Monday, December 31, 2012


Dare To Be Different

Please humor a proud Mama and scoot on over to the pre-teen girl's blog, samie sisters, for an article written by my daughter.

She always said that I was the writer in the family, but she's done a great job with this challenging article. And, even though the blog is directed towards pre-teen girls, I think we could all stand a little being different this year.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Go and Glow!

The Christmas Eve Candlelight Service was great. It just wouldn't be Christmas to me without it.

This year my daughter and my children's choirs sang a song - Five Little Fingers. They did a fab job. We sang carols and my husband delivered a message reminding us that God's gift to us was the perfect gift - Jesus was just the right size to fit our need for a Savior. Then, we had communion which always makes us remember the true purpose Jesus came. At the end of the service we always light candles and sing Silent Night.

I really enjoy this part of the service. Since I interpret for our deaf members, I am always facing the congregation. I love this vantage point when the candles are lit. My pastor/husband lights a candle from the advent wreath's Christ candle. He then lights the deacons' candles who move down the aisles lighting the people sitting on the ends of the pews. The light is passed down each row.

Why do I enjoy such a simple thing? From where I'm standing, I watch as the light spreads and a glow is cast upon each face as his or her candle is lit. Not only is it a beautiful sight but symbolic.

The world was dark and then God sent His Light - Jesus. Each Christian contains Christ in their heart. We are told to be light in a dark world. We are Christ's representatives.

This means we are to go and glow! We Christians are to take Jesus wherever we go and shine His light for others to see and believe.

I hope you have a truly joy-filled Christmas. But, don't forget to glow!

Through the capability of technology, I can invite you to join me at our Christmas Eve Service this evening at five o'clock EST. We will be live-streaming this service just like we do our Sunday morning services. I'll be the one waving her arms around trying my best to interpret for our deaf members.

We would be honored to have you attend via the internet.


Thursday, December 20, 2012


At Christmas time, people are so much more willing and responsive to hearing about Jesus. Maybe it's because they are in a jolly mood. Or, maybe their defenses are down with the many distractions. Whatever the reason, we Christians should take advantage of this time to witness for the very One we're celebrating this time of year.

I love the story of the little boy asking his mother about salvation. When she told him that Jesus would come to live in his heart, the little boy said: "If He comes to live in my heart, won't He stick out all over the place?"

That should be our goal - to let Jesus stick out all over the place. Be Jesus to those around you - show Him to them. But how? How do we witness for Christ in a world who ties our hands?

Consider these ideas:

Strike up a conversation with that person checking you out at the store. Ask how they are. Ask if you could pray for them about something.

Inform your waitress that you will be praying in a moment. Ask if you might pray for them.

Tip out of mercy.

Hold open a door for someone to go in first at a local business. And smile.

Offer to return a shopping cart for someone in the parking lot.

Start a conversation with the person ahead or behind you in the long line at the mall. Let them know about your church's Christmas services.

Offer to let someone with less items ahead of you in line.

Pay for someone's meal.

Give a single mom a gift card for dinner out.

Wish everyone you meet Merry Christmas not Happy Holidays.

These may seem small and often you never even have to say much of anything. But, this is the way we let Jesus stick out all over us. We don't have to thump anyone over the head with a Bible. We just act as Jesus acted. He was a servant and sought out the needs in others.

How about you, sister and brother in Christ, will you let Jesus stick out all over you this Christmas season?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lena Nelson Dooley joins us today to talk about three Christmas books she has available. Read on to find out how long it took for her to write her newest ebook. Welcome, Lena!

I’m very excited about the three Christmas ebooks I’ve uploaded to Kindle recently.

The newest is 24 Christmases. This book was 24 years in the making.

In 1985, as I was preparing to order Christmas cards from a Christian supplier, God told me that He had given me the gift of writing, and I should use it to bless people at Christmas. That year, I wrote my first Christmas story. The story of Mary as a dramatic monologue.

Five other monologues—of people who were involved with that event so long ago—followed. Joseph … the innkeeper … Mary’s mother … the youngest shepherd … the servant of a wise man.

The next story was a romance. One year I wrote a modern Christmas fable. Another year, I wrote a short play that was used to take Christmas to two local malls. Other stories contained different perspectives, but one focus—the impact that first Christmas has had on mankind through the ages.

Unfortunately, there were a few scattered years when I didn’t write a Christmas story. Life interfered with my plans

James and I have friends spread across several countries around the world. Many of them have contacted me to tell me how much the stories mean to them. They anxiously await their copy of the Christmas story and make it part of their family’s celebration. What a blessing that is to me.

I pray these stories will bless you as much as you have blessed me.

The picture on the cover of this book was taken in my den a year or two ago.

The other 2 Christmas ebooks are novellas.

Christmas Confusion
Lori Compton, mayor of Mistletoe, needs ideas for ways to prop up the sagging economy. After having her heart broken by the former pastor, she doesn’t want to spend time with the new pastor. Rev. Russell Brown has plenty of ideas, even one that includes his spending the rest of his life with the beautiful mayor. Will Lori be able to move beyond her hurts and recognize God’s intentions for the future of the town – and for her own future?

The Best Medicine
When Thomas Stanton shows up at the holiday party of Rose Fletcher’s best friend, his appearance reminds Rose of the infatuation she felt for him when he worked on her father’s ranch. Although her heart wants to continue those long ago feelings, her mind reminds her that he doesn’t share her faith in God. Thomas can’t understand why Rose seems so standoffish. Will it take God’s intervention to show these two people just what He has planned all along?

What a neat concept! Using the writing gift God has given you to bless others at Christmas time. 

Thanks, Lena, for appearing here and sharing these Christmas books with us. 

Friday, December 14, 2012


For a whole year my pastor/husband challenged our church congregation to be involved in a Quarter-back Club. This had nothing to do with football, however. We saved a quarter each day and brought them at the end of each month. The monies were a start for our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering which goes to fund some 5000 missionaries around the globe.

Now, I'm glad that I can have a part in making sure people in other countries hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. Many of these missionaries are in places I would never go and speaking in languages I don't know.

But, giving money for missionaries to tell the Good News doesn't exempt me from being on mission myself. As a Christian I have an obligation to share Jesus wherever I go. When I step outside of my house, I'm on the mission field. As I do my job at the Pre-K or stand in line at the Walmart, I'm a missionary.

As amazing as it sounds, when Jesus issued the Great Commission, that was the marching orders. It is God's plan that we Christians be witnesses of our Savior. Those orders in Matthew began with two action words - go and make. Sometimes, Christians like to make that - give and pray.  Don't get me wrong; we should give to support missions and pray for our missionaries. But, we have a responsibility to go and make disciples in our places of influence.

Be open to God's leading in the mission field where He has placed you. You never know the effect of a hug or a kind word aptly spoken - inroads to sharing Jesus.


Monday, December 10, 2012

What can you learn from twenty four-year-olds?

A new "assignment" came my way this past week. God has placed me in a Pre-K classroom as an assistant teacher. I want to share my top ten things I learned from these little ones this week.

10. When a child holds and dances around, get to the nearest restroom ASAP.

9. I don't care if it rains just not at recess time.

8. Bring cheese to go with the"whine."

7. Gluesticks aren't necessarily a cleaner option.

6. The art of "tattling-taling" is acquired early.

5. Bubble and ducktails are good for walking down the hallway - make bubbles with your mouth and put your hands behind your back like a duck's tail.

4. Patting backs at naptime can mean peace.

3. Mrs. Mowery is unaffected by pouty lips and fits - "When you're done, we'll move on."

2. Steadying myself when I arrive is needed - hugs around the knees can catch you off balance.

1. A pocketful of stickers will cause four-year-olds to do just about anything.

What I hope they learned about Mrs. Mowery is I will always return a hug.

My first day God gave me the verse from Colossians 3:23: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."

God has a plan for how He wants to use me in this new position; my job is to stay focused on Him and work as working for Him. That gives work a totally different focus as well as much more meaning in the scheme of things.

What work has God given you? Do you work at it with all your heart? Have you considered no matter the job you can do it for God's glory?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Welcome K. Dawn Byrd! I'm announcing her new release: DOUBLE IDENTITY. It will be available on Dec. 11th. Read on to learn more about the book and its author. Then, mark Dec. 11th on your calendar so you won't miss this book.

K. Dawn Byrd is an author of inspirational novels in several genres, including, historical, suspense, romance, and young adult. Some of her favorite things are chocolate, cars, and her pets. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and riding down country roads in the passenger seat of her husband's Corvette Stingray. When asked why she writes, her response is, "For the simple joy of placing words on the page!"

1) What would you like readers to take away from your book?
Double Identity is a young adult book about two identical twins, one a Christian, one a non-believer. I'd like for the reader to take away that no matter what happens, God is with us. Also, people need to learn to trust their hearts.
2) Why did you choose to write this book?
I thought it would be fun to explore what it would be like to have an identical twin. Of course, a young woman's boyfriend would love how she looked. Would the fact that someone else looks just like her make her insecure?
3) What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned that being an identical twin can be hard!
4) What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?
Finding time to write. I work a full-time job and also a lot of weekends, which means that I have to be really devoted to my writing time. I set aside at least an hour every night, six days a week if possible. The fact that I start with a well-developed plot makes things move faster.
5) Which books on writing have been the most helpful to you and why?
It's not really a book, but I'll tell you about it anyway. Margie Lawson's on-line classes made more impact on me and my writing style that anything else I've ever studied. They're very affordable too!
6) What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of, writing-related or not?
I'm proud of earning a master degree in professional counseling from Liberty University. I believe this degree helps me to understand my characters better and what makes them tick.
7) What kind of planning do you do before writing a novel?
I fill out character sketches in order to get to know my characters better. I ask myself what their goals are, what motivates them, and what's keeping them from reaching their goals. Sometimes, I start by writing a synopsis. This gives me information about the plot as it develops. I usually have a pretty strong plot before I actually begin the story.
8) What are your favorite writing conferences and why?
The ACFW conference is my favorite because I absolutely love the worship. It blesses my heart. It's also really nice to chat with like-minded people.
9) Why do you write?
I write because I can't stop. It's more than a hobby, it's a passion. It's the most fun I've ever had in my life!
10) Are you a plotter or a pantzer?
A big time plotter. Because I write all of my books in 30-day marathons, I have to start with a thorough plot. That doesn't mean that sometimes the story doesn't take a life of it's own, surprising me when it takes me down a road I hadn't planned to travel.
11) What are you working on right now?
I'm working on a thriller about a serial killer. It's a difficult story because there are several twists and turns and I have to be careful how I write it for everything to fall into place correctly.
12) What's next for you?
I have three releases in 2012, all young adult. Something Beautiful in January. The Hot Line Girl in June. Luck of the Draw in November.
13) What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
Probably still riding a Harley. I sold my bike in order to have more time to write. On weekends, I'd rather curl up with my laptop and the story in my head.
14) Tell us a little more about yourself , with three things not many people know
about you.
a)       I have a masters degree in professional counseling from Liberty University.
b)       I'm an animal lover. I have two hairless Chinese Crested dogs, an African Gray parrot, three ferrets, and several aquariums in my home.
c)       I love sour foods. I'd rather have olives, pickles, or dilly beans than something sweet sometimes.

15) Do you listen to music when you write and if so, what kind of music – or do you find it  distracts you?
I must have total peace and quiet when I write. I hate it because it keeps me from writing sometimes when I'd like to.
16) What do you do for fun when not writing?
When not writing, I love to read. Romantic suspense or young adult novels are favorites.
17) Tell us about your latest release and what you think readers will enjoy about it.
My latest release, Double Identity, was a lot of fun to write. I think readers will like it because it will keep them on the edge of their seats. When both twins fall for the same guy, who will he choose? How will he tell them apart?
18) If you were an animal, which one do you think you would be, and why?
I'm not sure which animal I would be, but my step-daughter was recently joking and said that if she believed in reincarnation,  she'd want to come back as one of my ferrets because I take such good care of them. That was the ultimate compliment!
19) What is your personal definition of success?
My personal definition of success has nothing to do with money. To me, a successful person is one who is happy and enjoys life.
20) How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Twitter: kdawnbyrd
Pinterist: kdawnbyrd
Facebook: kdawnbyrd

Seventeen-year old Bree is shocked when she discovers she has a twin sister, even more shocked to find that she's an identical twin. When Bree's sister becomes obsessed with her boyfriend, Luke, Bree must decide who wants who and who's telling the truth.

Cover blurb:
Seventeen-year old Bree has always wanted a sister. She's shocked when she learns that her father is alive and her identical twin sister, Cassie, is coming to live with her. She can't wait for Cassie to arrive. She just knows they'll be best friends.

Bree soon discovers that even though they look alike, they're totally different. Cassie is wild and impulsive. She hates Bree's little town and everything in it, except Bree's boyfriend, Luke. When Cassie becomes obsessed with Luke, she'll go to any length to have him for herself.

Luke has a secret, which Cassie learns and uses against him. She's off her medication and will stop at nothing. She says he's in love with her. He says he loves Bree. Will their secrets destroy them and their relationships?

I'd just stepped out of the shower when I heard Cassie giggle. She must have come in while I was indisposed. Almost too tired to wiggle, I dreaded facing her. All she did was complain and her mood swings made me want to scream or break something or both. Some days, I long for Dad to get well and take her back where she came from.

I breathed in the scent of strawberry shower gel that lingered in the air. Luke had texted, saying he loved me. He'd wanted to get together, but I'd been working. Would we find any time together once school started? When we'd gone to the same school, we'd had lunch together and I'd always ridden home with him. His schedule for the upcoming year was so different than mine, and he had night class. Could our relationship survive?

"Boy, can he kiss," Cassie said. "Even better than Mick. One kiss and I forgot Mick ever existed."

I paused by the door, considering making some kind of noise so she'd know I was in the next room. I pushed the thought away. Why should I? There had been several times recently when I'd had suspicions that she'd been spying on me. I poured my favorite vanilla lotion into my hands and rubbed it on my arms. Why was the bottle so low?

Cassie groaned. "If I could just get him to see that little Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes isn't the one for him. He has to be attracted to me, you know?" She laughed again and paused for several seconds. "Pretty smart of me to fix my hair like hers. Mom can't even tell us apart."

She was talking about me, but who was she talking about kissing? Luke? Had she kissed Luke? Hot, seething anger rumbled through me. Tying my robe so tightly, the belt dug into my stomach, I flung open the door so hard it hit the wall. I hated confrontation, but it was time.

Cassie's look of sheer shock morphed into a look of pure horror. "Maggie, I have to go. I'll call you later." Hands on hips, I glared at my sister. "Who were you talking about?"

"Just girl talk with my friend, Maggie, back home."

"Who were you talking about kissing?"

A flush colored her cheeks, barely visible through her slowly fading California tan. "Mick. I was talking about Mick."

"You said someone kissed better than him. Who?"

"Jake. Not that it's any of your business."

I wanted to slap the I-know-something-you-don't-know smile off her face. Having a sister wasn't all it was supposed to be. She'd been nothing but a pain since she'd landed on our doorstep.

"Jake." I laughed, relieved that she had a thing for Luke's farm hand. Jerking my clothes from the hangers, I headed back to the solitude of the bathroom. Was I paranoid? Was I losing my mind?

Purchase links:
The book isn't available at the time of this writing, but will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble,, Desert Breeze Publishing, etc.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Today as I sat down to read the passages assigned from my One Year Bible, a simple yet profound verse caught my eye. The words came from Daniel 10.

"Don't be afraid," he said, "for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!"

Are you in need of hearing this from the Father as much as I am?

This world can be a scary place for believers in Christ. Let's face it, living the life of a Christian isn't as accepted as when I grew up. It was cool to hang out with the youth group and sing in the youth choir. It's what we did. Now everything else pulls at us. We may even find our beliefs ridiculed or be told to keep our religion to ourselves.

Having our Christian voice slowly squelched is frightening. I need to hear God saying to me not to be afraid. Why? Really study the next seven words - for you are very precious to God. Let the thought that you are precious to God enfold you - wrap around you.

To the God of the universe - you are precious. He doesn't want you to walk around in fear. He loves you too much to see you cower in timidity.

Peace! We know the Prince of Peace. Placing our faith in Him means we can have a peace that we cannot understand. Others will wonder why we don't fall apart in adversity.

Be encouraged! God is for us. He is saying: "Don't give up. It's totally worth it."

Be strong! Not only can we do this life with Him encouraging us along the way, but we can draw from His strength. We are weak in comparison to a mighty God. But, the Bible says that in that weakness, He is strong for us and through us.

Praise God for little reminders in unexpected places! Take heart, precious ones, He has overcome the world.