Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Surprise Award

The other day a blogger friend, Jeannette Levellie, gave me an award-Superior Scribbler. I'm not sure what constitutes a superior scribbler, but her words about it warmed my heart. She said there were rules but I don't know them, except to pass the award on to others.

What an excellent way to encourage and uplift.

I have several in mind.

The first is a group, the Kindred Hearts, without them I would not be writing. There are many things other than what is below but too numerous to share. They each deserve this award in their own way.

Clella Camp with her "can do" encouragement both in writing and life, and how she answers my unending technical questions about the computer. Plus, she is the Kindred Hearts fashion guru.

Jeanie Wise who willingly shares whatever she learns. Her writing combines her medical profession with spiritual lessons and she forwards writing resources and shares her notes from any writers conference.

Laura Groves, a mother of four boys, shares insight, patience and understanding in my efforts. As my roommate at the writer's conference she boosts my confidence to go forward into unknown territory.

Johnnie Donley supported me, urged me, to write my first attempt at fiction writing. Of course she said it was good, whether it was or not :) Her own novel, almost completed, is wonderful and inspires me to keep on.

Check out their individual blog sites on the kindred heart writers blog.

Melinda Means for her energetic, honest and open parenting situations on her blog. I love her light hearted style. The blog is wonderful and brings back so many memories for me.

Thank you again Jen.

God Bless

Monday, July 20, 2009

Midnight in Madrid-Book Review

Midnight In Madrid is the second book in a Russian trilogy written by Noel Hynd. Alexandria LaDuca, an agent from the U.S. Treasury, assists in solving a theft of a religious artifact from a museum in Madrid.

She follows an elaborate trail of espionage and terrorist activity and travels across Europe wherever the leads take her. Alexandria wonders who to trust, even among the agencies that work with her. Confronted with betrayal, lies, and hidden agendas Alexandria questions her ability to do her job. Conflicts give in to soul-searching, and she finds a surprise relationship in the process.

The beginning confused me with his many different character introductions. I think if I had read the first book this one would have slipped right into place. I loved the action after that. Noel Hynd researched well and used many current events across the world. I can see this book being made for movie. I received this book as an advanced reader copy from the publisher. Check out the book on Amazon with this link.

Meet the author of Midnight in Madrid, Noel Hynd.
Noel HyndNoel Hynd was born in New York City and grew up in New York and Connecticut. He began writing professionally before graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in International Relations.
He lives in Culver City, California with his wife and their three cats.
Some of his other novels include The Enemy Within, and Ghosts.
Noel goes to Honduras for a yearly medical mission to Honduras with friends and members of All Saints’ Parish, Beverly Hills.
Learn more about Noel at

To check out other reviews follow this link.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Get Ready for the Future-5

This is the last in this series, whew, aren’t you glad? Anyway, I was watching TV and a shoe infomercial began. “Buy now and get a second shoe understorage container for”, oh, I don’t remember but probably both for “$19.99.” Two contained enough room to fit 48 shoes. Forty-eight shoes!!!

Who has that many shoes?” I said and laughed with my husband at the same time.

My ridicule went on, that’s a different shoe for each day of the month and then some. What kind of people have that many shoes, and why? They would never use’em all. Can’t they just be happy and content with what they possess?

That night getting clothes ready for the next day, I noticed my shoes on the closet shelves and under my clothes and some in boxes. Oh no! I have shoes for summer, sandals, flip flops, walking/athletic tennis shoes, dress shoes, winter shoes, work shoes, yard shoes….. And it’s crazy, I have more than one for each occasion with varying colors. Ummm, do I eat my words now or… And no, I’m not going to tell you how many. And I have a coupon for 20% off at Famous Footwear, right now.

Strength for the State You’re In

“For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” Philippians 4:11

We have read and said these words many times. Paul was writing to the believers in Philippi from prison. He said he “learned” to be content. This contentment does not mean happiness, but rather satisfied. It was not automatic when he met the Lord. Through what circumstances did he learn?

“In far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was ship-wrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. …Dangers from rivers, … robbers, …countrymen, …Gentiles, …city, …wilderness, …sea…false brethren… Many sleepless nights, in hunger, and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” 2 Corinthians 11:23-27

How could Paul say he was in a state of contentment? “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24 His life’s purpose was to do/be whatever God had in store for him.

Can we say we are content with whatever God puts in front of us? I know it will not be traumatic like Paul’s, but we will go through times of trouble. The question is, will we be content, can we trust God to carry us through any hardship? And I hear a resounding yes from all of you.

But let’s bring this home. Contentment when a child or family member gets sick. Contentment when personal relationships are rocky. Contentment when your business goes downhill, or you are laid off. Contentment when there’s no money for medical bills, or to help others. Contentment when the pantry has only a few cans and you are tired of sandwiches. Contentment when bill collectors call and foreclosure looms. Contentment when government appears to close in on freedoms.

Have we really learned to be content like Paul when we rattle off that verse? I believe the only way to live that verse with conviction is, when in our discontent we become acquainted with contentment.

Here’s Paul’s secret. Philippians 4:12-13. “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” Here it is! “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

That’s the true context for that verse. In our difficult times, He gives Strength in the Strain, to Stand, to See, for Security and for our State of Contentment.

May God’s strength be exhibited in all His children.


Photo-Tiny Pic

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Get Ready for the Future-4

My husband and I with our two young children bounced up and down in the Florida bay aboard my father’s 17 foot boat. For some reason the motor just wouldn’t start up again after we fished a bit. We were close to shore, but too far and deep to get out and pull the boat.

A passing boat stopped. (Must’ve been the frantic waving of our towels that they noticed.) They agreed to tow us to the nearest boat launch. We gratefully accepted. After securing the line from their boat, the journey began.

It took only a few minutes to see the drag our boat made on theirs that we came up with a brilliant idea. Let’s lift our motor, then they’ll be no drag and we can get to port faster. Without telling our “tow-ers” we lifted the motor us and immediately went faster. So fast our boat started swerving from side the side. I grabbed the children and told them to hold on tight. The forceful zig-zagging meant we couldn’t put the motor back down, and their big motor was too loud for them to hear our yelling. So it was back to the towel waving while holding onto the sides of the boat and our wild-eyed screaming children. Finally our rescuers saw us. To their credit they didn’t laugh, just shook their heads. The motor was lowered back into its rightful place. But my kids still wanted to hold on.

Strength from Stupid or Strength to Be Secure

“But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Did we really think through our “brain storm?” No. Was it good? No. The motor was lifted out of its position. We thought we could make things better on our own. We ended up holding on for dear life, well, at least for immediate safety.

Scripture tells of many things we must “hold fast” in our lives that benefit both the spiritual and physical. Here are a few.

“Holding fast the word of life.” Philippians 2:16.
Constantly hold on to His words that give us life.

“Let us hold fast our confession.” Hebrews 4:14
Keep up a good Christian witness.

“Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.”
1 Timothy 6:12
Be aggressive and decisive in our faith and cling to the promise of eternal life.

“We may have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast.” Hebrews 6:18-19
All who seek refuge in Him must make a personal decision to cling to His promise of hope and encouragement. When our soul is adrift or swerving, about to be engulfed by the waters of the unknown, God is our anchor. Leave Him in the position to guide and stabilize your life.

Hey, that’s a promise. So hold on tight, sometimes it’s a bumpy ride.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Get Ready for the Future-3

The other day I totally humiliated myself. I try to limit my impulse grocery buying by using cash. Naturally, that means I need to calculate my purchases as I go. But the “2 for $5” and the “2 for $6” sucked me right in on this particular day. All those July 4th specials! I just picked up things along my merry way and proceeded to the counter, and you can guess what happened next.

I watched as my few items added up to $85 and something, and I only brought $65. My face reddened and my pride sunk swirling me down into the vortex of embarrassment. I think I mumbled over and over, “I’m so sorry” to the cashier while I picked out things to take off my bill. The one saving grace was that no one was behind me. Then what happened? They paged overhead for someone to come to the counter to take back stuff. Couldn’t they have waited until I was out the door, or at least out of the check out lane? Don’t tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor.

Strength to See Beyond My Want

“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and on your moral excellence, knowledge; and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness.”
2 Peter 1:5-6

The Message reads like this, “So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder.”

Either way the “self-control” or “alert discipline” part I failed. Why? Because I bought in to what they were selling. Did I miss any of the things I put back? No, not unless you call missing the Velveeta for the hot sauce dip something I couldn’t live without.

Scripture says we must ever be alert that the “things” offered by the world may not be what God has in mind for us. We will only know the difference by supplying/adding/applying the words and knowledge of the faith God has given us. And yes, that means I need to add better. If I can’t handle the grocery shopping, what’s going to happen when something big comes along?

May my “want list” always be in accord with His “Word List.”