Friday, August 31, 2012

Pretty, huh? Looks like a nice beachy area to steal away to. This was the view behind my dorm when we went to Haiti. There was actually a place near the water where I read my Bible each day.

However, this picture portrays more of what we saw. Not quite as pretty.

When I arrived back in the States, many asked me if the destruction from the earthquake had been cleaned up. I'm sorry to say that the piles of rubble like you see above are all over. The people walk around and over them. I'm sure it is better than it was right after the earthquake.

As we drove through, I noticed abandoned homes. I was unsure if they were left due to being structurally unsafe. I wondered if maybe squatters had come in and taken up residence in some of them because even with the rubble, theses homes were a step up for some. I asked one of the missionaries with us. She at first looked confused. Then she said: "The Haitian people have too much integrity to just go in and claim something that isn't theirs. It's the same with their animals that roam about free. Just because your neighbor's cow wanders over into your yard doesn't mean you have any right to it."

I thought about that. Do we Americans have that kind of integrity? If our neighbor's tree falls into our yard, we threaten to sue if they don't get it out. If an animal strays onto our property, we call the pound to come pick it up even if we know that it belongs to our neighbor.

I guess I noticed that the Haitian people are true neighbors or should I say neighborly.

Neighborly means befitting congenial neighbors, friendly, companionable, comradely, warmhearted.

I believe I remember Jesus saying we should love our neighbor.

Though the Haitian people have little, I think they are ahead of us in being neighborly.

Try loving that neighbor today. Show them God's love by being neighborly.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Today I am guest posting on Patty Froese's blog. The devotion I share there is about an adoption I witnessed. I also shared in the comments that THE BLESSING SEER has more about the true and miraculous story of this little boy's adoption.

Check it out -

Thanks you, Patty.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Are you grateful?

Last week I gave a devotion based on a chapter from a Max Lucado book, EVERY DAY DESERVES A CHANCE.

The chapter discussed being grateful. Max presented the story of the ten lepers. Do you remember this story from the Bible? There were ten lepers that called out to Jesus. He told them to go show themselves to the priest. As they were going, they were healed, completely cleansed. One of the former lepers returns to thank Jesus for healing him. Jesus actually draws attention to the fact that this one came to thank him. He asks where the others were.

Jesus was so good at utilizing teachable moments. I believe this was one of those times. Instead of just turning to the man and saying you're welcome, He points out the fact that this man was grateful enough to return. Could it be that Jesus was trying to teach us that God recognizes when we thank Him?

This former leper had a choice to show his thanks or just go along with the rest of the crowd. He made a choice to show gratefulness.

How about you? Do you show your gratefulness for what God does for you each and every day? This is a choice. You can grumble and complain that things aren't the way you want. Or, you can choose to focus on what is good and noble (hmm, I think that's from the Bible) and be grateful.

Practicing gratefulness can change your whole disposition. Don't follow the grumbling crowd who takes things for granted. Do what your Mama taught you - remember what she'd say? "Say thank you." And then we repeat: "Thank you, God!" (Say it like you mean it!)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"One of the things that happens when you give yourself permission to start writing is that you start thinking like a writer. You start seeing everything as material." Anne Lamott

This quote stuck out to me, and I whole-heartedly agree. Now that I write, I think like a writer all of the time. Everything is fair game for material.

My novella, THE BLESSING SEER, came to be after contemplating a sermon illustration.

The sequel to THE BLESSING SEER, BE THE BLESSING, came about while listening to a sermon.

I'm seeing a trend here! LOL

My novel, INHERITANCE IN THE WORD, came from contemplating the influence of grandmothers on our lives.

My novel, FOR OUR GOOD, came from the downfall of a church member.

My novella, FORGIVEN, came from a newspaper article written about a shoot-out in 1903 involving my father's grandfather, father, and uncles.

As an author, things I hear and see become possible story starters and ideas. I might see something on the news that sparks my imagination. A picture can conjure stories or even bits of conversation or historical facts. From these tidbits I start to brainstorm and ask the what if questions. I think this makes my writing more real and relevant.

How about my author friends out there? Do you agree with the quote above? Why or why not? Has everything become material for your writing?

How about my reader friends out there - do you like to know where authors' ideas come from? Does this enhance the reading of a story for you?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"You're going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food - catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They'll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you - keep your eye on what you're doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive, do a thorough job as God's servant." 2Timothy 4:3+ from The Message

Don't you love this pep talk from Paul to Timothy? I'm glad it's included in the Bible because as a Christian in this day, I need this pep talk too.

Are you, like me, noticing that people are satisfied with sermons and teachings that are less than the truth? They want to hear a sermon that will make them feel good not bring any conviction. How dare the preacher to stomp on toes! I've heard preachers who never referred to their Bible the whole time they spoke. Everything is positive - make sure they leave happy and feel good about themselves.

The scripture above warns against this. Let's face it, sometimes I need to leave church feeling conviction. How will I ever continue to become like Jesus, if I'm never challenged to examine myself?

My pastor/husband jokes that when God leads him to preach a tough lesson, we can get out of church to lunch much earlier. Why? People couldn't stomach it. They don't want to talk to him. Paul would tell him to keep his focus on the message and the truth no matter if the church parking lot empties quickly or not. His job is to keep the Message alive.

We are definitely in the times when many people can't stomach the truth. But, as Christians we must follow what Paul told Timothy. We have to keep our focus on the truth - Jesus. We have to continue to keep the message of Jesus alive. If we are God's servants, then this is our responsibility.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Check out Lisa Lickel's blog today for a short interview about THE BLESSING SEER.

Thank you, Lisa for having me on your blog.

Monday, August 13, 2012


In June I had the opportunity to go to Haiti on a mission trip. Our group did physical labor during the day to prepare a camp for Haitian children to attend later on in the summer. We also went two afternoons and conducted a Bible school for 100 Haitian kids at a time. We were “fed” as well each evening through a worship service in an open sided pavilion.

Each night before the pastor got up to speak, a group of Haitian people sang for us.

Many of the groups who sang for us walked two or more hours just to come and sing about Jesus. They weren’t paid to do so. And, you must know that the temperature in Haiti is scorching to say the least. But, still they came and sang their hearts out. I don’t know the language, but I understood from their expressions that they loved the Lord.

The groups’ dedication got me to thinking. Would I go that far to share about Christ? Would I walk two hours to sing about God’s love and hope? Sure, I had packed up and gotten on a plane to go to Haiti, but how far would I go to truly share Jesus?  

The Bible tells us to always be prepared to give an answer if someone asks about the hope in us.

How about that depressed waitress serving you today? How about that lost neighbor? How about that coworker who gets on your last nerve?

We as Christians have to be willing to go as far as it takes to reach people for Christ even if it’s unpleasant and takes time.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Excited to host Kathryn Bain on the blog today. Welcome!


Kathryn J. Bain began writing more than ten years ago. Her first release "Breathless" came out January 13, 2012. Her novella “Game of Hearts” was released in March 2012 followed by her inspirational romantic suspense "Catch Your Breath".
She is the former President of Florida Sisters in Crime and is currently the Public Relations Director and Membership Director for Ancient City Romance Authors.
To survive and pay bills, she has been a paralegal for over twenty years and works for an attorney who specializes in elder law.
She has two daughters and a dog named Gretchen.
Kathryn grew up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. In 1981, she moved to Boise, but it apparently wasn't far enough south, because two years later she headed Jacksonville, Florida and has lived in the sunshine ever since.

Blurb for Catch Your Breath:
Calley Regan only wants to get through her cousin’s bridal shower without anyone discovering her secret—she’s pregnant. Her sanctimonious family would never understand. Then the one person she confides in happens to tell the incredibly handsome, but seriously uptight, sheriff, Riley Owens—who’s just given her a speeding ticket! How can she trust the brooding, inflexible lawman when he’s everything she’s not? Riley Owens is instantly attracted to Calley Regan, but it won’t come to anything. For years, he’s lived mired in guilt, and carefree Calley is his polar opposite. But, when someone attacks Calley, Riley is determined to protect her no matter what it takes, and when her family deserts her, he takes Calley into his home. Years ago, he couldn’t save the woman he loved. He’s not about to let that happen again.

Catch Your Breath is actually the sequel to my first book Breathless. That particular book was inspired by the Toby Keith song "God Love Her". I liked the idea of the Bible on the motorcycle so much, it became a whole book.

While writing Breathless I had a hard time finding a good description for my character of Sheriff Riley Owens. He ended up being the hero in the second book, Catch Your Breath. I knew I wanted Riley to be quiet, good looking, and a cowboy who carried a cowboy hat. At that particular time Chris Young came out with his song and video "The Man I want to Be." His persona in that video became my Riley.

I'm hoping whoever reads Catch Your Breath comes away with the knowledge that God loves you no matter where you're at in your life. He doesn't love you any less just because you're an unmarried pregnant woman. I also hope, by seeing how Calley's Christian mother treats her, other Christians might see themselves and turn from being judgmental to being compassionate.

It's easy to point fingers at other people for their sins. It's a whole lot harder to blame that person in the mirror.

CATCH YOUR BREATH sounds like a story not to be missed. 

Thanks, Kathryn, for appearing on my blog and sharing about your book.

Friday, August 3, 2012

What do you love about reading?

I thought this would be an easy question to answer, but I've had to think on this to nail down concrete responses. Here are some of my ideas.

I love to read Christian fiction because I am encouraged by triumphing Christian characters.

I love to read Historical Christian fiction because I learn about another time and place.

I love to read Christian fiction which focuses upon difficult issues because I can glean ways of dealing with issues in my life.

I love to read Christian fiction for the general encouragement I receive for my walk.

I love to read to get lost in another time and place.

I love to read to inform my own writing.

The more I think on this question, the more answers I seem to find.

What about you? What do you love about reading?

THE WRITE BRAIN NOTEBOOK by Bonnie Neubauer has an encouraging word for writers:
"Everything you read was created by a writer. You, too, have the talent and commitment to bring this joy to others. Keep writing and you will give more folks more reasons to love reading."

Nothing would be more pleasing than to have a reader love reading my words!