Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tell-Tale Signs

I received this story in an e-mail the other day. While it was cute, it also made me think about how our actions reveal our loyalties:

A Christian Puppy

A Baptist couple decide that they want to get a dog. As they are walking down the street in town, they notice that a sign in the pet shop is advertising "Christian Puppies." Their interest piqued, they go inside.

"How do you know they're Christian puppies?"

"Watch," says the owner, as he takes one of the dogs and says, "Fetch the Bible." The dog runs over to the desk, and grabs the Bible in its mouth and returns. Putting the Bible on the floor, the owner says, "Find Psalm 23." The dog flips pages with its paw until he reaches the right page, and then stops. Amazed and delighted, the couple purchase the dog and head home.

That evening, they invite some friends over and show them the dog, having him run through his Psalm 23 routine. Impressed, one of the visitors asks "Does he also know 'regular' commands?"

"Gee, we don't know. We didn't ask," replies the husband.

Turning to the dog, he says, "Sit." The dog sits. He says, "Lie down." The dog lies down. He says "Roll over." The dog rolls over.

He says "Heel." The dog runs over to him, jumps up on the sofa, puts both paws on the owner's forehead and bows his head.

"Oh look!" the wife exclaims. "He's PENTECOSTAL!"

Do you need a sign on your back saying Christian in order for folks to recognize you as one? Does your daily routine reveal your relationship with God? What about your response to an immediate crisis? When someone asks, "what religion are you?" do you rattle off your denomination or church name?

Actions do speak louder than words. Do your actions say, "I belong to Jesus"? They should. --PT2006. Visit me at Timeless Text Messages.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Sorry I didn't give notice, but I have been under the weather for 3 or 4 days. I suppose it's all the pollen in the air. But thank God for Spring and warm temperatures, right? I trust you are getting out and enjoying it and not sitting on the computer all day either. Or at least taking your laptops to the patio with you. I've been catching up from being gone on vacation. Enjoying reading some new blogs. Diane's sister has a new one. Be sure to check out Ms. Dixie's blog. Maybe she can hold the fort til us older gals can get back up to speed.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

All-consuming Questions That Haunt Me

On my recent vacation I managed to get 22 pages of notes for my wip, From the Dust of Rose Hill. I absolutely cannot wait to get back to it now after a long hiatus. I am still having problems finding some light-heartedness to interject between the seemingly dark and endless periods of emotional conflict. After all, this is a psychological novel--a study in character if you will. It is not quite the suspenseful rollercoaster the first book turned out to be, but it's okay. I am trying to write what I feel I am supposed to write. Life is not always rosy and sweet. There are wars in life, emotional conflicts, failures, addictions, and also grief. I need a healthy balance though. I have plenty of that kind of material. Diane's recent posts about her getaway has inspired me to find some joyous moments to interject, and I will be working on those.

I am still struggling with feelings of inadequacy. I have read so many authors who say their first novel was junk. I really do not have anything to gauge mine by. No word from the one query. I am considering sending out one or two more. I have a gnawing feeling that I need to go back and comb through the work again to see what is lacking. Every time I read a superb novel, I want to go back and improve on what I've written. I can never be objective about my babies. I suppose all writers feel this way at times. So much of yourself is poured onto the page. It is hard not to take it personally.

I am still struggling with the need to have an objective opinion but not being able to turn loose of the manuscript--overprotective mommy I suppose...or fear of rejection. At times I think I need more polish, more education, more attention to detail, more of this, more of that. Am I really a writer? Or just a wannabe? Do I have what it takes? Do I really want to be published, or do I just want to write to fulfill whatever this craving is inside me? Can I overcome personal distractions and focus on the dream? Is my writing merely an outlet, an escape, a way of not dealing with these personal distractions? I don't know. Is my writing pleasing to God? Is my life? And if not, how can I correct that?

Do I have what it takes? What do I really and truly hope to gain from this? I do not want the end of my life to come and it all be blown away as chaff in the wind. I want to count for something.

That's my soapbox for the day. Now I have to get back to that pesky thing called work. Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Worship Wednesday

Welcome to Worship Wednesday, we are pleased that you have stopped by today. We hope to lift your spirit and brighten your day.

Psalm 111 NIV
1 Praise the LORD.
I will extol the LORD with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
2 Great are the works of the LORD;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.
3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the LORD is gracious and compassionate.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
giving them the lands of other nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
8 They are steadfast for ever and ever,
done in faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.

Pastors today could take a few lessons from the Psalmist about inspiring the body to worship. He did not suggest that the people praise, nor did he ask them to worship; he commanded them to praise the Lord. Furthermore, he declared himself as an example for them to follow. How many times have you observed the pastor or key leaders sitting on their laurels while the worship service was in progress? Or worst still, signaling to one another or discussing the order of service.

The congregation will be no more engaged than the leadership of the church. After all the oil of anointing flowed from the head down according to Psalms 133:1&2. "How good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard:" That's another point altogether, unity. Where there is unity in worship there is an awesome sound.

The Psalmist goes on to describe the works of the Lord as great, glorious, and majestic. For me the word majestic conjures a sight like the Taj Mahal. Something prestigious, bigger than life, easy to see from a distance, and something I could never build myself. He continues to bolster a mindset of praise as he names the things the Lord has done for His people. Verse 4, He has shown compassion and grace. Verse 5 and 6, He has provided sustenance for His servants. Verses 7,8,&9 speak of his justice, righteousness, faithfulness, and redemption of mankind.

Okay, time for a praise break. Right here right now! THANK YOU LORD FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE FOR ME, ALL YOU ARE DOING, AND ALL YOU ARE YET TO DO!!!!!!!
The Word of God is an excellent motivator, no wonder the Psalms are frequently read as a prelude to worship.

The Psalm comes full circle in verse 10, "to Him belongs eternal praise". The exhortation to praise is not limited to the worship service only, it is to extend into every part of life for all time. Again the Psalmist says in Psalms 34:1 "I will bless the Lord at ALL times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth". With the Apostle Paul, I say to you today: "In every thing give thanks".


Monday, March 19, 2007

**Review of A Valley of Betrayal** Welcome Blog Tourists!

I went on vacation this week to Gatlinburg...and Madrid! Well, physically I was in the mountains, but I journeyed to Madrid by way of Tricia Goyer's newest novel, A Valley of Betrayal. Lovers of historical fiction will not be disappointed in this first of her new series chronicling the Spanish Civil War. Thank you for stopping by on this leg of Tricia's blog tour.

If you have ever read Hemingway, you will recognize his beloved Spain in this novel. Tricia Goyer has captured the spirit and culture of pre-World War II in her landscapes, characters, and plots. Her characters are so engaging that you will find yourself looking over Sophia's shoulder to watch her sketch the grand matador--or the mysterious stranger on the train. You will see colors come alive as Sophia paints the battles, and they come alive. You will grab a gun and defend the city with Phillip. You will see the war through a black American's eyes, through the native Spaniards' eyes, through the war correspondents' eyes, a German bombadier's and more importantly, through the eyes of the victims as they struggle to defend their way of life, their beliefs, and their homeland. You will soon discover, as Sophia, that "the safest place to be is in the center of God's will."

Can there be a happy ending to all the bloodshed and cruelty of war? Will Sophia be able to see through a web of lies and deceit and find God's true plan for her life? Will she have the courage to do what she knows God is asking of her? You will have to read the novel to find out.

Personally, I loved how all the characters eventually end up impacting each other's lives. I loved how you could feel the earth shake and the glass shatter as the bombs fell around the town. I could practically smell the gunpowder in the air. All the readers' senses are engaged in A Valley of Betrayal. I found I learned so many details I did not know about a time and place that I had never experienced. And that is why I read--for the sheer pleasure of going somewhere I've never been. It is an easy read, beautifully written and thoroughly researched, and if the first is an indication of the entire series, then I look forward to reading more of Tricia Goyer and her chronicles of the Spanish Civil War. Thanks Tricia, for a great vacation!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

An Irish Blessing For You Today

My friend, Diane, is hosting the Parenting segment at Faith Lifts, and has asked me for an article. You can read my contribution here. . There will be others contributing in the following months, so be sure to drop by frequently. Thank you, Diane, for moderating this segment and asking me to participate. Diane, You're the best! (And that's not just a bucket o' blarney!)

And since I am Irish--well, Scotch-Irish. (My grandfather was a McCoy, and My grandmother a Campbell.), I was going to post an Irish blessing this morning. I noticed Diane posted the most well known one.But I found some more that might interest you here. I liked this one:

May you have the hindsight to know where you've been
the foresight to know where you're going
and the insight to know when you're going too far.

And I'll leave you with this one:

May the friendships you make,
Be those which endure,
And all of your grey clouds
Be small ones for sure.
And trusting in Him
To Whom we all pray,
May a song fill your heart,
Every step of the way.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Coat Hanger

A woman was at work when she received a phone call that her small daughter was very sick with a fever. She left her work and stopped by the pharmacy to get some medication.
She got back to her car and found that she had locked her keys in the car. She didn't know what to do, so she called home and told the baby sitter what had happened.
The baby sitter told her that the fever was getting worse. She said, "You might find a coat hanger and use it to open the door."
The woman looked around and found an old rusty coat hanger that had been left on the ground, possibly by someone else who at some time had locked their keys in their car. She looked at the hanger and said, "I don't know how to use this."
She bowed her head and asked God to send her help. Within five minutes a beat up old motorcycle pulled up, with a dirty, greasy, bearded man who was wearing an old biker skull rag on his head. The woman thought, "This is what you sent to help me?" But, she was desperate, so she was also very thankful.
The man got off of his cycle and asked if he could help. She said, "Yes, my daughter is very sick. I stopped to get her some medication and I locked my keys in my car. I must get home to her. Please, can you use this hanger to unlock my car?"
He said, "Sure." He walked over to the car, and in less than a minute the car was opened. She hugged the man and through her tears she said, "Thank You So Much! You are a very nice man."
The man replied, "Lady, I am not a nice man. I just got out of prison today. I was in prison for car theft and have only been out for about an hour."
The woman hugged the man again and with sobbing tears cried out loud, "Oh, Thank you God! You even sent me a Professional!"

Can you imagine if this was a real life situation and it had happened to you? What thoughts would have run through your mind at the site of the biker? If you got past your initial thoughts, what then, after he told you he was an ex-con? I am afraid I would not have been so trusting, even if I had prayed for some help.

Sometimes God works completely opposite of what we think He ought to work. When this happens we will miss His helping hand if we are searching for it with our natural sight. Surely as the scripture says, "our ways are not His ways, for His ways are higher than ours."

Remember the story of Naaman in IIKings chapter 5. He was appalled at the thought of dipping seven times in the muddy river Jordan. On top of that he was insulted that a man of his status would be asked to do such a thing. He was not cleansed of the leprosy until he humbled himself and became obedient. He had to change the way he thought before he could be blessed.

The way we think can be a hindrance sometimes. I don't want to miss a blessing just because it doesn't fit my paradigm. My prayer today is for God to take the blinders off of my eyes and help me look for the positives in those He chooses to use, to accept His blessings, and to be a blessing to someone else along the way.


Monday, March 12, 2007

News on the Homefront

As you may have noticed, it's been awhile since I have posted any novel updates. This is because of my rigorous work schedule, but I've been turning over plot twists in my mind in my brief periods of rest. I have found new inspiration recently. I'm reading Tricia Goyer's latest book, Valley of Betrayal, and I am pleased to announce that I will be reviewing this novel here as part of her blog tour on the 21st of this month. I hope to have completed the reading it in a couple of days.

I have sent out one query regarding my first book approximately three weeks ago, and I'm anxiously awaiting an answer and researching more avenues. Juggling my writing with my full time job is proving to be a handful, but don't give up on me yet! As you other writers know, we find time for this love of writing any way we can. Keep checking in for updates, even though I know I'm behind schedule in writing and posting updates. Someday you're in for a big surprise, I just know it.

In more domestic news, my son has suffered injury at the teeth of Maggie. We had her groomed, and I fear the traumatic day she had may have caused her to be more irritable. Or he may have gotten on the spot where she had her shot. I don't know, but I'm heartbroken that this has happened and don't know what to do about it. I really feel that I cannot keep her. Chase does not want me to give her away or have anything done with her. So this will be traumatic for us all. His little hand is healing well, and so far no signs of infection. Maggie is on her 7th day of being restrained in the yard. She doesn't like it, but these are the rules the Health Department has to ensure she is healthy. She's had all her shots, but they want to make sure. I suppose I shouldn't have brought a cocker spaniel home. I have heard they are temperamental and sometimes not good with children. I do not want to believe she is vicious in any way, but the couple of wounds on my child tell me that she has the potential to be a dangerous animal. I don't want her hurting him again--or anyone else. At the same time, she's our family pet, and we really don't want her put to sleep. Any of you had any experiences with this? And what did you do to deal with the problem?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Choose Wisely

****Worship Wednesday is brought to you by fellow-blogger and beloved sister, PT2006. Be sure to visit her over at her place today.

There is a children's song about the wise man and the foolish man. The wise man built upon the rock and the storms could not destroy his house. The foolish man built his house on the sand and the floods swept it away. This little tune comes directly from Matthew 7: 24- 29. A very simple illustration of a spiritual truth. Our lives must be built on the Rock Christ Jesus if we are going to stand the tests of this life.

While we weather the storms it is helpful to have faithful friends to lean on. We need to choose our companions wisely. We need to choose those who have built their houses upon the Rock. The New Living Translation of Proverbs 17:17 says;" a friend is always loyal and a brother is born to help in time of need." Surely the scriptures speak of godly friends and brothers.

One example of an extraordinary friendship is that of Jonathan and David. Tradition dictated Jonathan as Saul's successor, but God chose David to take the throne. Jonathan was reared in the palace, David in the countryside. The Prince had all that life could offer including servants of every sort. The shepherd boy knew only the life of a servant. So many differences, yet they were bound by an unshakable love. I Samuel 18:1 speaks of them being knit together. Again in chapter 20 of I Samuel, Jonathan vowed to do whatever David asked of him, and David declared his loyalty to all of the descendants of his friend.

Their bond was not without tests. King Saul's jealousy of David lead to attempted murder on more than one occasion. It was Jonathan that thwarted at least one of those attempts. He had chosen in David, a friend that was upright, true, and one that honored God. His love for his friend outweighed his loyalty to his father.

The test of David's loyalty came at a time when he was being chased by Saul and his army. It was in a cave encampment that Saul lay sleeping. David had opportunity to kill Saul, yet he chose instead to cut off the corner of Saul's robe. In sparing Saul's life, David not only honored his vow to Jonathan, he honored God. Much later, he spared the life of Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth. On top of that, King David allowed him to live in the palace and cared for him for the rest of his days.

Though extremely abbreviated, this account of soul-mates shows the importance of choosing our friends wisely. There can be no better friend than Jesus Himself. We will not be disappointed when we lean on friends who have built their lives upon the Rock.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


NO, I'm not on drugs, alcohol, or mentally unstable.. Just enjoying the fellowship of likeminded individuals. YES, IT'S A VIRTUAL PARTY, but I'm telling you, I've met more wonderful people here than I have in a long time. THANKS FOR JOINING IN.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

There's a Party Goin' On Right Here...

Welcome friends to The Ivy Wreath and The Ultimate Blog Party!!!! 5 Minutes for Mom is hosting the bash, and it's a great opportunity for you to get out and visit, mingle, and enjoy new blogs. Make some friends. You may even win a prize. My name is Cindy. I've been here a little over a year. Feel free to browse through my archives, visit my friends' links in my sidebar, and for sure leave me some comments introducing yourself. You just never know who your next blogging buddy will be.
Personally, I'm thrilled that it's March and soon to be Spring. I'm celebrating getting new full time employment. I'm celebrating new bloggers like Sista Cala aka PT2006 and Granny B. I'm celebrating the Easter season and hope that the resurrection brings. I'm celebrating a 30 pound weight loss and a 60 point drop in my cholesterol! I know my lots of my friends like Diane and Grandma Dawn will be there, and all their friends. I know you don't want to miss out on all the celebrations going on. Come find out what a wonderful thing the Internet can be, and prove that good still exists in the world today, that love abounds, that miracles still happen, and Jesus is still Lord of all--including Bloggyland. Can't wait to meet you!