Worse yet, we often treat him like a drive-thru that we can hand over our debit card full of deeds and expect to pick up our solution at the window. In reality, God is our best friend. He’s the one we can tell anything to and receive comfort in return. I’d like to think He eagerly awaits my contact with Him each day.

Have you “confirmed” God's friend request? If so, do you leave comments (pray) each day to build your relationship? Maybe something like:

“Wow, neat sunset this evening,” or “Thanks for the hot water this morning in my shower,” or “Thank you for the rain after the drought,” or “Lord, I’m having this problem I need help with.”

The blessings you receive will enrich your life in unfathomable ways.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Brother John

My brother John is chronically ill with emphysema brought on by his working environment and our family predisposition to lung disease. He is 53. On several occasions, he and I have discussed his prognosis and his belief that he won’t live long. This gives him a sense of urgency to reach those who are lost in the world. In the past year, he started a church and began preaching for the first time. Meanwhile, he attends his regular church on Sunday evenings.

He has been incredibly sick this week, struggling just to breathe. I was shocked to hear how bad off he was when he called me en route to the doctor. He’s had a rough week. However, I received the following e-mail from him on Sunday night, which shows what can happen at a good old fashioned Baptist singing service when God is allowed to work.

Tonight a miracle happened. Distraught and believing I might not make it through the week, I came to church tonight. Coughing and choking, struggling at times to breathe I attempted to sing with song service and was able to sing very little. Struggling with the thought of what I must look like to others as the steroid psychosis interfered with my ability to see or think straight, I staggered down the aisle to where my pastor stood. I reached out my arms to him and said between sobs as he held me, "I need everyone to lay hands on me and pray. I need everyone to pray." They immediately gathered around me and began to lay hands on me as I knelt at the altar. Immediately a calmness rushed through my body as they prayed. I'd never felt prayers working like that in my behalf before. My lungs were relieved and I was able to breathe again. As they finished and two men helped me to my feet I shouted, "thank you, thank you." I have been a part of healing services like that before but never as the recipient. God was working in our church tonight. I had to share this with you, Love, John

It goes without saying that because my brother is part of my daily life, my life will have a tremendous hole when he’s gone. The only thing that will soothe the pain is the knowledge that he’s with my Savior and I will join him one day. My prayer for John is that God will heal him of his lung disease, but God in His infinite wisdom will do what is best. Our wisdom is incredibly inferior to God’s (1 Corinthian 1:25). John is completely at peace with God being in charge. He is ready to see Jesus. I hear the longing in his voice and in his writings.

Sometimes the closer you get to death, the closer you become to God. For the first time you truly understand life and see the precious time that gets wasted. I also pray that when John’s time comes, that God will be merciful in taking him. Although John and I don’t always see eye to eye on approach, I’m so proud of my brother’s tireless work to reach the lost. He is truly an example of Christ’s love. 

(Originally appeared as a Facebook note February 15, 2010. I'm happy to report John is still preaching God's word and will do so as long as God ordains it. His health is still very tenuous.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thanks to the Veterans!

It's said that 1% of our country defends the freedoms of the other 99%. And what a price the 1% pay! Not only do they put their lives in jeopardy, they put their lives on hold when deployed, missing birthdays, anniversaries, soccer games, dance recitals, deaths of loved ones, and the list goes on. Special events that can't be replayed.

Many soldiers return from deployment with psychological and physical wounds, some of which heal, while others don't.

My grandfather, father, uncles, cousins, and husband all served in the armed services at some point in their lives.

I want to personally say thank you to those who serve or who have ever served this great country! Happy Veterans' Day, and may God Bless you!

Monday, November 7, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Is there a better season than autumn? Pumpkin pie, apple dumplings, steaming hot turkey fresh from the oven. Piles of crispy, auburn leaves, bonfires, and s’mores. Cuddling up in front of the fireplace sipping hot chocolate or cider…These are a few of my favorite things…
What is your favorite fall pastime? Favorite food? Best holiday memory? Leave a comment. I'd love to hear what it is!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Well, I'm still at it. "It" being my goal to add approximately 20,000 words to a fiction manuscript I've written. Seems life wants to interfere with this goal most of the time. To center myself, I often turn to the Old Testament and some of my favorite verses:

"Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain."
Psalm 127:1a


"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9

The completion and publication of the manuscript is my heart's desire. As long as I allow God to direct my steps and work toward His glory in all that I do, I will enjoy success. Only He knows if this includes the manuscript.

What goal are you struggling to achieve? I'd love to hear about it.