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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Whose Birthday Is It???


Christmas is almost upon us, the most joyous time of the year.... Or is it?

For many, it's just a season filled with stress, financial trouble, or loneliness. For others it's a time to visit with friends and family, bake, buy gifts or hope for some new blessing in their life.

What does it mean to you?

In this age of commercialism, are you making the time to celebrate the birthday of our Lord? It's so easy to allow the days to fly by and be swamped with all the chores required by Christmas. Baking, mailing cards, buying gifts, decorating the tree, helping children with programs...all these are good in themselves, but what will really bring the peace and joy to your heart and your family?

Let me make a small suggestion. When you wake up each morning between now and Christmas, don't jump out of bed and hit the floor running...no matter how many chores are begging to be done. Lay in bed another five minutes, and give time to the Lord. Let the awe of Christmas fill your heart and the joy of our Saviour minister to your spirit. Don't beat yourself up for not taking an hour with your Bible & prayer. Do what you're able to do, but make sure your priorities put Him first in your day.... After all....

Whose Birthday Is it, Anyway?

Merry Christmas to all, and Happy Birthday to you, Jesus!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Help For Blended Families

I'm going to be writing and sharing articles about blended families....whether it be foster, step children, mixed marriages, adoptions, etc. Even within the Christian community families and marriages are in need of help.

My debut novel, The Other Daughter, deals with the issue of an unexpected blended family and all the varied emotions that can take place. We see a family and marriage almost derailed by the strong emotions and struggles that ensue when an unexpected addition to their family arrives in their midst.

How do marriages survive when a child appears...whether it be a teen or an adult, years after the event in question....especially when one of the spouses haven't been told of the child's existence?

I've already had three different readers mention that either they or a close friend have experienced the same type of situation. Our family did, also. The premise for the book was taken from our life...only we had an 18 yr. old girl write a letter to my husband, explaining that she believed him to be her father. Were we shocked? Yes. Were we angry at one another or did the shock turn to distrust and destroy our marriage? Thankfully, no.

We decided that the hurts and needs of this young woman were more important than what we might be feeling. She'd been told most of her life that her father didn't want her and she had some deep hurts that needed to be addressed. Trisha is now a part of our family, and her father was able to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day, and we're now grandparents to her three children.

God is able to take that which the enemy wants to destroy, and bring beauty from the ashes. He's the restorer of broken hearts and the one who keeps relationships in tact. Lean on Him for your family's needs and look to Him to bring peace into turmoil. He's faithful, so very faithful!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

So Much To Do and SO Little Time!

I must say I'm excited and a little overwhelmed all at the same time. September has been the busiest month I've experienced so far this year, and it promises to get worse, before it gets better....or should I say, it promises to get better, before it gets worse, LOL! I guess it depends if you view being super busy as a bad thing, or look at it like I have to...that the things keeping me busy are WONDERFUL things. Here's a quick overview of what my month holds:

The first week of September our family was engrossed in wedding details. Our son Steven and his lovely bride Hannah were married on Sept. 8th...the rehearsal and dinner took place the evening before and we had a 3 hr round trip to take part. A couple of weeks before my mother and I attended the bridal shower and had a wonderful time getting to know Hannah's extended family. A week after the wedding my hubby, mother and I again traveled to Portland for dinner with Hannah's parents, and the joy of watching our kids open their gifts. We LOVE our new daughter--she's a commited Christian and fits into our family so beautifully.

During that same time period we decided to tackle our lawn project. As you know, we moved into our newly constructed home in early July and it's surrounded by DIRT, which will very soon become MUD! We brought in fill dirt from out of our nearby forest floor. While it's beautiful dirt for growing, it's also filled with tons of roots and branches, which all need to be raked out. After it's raked, we planted seed and are daily watering it, and coaxing the little blades to appear.

I've been putting in 2-3 hrs per day on marketing my book, The Other Daughter, which is very close to it's Oct. 30th release date. I've scheduled a book release party at our local library and will be speaking to a couple of large churches in the area about talking to their women's groups. News releases still need to be written, influencer lists finalized and...well, the list goes on.

Tomorrow I leave for five days for the big American Christian Fiction Writer's Conference in Dallas, Tx, and to say I'm excited is an under statement. I can't wait! I get to meet some of my favorite authors who will also be attending, take awesome workshops, socialize with hundreds of other writer's, and meet with two editors to promote my upcoming potential books I'm considering now.

We'll be home for 3 days, then my hubby and I will head to N. California. We'll be driving a rental moving truck and helping our son and his wife move. It's not a burden at all, we're looking forward to going, as it's our first chance to get away together in quite awhile. We plan on touring the Redwood forest while there, and spending a couple of days in a nice hotel getting some much needed R&R.

That brings me to the end of Sept., when I'll return and have a birthday party for our oldest daughter at our home. Oh, and did I mention the couple dozen pints of peaches I've canned, or the work I've been doing on my second book? No...oh well...there's other things I've forgotten too, but that's simply because my brain seems to be turning to mush.

Wait!!! One more thing! The online catalogue for Christian Book.com just came out, and my book is on page ONE...yes, page ONE of the "Hot off the Press" list! Wahoo! Not sure how that happened, but I'm thrilled! Also, I've gotten two very positive reviews so far.... BE SURE you pick up a Romantic Times Review magazine in early October...they come out around the 10th I think, and turn to the inspirational fiction section where you'll find a review. It's considered a very, very tough review magazine and getting a good review there is superb. Just a hint....I did!

That's it for now. I just took a quick, or not so quick, break from packing but better get back. And after typing all this I realized I did my nails about two hrs ago and I'm afraid to look at them now after pecking at these keys! Yikes! Good night all, and I may not have time to visit with you again, till I return.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Devil and the Duck

Just a quick story tonight that has a lesson in it for all of us.

The Duck & the Devil

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm.
He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods.
He practiced in the woods; but he could never hit the target.
Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck.
Just out of impulse, he Let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it.
He was shocked and grieved!
In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile; only to see his sister watching!
Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.
After lunch the next day Grandma said, 'Sally, let's wash the dishes'
But Sally said, 'Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen.'
Then she whispered to him, 'Remember the duck?'
So Johnny did the dishes.
Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, 'I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper.'
Sally just smiled and said, 'Well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help'
She whispered again, 'Remember the duck?'
So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help.
After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's; he finally couldn't stand it any longer.
He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck.
Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, 'Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.'

Thought for the day and every day thereafter?
Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done ... and the devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.) ... whatever it is ... you need to know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing. He has seen your whole life. He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven.
He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you.
The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness; He not only forgives you, but He forgets.
It is by God's grace and mercy that we are saved.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Please Forgive Me!!!

Yikes! I'm blushing scarlet at how many days it's been since I've posted. I do have a good excuse that I'm hoping will be rectified sometime next week. I'm on dial up now, versus wonderful DSL that I used to have at our old house. Yes, we've moved to our new home...another reason I've been silent lately, as I've been trying to set up our new household rather than living indefinitely out of boxes...NOT a fun thing to do for long, as any of you can attest to, who've had the joy of moving!

We're supposed to be getting another line that will be dedicated just for the computer line, so I can stay online and not continually get bumped off with phone calls. My laptop does NOT like being bumped, and I have to completely reboot each time I want to dial up again, and half the time it won't close down properly. I know...time to take it in for a tune up, but I don't have time to deal with it right now! Arggg!!! Too many things to do, and not enough time to do them all.

To top it off, I'm heading to a writer's conference and will be gone all day Monday and Tuesday, so more time away from the computer. AND... my editor thinks he'd kind of like to see book 2 on his desk by mid October, if possible. Writing? I'm supposed to be writing? Yikes~!

OK, enough complaining...I have a houseful of church women coming for a luncheon and to help me celebrate moving to our new home, so need to get to bed. Then, a fun bridal shower to attend on Saturday for my new daughter in law to be (Hi Hannah!!!) and my birthday on Friday, if I can squeeze that in...and No, I don't think I'll share how old I am at the moment, LOL!

'Night all...I really do need to go to bed, as I'm getting a bit rummy here and don't want to start rambling. I really will get back to regular blogging soon, and put a few more great articles in on marriage.

Love you all, and keep the comments coming, I LOVE knowing when you've stopped by, even for a minute!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

S.T.O.P.---4 Part Strategy--- Part Two

S.T.O.P.--A 4-Step Strategy for Handling Conflict Without Hurting Your Relationship

Examples of Overt Muscling:

· Demanding sex and/or obedience

· Controlling resources: $, freedom, time

· Using violence or threats to control partner

· Showing anger and contempt for partner in public (includes: attacks on character or appearance as well as acting as if partner is invisible)

· Shouting or intimidating with words or gestures (includes: sarcasm, mocking, finger-pointing, cornering, taunting,)

· Blaming, belittling, interrogating, name-calling

· Hammering a point to death

· Ganging up on partner by bringing in kids, in-laws, other allies.

· Excusing your bad behavior by blaming your partner for it: I wouldn’t drink if you weren’t so X .”

· Doing any of the above in front of your children

Examples of Covert Defiance:

· Withdrawing or Avoiding (includes: the garage, the kids, work, school, alcohol, etc.)

· Stonewalling (includes: the silent treatment, refusing to talk)

· Withholding affection, attention, tenderness, appreciation, sex· Making excuses for why you didn’t follow-through . . . again

· Making and breaking promises and agreements

· Procrastinating· Chronic “forgetting”: “Oops. . . You know how my memory is.”

· Chronic lateness· Chronic apologies without subsequent changes in behavior

· Flaunting your affection for others in front of your partner

· Lying or hiding the truth

· Bad-mouthing your partner to your children, friends, family

· Developing a social network that excludes your spouse

OWNING YOUR PART means that during your time out you take responsibility for calming yourself down and redirecting your energy away from attacking or defending toward understanding and caring for your relationship.

· Techniques for calming yourself down: going for a walk, taking a hot bath, listening to quiet music, writing in a journal.

· Questions to help you redirect your energy:

1. What negative behaviors from the lists above did I use?

2. How might those behaviors have contributed to the bad feelings my partner and I experienced?

3. What could I have done that would have been more helpful, more considerate, more kind?

4. Assuming that most people don’t attack or defend unless they’re feeling threatened, what vulnerable feelings were behind my anger and (or) defensiveness? (Examples: fear, guilt, embarrassment, sadness, hurt)

5. What vulnerable feelings might have been behind my partner’s behavior? (Examples: fear, guilt, embarrassment, sadness, hurt)After you’ve answered these questions and have a better understanding of what went wrong and what part you played, you’re ready for the last step:

PEACE OFFERING.

3. PEACE OFFERING! Assuming you’ve done all 3 previous steps, you should be ready to come back together and talk. Each of you should take a turn sharing what you learned about yourself from your time away.

This means owning your part, apologizing to your partner for the hurt you may have caused, and making a peace offering. A peace offering can be as simple as a hug or a kiss, or it can be a promise or an agreement to do something different. When both of you have completed this step, chances are you’ll be feeling lots better. Here’s an example of how this step might sound:

“At first, all I could see was what you did to make me mad, but when I went through the lists and saw: blaming, forgetting, and excusing--I realized that I played a part in what went wrong. I think I was attacking you because I was feeling guilty myself for forgetting to do X. Sorry. I know I let you down. Next time I can try to be more honest sooner, or I can at least stop blaming you before you’ve even had a chance to talk. I promise to do X by Friday.”

Sounds good, huh? You can do it, too. Practice the STOP strategy over and over until the steps are automatic. It takes lots of repetition, so hang in there! When you’ve got it down, try teaching it to your kids. If they’re too young to understand it, use the strategy in front of them. They’ll learn by example how to communicate lovingly and respectfully.

Author's Bio
Betsy Sansby, MS, LMFT is a licensed marriage & family therapist with over 20 years experience counseling individuals, couples, and families. She is also the coauthor—with her husband—of seven instructional books on hand-drumming and percussion, including their latest book for kids, Slap Happy. She is the creator of an ingenious communication tool for couples called: The Ouchkit: A First-Aid Kit for Your Relationship. Clients who have used the kit describe it as: “Marriage Counseling in a Box.” You can read her advice column “Ask Betsy” at:
www.theouchkit.com.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

S.T.O.P.-- A 4-Step Strategy for Handling Conflicts

S.T.O.P.-- A 4-Step Strategy for Handling Conflicts Without Hurting Your Relationship


By Betsy Sansby, MS


Brain researchers have found that when people are scared, hurt, or angry, they're physiologically incapable of thinking straight. Stress hormones flood the body and cause the rational part of the brain to shut down, and the irrational part to take over. That’s why angry people don’t talk to each other, they rant and rave--or work on their trucks.

The S.T.O.P. Strategy will help you calm down when you're upset, so you can gain perspective and reconnect from a better place. The best way to use it is to practice the four steps often, and to start using the strategy during a low-level conflict. That way, when things get really hot, you'll already know how to use it. Here are the four steps:


1. STOP! As soon as you notice yourself getting uncomfortable with the way your conversation is going, STOP! Then say: I need a time out. This tells your partner you need a break, without blaming her (him) for your discomfort.

2. TIME OUT. Time out means physically separating from each other in order to stop the hurt. It means going away for a short time (30-60 minutes) and coming back after both of you have calmed down and have completed Step 3: OWN YOUR PART.


· Brain researchers have found that once the heart is beating 95 bpm or above, the thinking brain (neocortex) shuts down and the emotional brain (amygdala) takes over. This means it does no good to keep arguing when you’re both upset, because the reasonable part of your brain is no longer listening.


John Gottman’s research on marital satisfaction found that couples who disengage when things start heating up, and try again after both people are calmer, stay together and report greater satisfaction in their relationships.

3. OWN YOUR PART. This means taking responsibility for your part in creating the problem. It means calming yourself down, analyzing your behavior, and redirecting your energy away from attacking or defending.
Most people believe they’ve won if they’ve gotten their spouse to do things their way. Don’t mistake submission for devotion, or obedience for love.
Every act of overt muscling by one partner leads to 2 equally powerful acts of covert defiance by the other!


Examples and step four on the next post, so tune in again!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

We've Moved To Our New House!!!

Finally!!! We've spent several nights at our new house now, but are still getting moved in. We have a lot of clean up and some misc items to pack at the old house, as well as a few pieces of furniture to move.

I'll get back to my regular schedule of posting here 2-3 times per week as soon as we finish the last details. We got our washer and dryer hooked up this week end and moved my three kitties today. Whew! They are NOT happy campers, LOL! They'll stay locked in our garage for the next couple of days until they adjust and realize this is home.

Tom is still huddled in the big carrier, refusing to come out. Smoke is wandering around exploring after just an hour, and Jerry is huddled behind a lumber pile growling at anything that comes close.

I'm posting pictures of the interior of the house tomorrow (without furniture, as I haven't taken new ones yet) so you can see what we've been working on. Please check back again in a few days, I'll start my blogs up again on marriage and family issues soon.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Wow!!! 35 Years Together Today!


Today is our 35th anniversary and yes, we got married when we were just babies, LOL!
This is the only snapshot I have on my computer of our wedding, I need to ge the professional ones transferred.
Actually, I did marry young and it's miraculous our marriage held together through all the ups and downs and immaturity we both brought into it. Two babes getting married without a clue what sacrifice really meant. God is faithful, though, and He's brought us through so much. I give Him all the glory for making it this far and with His help, and the love and deep commitment to each other, I'm trusting God for another 35!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Miralee's Book Goes To The Movies??? Maybe!


Let's just say I'm a little bit excited and maybe you can imagine what that means, after you read on.....
My agent got a call from the major motion picture studio (which has to remain unnamed for now, but trust me, you'd know it if you heard it...) that had expressed an interest in reading my manuscript a couple of months ago.
The rep read it and really liked it...in fact, she stated that it was an inspiring read, she loved the characters and the plot....BUT (and we expected this) it has too strong of faith elements for their company. It needs to be a family movie, as it would be produced by the family division of this company, but not explicitly Christian, as it is now.
My agent and I discussed it and told her we understood where she's coming from. The book was written for a Christian audience and publishing house, not a secular studio. We're in agreement that the book can be changed to reflect strong family values, and the faith element softened. My publisher is open to the idea, as long as all the faith elements aren't removed and we're able to see the transition that the main character makes in her personal life. I agree with him.
The studio rep said she's willing to take a look at it again, as she really liked the story, IF I'd be willing to do a complete summary of the entire book, showing what changes I'm willing to make and how the story line would run if the faith elements were softened or downplayed. I spent a number of hours getting that worked up for her, and now we're waiting for the okay from my publisher, before sending it along to the studio rep.
Any and all prayers would be appreciated! I feel this could be a wonderful ministry opportunity to the unchurched. So many Christian movies, while excellent, don't reach people who aren't Christians. Many unsaved people will watch a family movie, and a few of them may go buy the book after seeing it's based on a book....THEN get hit with the full faith message.
Please pray that God will give the book revisions (the book will stay just the same, only the movie script of the book would change) FAVOR in my publishers eyes and in the studio rep's eyes, IF He wants it to be a movie. It's for His glory, not mine. This is NOT something I ever looked for or expected, so it's not going to be a disappointment if it doesn't work out...but I do feel it has tremendous potential for the Kingdom, if it does!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Quick Update---House, Life and Stuff!


We're coming down to the wire and praying it all gets done. When we applied for a two month extension almost two months ago, we had no idea we'd need it. But our contractor (who was working on an hourly basis the last half of the job) had to move to a new job and we've been left to finish all the detail work inside this past two months.

We've laid tile floors, granite tile countertops, travertine/tile showers, trimmed out windows, put up crown moldings, hung doors and installed glass door knobs, installed all the lighting fixtures, hooked up the plumbing and did all the finish painting.

Any wonder we're just a bit tired and I'm not spending as much time here on my blog as I'd like? Hm...wonder why, LOL! It's 11;15 p.m. now and I should be in bed, as it's another full day tomorrow. The bank inspector arrives at 11 a.m. next Tuesday morning and the County inspector on Wednesday. All the signed off permits must be faxed to the bank no later than Thursday morning, including the water test from our well...we get one shot at that, as we didn't realize we needed to do it before the permit could be closed...and with Monday being a holiday, there's no time to get another test in if this one fails. So we're praying the water is good with nothing to ruin the results...no contaminents that accidently get in the bottle, etc.


Any and all prayer gratefully accepted! Our marriage is still intact by the grace of God, LOL---altho the past 2-3 wks tempers flare a bit more easily and tears are at the ready due to sheer exhaustion. But we'll make it...we've had our son's help these past two months, 3 days per week, and our daughter and her husband have helped with the tile, so we're blessed!

Heading to bed and planning on hitting it hard again tomorrow....still praying for a buyer for the house we're needing to sell...but we had an excellent showing and may have an offer coming. Praying!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Eight Random Things About Me---


I'm finally going to cave and do this! There's a new game going around ShoutLife right now. You tag eight people and they're supposed to read your blog to find out eight little known facts about you, and you read their blogs, to get to know them better. I've been tagged by several different people, so I guess I need to take the time and figure out 8 things that not everyone knows about me......Hmmm....let's see.....
1. We moved to Alaska for a job, a number of years ago, but not until the Lord told me we were supposed to....we had a new home we weren't finished building and I owned a small business I had to sell, and had horses and other animals to place. But God said go, and an amazing ministry to women developed as a result.
2. We were foster parents to many teen girls over the years and still keep in touch with some of them.
3. We owned two mountaing lions...commonly called cougars, for about 5 years. They were my husband's 'babies', and our female gave birth to two cubs. I could tell a lot of stories about those cats, and am in fact submitting one story to the Cup Of Comfort book for Cat Lovers.
4. I owned a Barter Exchange business, that I built from the ground up in our community, and after only a year had over 50 business taking part. It was a lot of fun and a huge success, until we moved to Alaska and I had to sell it.
5. I was a youth group leader for 4 yrs, in the early days of our marriage. Our group started with 3 junior high kids and grew to over 32 kids coming each week...and our church's weekly attendance was only about 65 people! Most of the kids didn't attend church, but a few ended up coming consistently and gave their hearts to the Lord.
6. I've sold Avon, Princess House Crystal, a product similar to Tupperware, been top in the state of Washington in sales for a Fortune 500 insurance company, sold lumber and top quality interior wood for our own saw mill, and was an newspaper ad rep for about 7 years besides.
7. My husband and I started our own saw mill, and I pulled green chain on the big circular head rig (if you don't know what that means, I stacked and stickered the boards coming off the saw, and chucked the side cuts and slabs off to the side), a very physical job. I also spent more than one winter shoveling snow off the stacks of lumber, chipping ice off the planer when the snow blew into our pole building, and kept the steam boiler fed and going when my husband had to be away.
8. I've driven a school bus for our church, a fork lift for our saw mill, a Cat on our property, a tractor for plowing, a riding mower, and ride horses, too!
Whew! I didn't think I could come up with 8 things that you MIGHT not know, but I did it!
Now, here's the list of rules, for those of you who get tagged by me!
1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog. Hoping you'll join us in this game of tag.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

16 Ways to Open the Door to Your Husband's Heart


16 Ways to Open the Door to Your Husband's Heart

From the book "When He doesn't Believe" by Nancy Kennedy

1. Go to his softball games (or whatever he's interested in) and pay attention.

2. Tell him often that what he does at work is important to you.

3. Never belittle or trivialize his work.

4. Ask questions about his job. Learn what he does.


5. Determine what your husband does well and provide opportunities for him to perform and succeed. Ask him if he would: glue a chair leg, move furniture, change a doorknob, plan a trip, etc.

6. Say thank you often.

7. Watch your interactions with other men and avoid situations that could be misinterpreted.

8. Ask his advice and then take it. If you're not willing to do that, it's better not to ask in the first place.

9. Ask for his help.

10. Build him up in front of your kids.

11. Never correct him in public.


12. Dream with him, even if you think his dreams are far-fetched. That's what makes them dreams.

13. Touch him often, especially when you're listening to him talk.

14. Be loyal.

15. Enjoy sex.

16. Pray and ask God for creative ways to affirm your husband's unique maleness. Then go and do it.

Friend, if your husband is going through a time of midlife darkness, know that even in this, even when it looks bleakest, God is still able to give you everything you need to get through this trial and to equip you to be a minister of his grace to your spouse. This is the time to know the best thing - perhaps the only thing - you can do is crawl up on the Father's lap and let him hold you as you cry tears of confusion and helplessness for your beloved.

Stay close to the Lord, read up on the subject, get counseling for yourself, and pray like crazy for that man of yours as you give him time and space to work things through. By now you know that a wise woman knows that it's God and God alone who does it all. He's the one who draws her husband to himself, in his time, in his way, utterly and completely. And as she allows her husband to discover the claims of Christ for himself, when the time comes that he senses the irresistible grace of God beckoning him, it won't be just lip service, but a genuine heart change. It's the way men are. It's the way God works.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Six Marriage Killing Lies

6 Marriage Killing Lies

From the book "The Lies We Believe" by Dr. Chris Thurman

1. It's All Your Fault.- Secular Truth: It takes two to tango. Marriage problems are rarely one person's fault.-

Theological Truth: Romans 2:1: You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

2. If It Takes Hard Work, We Must Not Be Right for Each Other.- Secular Truth: Hard work in marriage is the norm, not the exception. It means you and your partner need each other's help to work out personality flaws and weaknesses.

- Theological Truth: 1 Corinthians 7:28b: But those who marry will face many troubles in this life.

3. You Can and Should Meet All My Needs. - Secular Truth: No one person can meet all your needs. Your needs can best be met through a variety of sources. -

Theological Truth: Philippians 4:19: And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

4. You Owe Me. - Secular Truth: Your spouse doesn't really "owe" you anything for what you do. You do what you do because, at some level, you choose to do it. You aren't owed anything for what you choose to do.-

Theological Truth: 1 Peter 5:5b: Clothe yourselves with humility because "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

5. I Shouldn't Have to Change.- Secular Truth: Marriage requires change. People who refuse to change, stagnate themselves and their marriages. The important issue is deciding what we need to change about ourselves and what we don't.-

Theological Truth: Hebrews 12:14a: Make every effort to live in peace with all and to be holy.

6. You Should Be Like Me.- Secular Truth: Every person is unique and can't be a carbon copy of anyone else. It would be boring if it weren't that way.-

Theological Truth: 1 Corinthians 12:18-19: But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Ten Things Guys Wish Women Knew...Part 2

If you missed the first half of this article, please scroll down just a bit and you'll find the first 5 points of 10 things guys wish women knew about them.

This is the final installment...I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

6. Sex means more than sex. When men feel their wives desire them sexually, it has a profound effect on the rest of their lives. It gives them an increasing sense of confidence and well-being that carries over into every other area of his life.

The flipside of this coin also carries a profoundly negative affect. When a husband feels rejected sexually, he not only feels his wife is rejecting him physically, but that she is somehow rejecting his life as a husband, provider and man. This is why making sex a priority in marriage is so incredibly important!

7. Men struggle with visual temptation. This means the vast majority of men respond to visual images when it comes to women. And, this doesn't just mean the guys with wandering eyes. Even the most godly husband cannot avoid noticing a woman who dresses in a way that draws attention to her body.

Even if it is just a glance, these visual images are stored away in the male brain as a sort of "visual rolodex" that will reappear without any warning. Men can choose whether to dwell on these images and memories or dismiss them, but they can't control when these images appear.

8. Men enjoy romance, but doubt their skills to be romantic. True, many men appear to be unromantic clods, but it doesn't mean that they want to be that way! Men want to be romantic, but they just doubt their ability to pull it off. They are plagued by internal hesitations, perceiving the risk of humiliation and failure as too high. Wives can do a great deal to increase their husbands' confidence in their romantic skills through encouragement and redefining what romance looks like.

For example, a wife may balk when her husband asks her to go along to the hardware store, but it's likely that he's asking because he sees it as a time they can get away as a couple and hang out together. What's not romantic about that?

9. Men care about their wife's appearance. This isn't saying that all men want their wives to look like the latest supermodel. What men really want is to know that their wives are making an effort to take care of themselves (and not letting themselves go) because it matters to them (the husbands!). Husbands appreciate the efforts their wives make to maintain their attractiveness.

10. Men want their wives to know how much they love them. This was the number one response of men. Men aren't confident in their ability to express this, but they love their wives dearly. Men want to show how much they love their wives and long for them to understand this fact.

Copyright © 2006 Jim Burns, Used with permission. Read more from Jim at homeword.comIn response to the overwhelming needs of parents and families, Jim Burns founded HomeWord (formerly YouthBuilders) in 1985. HomeWord is a Christian organization designed to provide assistance to adults worldwide as they help young people make wise decisions and lead positive, vibrant, Christian lifestyles. Multiplication and Leverage: While absolutely committed to young people, HomeWord equips parents, grandparents and youth leaders; those who daily reach out to kids. By equipping adults, and leveraging those adults to reach kids, HomeWord reaches more young people more cost effectively. Read more at www.growthtrac.com

Sunday, April 15, 2007

10 Things Guys Wish Women Knew about Men

10 Things Guys Wish Women Knew about Men
By Jim Burns


It is likely no surprise to you that God has wired women and men differently. We all recognize some of these differences, but others often hide in plain sight.

Shaunti Feldhahn, a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, author and speaker recently wrote a fantastic book, For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men. In it, she recounts the surprising truths she learned about men after interviewing more than one thousand of them. Not long ago, Jim Burns had the opportunity to interview Shaunti for his radio broadcast, HomeWord with Jim Burns. In their discussion, they spoke about ten things guys wish women knew about men

1. Men would rather feel unloved than inadequate and disrespected. Husbands need to know that their wives respect them both privately and publicly. Men thrive when they know that their wives trust them, admire them and believe in them. Shaunti Feldhahn's research indicated that men would rather sense the loss of loving feelings from their wives than to be disrespected by them.

2. A man's anger is often a response to feeling disrespected by his wife. When a husband becomes angry with his wife, he may not come out and say, "You're disrespecting me!" But, there is a good likelihood that he is feeling stung by something his wife has done which he considers disrespectful and humiliating.

3. Men are insecure. Men are afraid that they aren't cutting it in life -- not just at work, but at home, in their role as a husband. They may never vocalize this, but inwardly, they are secretly vulnerable. The antidote? Affirmation. To men, affirmation from their wives is everything! If they don't receive this affirmation from their wives, they'll seek it elsewhere. When they receive regular and genuine affirmation from their wives (not flattery, by the way), they become much more secure and confident in all areas of their lives.

4. Men feel the burden of being the provider for their family. Intellectually, it doesn't matter how much or little a man makes, or whether or not his wife makes more or less money in her career. Men simply bear the emotional burden of providing for their family. It's not a burden they've chosen to bear. Men are simply wired with this burden. As such, it is never far from their minds and can result in the feeling of being trapped. While wives cannot release their husbands from this burden, they can relieve it through a healthy dose of appreciation, encouragement and support.

5. Men want more sex. Everyone's natural response to this is probably, "Duh!" But, that response is probably for the wrong reason. We primarily assume that men want more sex with their wives due to their physical wiring (their "needs"). But, surprisingly, Shaunti Feldhahn's research showed that the reason men want more sex is because of their strong need to be desired by their wives. Men simply need to be wanted. Regular, fulfilling sex is critical to a man's sense of feeling loved and desired.

The next five points will be added on my next post, so stand by for more!

Copyright © 2006 Jim Burns, Used with permission. Read more from Jim at homeword.comIn response to the overwhelming needs of parents and families, Jim Burns founded HomeWord (formerly YouthBuilders) in 1985. HomeWord is a Christian organization designed to provide assistance to adults worldwide as they help young people make wise decisions and lead positive, vibrant, Christian lifestyles.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Letting Your Husband Know You're Proud Of Him, Part Two


I'm finishing up this subject today, and either Friday or Saturday I'll post a new one, on Ten Things Your Husband Wishes You Knew About Him...be sure to check back ladies, it's a good one!
Letting Your Husband Know You're Proud of Him by Sabrina Beasley

6. Resolve conflicts in private...and avoid body language that undermines your husband in public. We all get upset with our husbands at times; that's part of marriage. But don't drag it out in front of others. Your friends won't see you make up later, and they'll be left with a lasting impression of a wife's disrespect for her husband.

I've been guilty of this, most often when bitterness from an earlier dispute carries over into our plans with friends that evening. When I consider my heart, I find that instead of love, my motive for huffiness is revenge, and deep down inside I hope to hurt him like he's hurt me. So I might roll my eyes at something he says, or elbow him, or put on a look of disbelief. Body language like this quietly undermines your husband in front of others. He may not know what you're trying to say, but he'll read it to mean, "I'm not proud of you, and I don't respect you."

7. Take his side. There's no one that's easier for a wife to pick on than her husband. You are all too familiar with his annoying little habits, and the areas where he needs improvement. But when others start to pick on him, take his side. The jokes might seem innocent, but if you make fun of your husband publicly, you are choosing to degrade him when you could esteem him.

The next time your husband is the brunt of teasing, stick up for him by talking about his good qualities and abilities. You don't have to act offended, but instead act proud of who he is and what he has accomplished. As a result, you will show your honey that even when you are given a choice you still choose to give him the respect that he deserves.

8. Cheer him on. Have you ever wondered why there are cheerleaders at a football game? They aren't helping the players throw the ball, run faster, or play smarter, but their job is just as important. They encourage the players by letting them know that someone believes they can win. Husbands need cheerleaders, too. They don't need someone to fix their problems for them or even tell them how to do things. As a matter of fact, to try to fix their problems can insult their masculinity. What they need are wives who believe in them.

A great example of this kind of cheerleading comes from Meredith White of Longview, Tex. When her husband, Faber, was going through medical school and working long hours, Meredith knew he was struggling just to make it through each day. So she started "What's it Wednesdays" and would plan a weekly gift or surprise for her sweetheart. "Every week I looked forward to Wednesdays for that reason," Faber says. " It definitely helped me through a particularly hard time in my schooling."

9. Be interested in his projects. Every man I know has a passion for something, from watching sports to putting together model airplanes. My husband likes to play Fantasy Football from August to February. I have to admit there are times when I force myself to keep from rolling my eyes at the mention of the word "football" because I want him to know that I support his desire to fellowship with his friends and take part in clean sportsmanship. This all boils down to starting a conversation with your husband.

If he is busy researching in his office, sit down and ask him about his newest venture. "What are you working on, Sweetheart?" is a good way to begin. He may give you a short, non-descriptive answer like "Oh, just some stuff for Fantasy Football." Then that's your cue to start asking questions. Ask him how he's been playing, how he plans to improve, and don't forget to end with an encouraging word about how, "he's going to blow them all away at the finals this year."

10. Teach your children to respect him. It's easy to openly criticize your husband in front of your children, but when was the last time you boasted about him instead? Your words of admiration will not only make your children feel more secure as they witness their parents' love, it will also encourage them to speak as highly of their father as you do. In addition, when your kids, particularly as teenagers, make comments that disrespect their father, be sure to let them know that such speech is unacceptable. This is important for the unity of your marriage. And when your husband hears about your comments, he will feel a renewed sense of appreciation for a wife who demands his respect.

Taken from the September 2005 issue of The Family Room, FamilyLife's online magazine. www.FamilyLife.com/familyroom. Copyright© 2005. All rights reserved. Used by permission

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Letting Your Husband Know You're Proud of Him


If it has been a while since you've shown your husband that you're proud of him, don't let another day go by without communicating your admiration. Here are ten suggestions to help.


1.
Just say it. Those five little words, "I'm so proud of you" are sometimes difficult to spit out, especially if it has been a while since you've said them. They may feel awkward at first, even "cheesy," but once you begin, this little phrase won't seem so strange anymore. But don't just leave it at "I'm proud of you." Tell him why: "I'm so proud of you for spending time with our son. That means a lot to him and to me."


2. Brag about him
to others. If you have children, you already have plenty of bragging practice. If little Suzie wins the county spelling bee, you put her trophy in a place of honor and tout that your little girl is a genius. But we wives often forget that our husbands crave the same type of praise.


Did you show off the new paint job he did in the bathroom? Did you buy a frame for the certificate he received at work? Have you shown your friends the lawn or garden he nurtured all summer? While bragging to others, don't forget to include his parents. Not only will they feel proud to know that their son is a great husband, but they will also feel encouraged that his wife recognizes it.


3.
Dream with him. Early in our marriage, my husband would often tell me of his visions of entrepreneurship. I'll never forget when he told me about his plans to build a hotdog stand. He even had a name picked out and a logo developed. He also had several other business ideas in mind, like a coupon book and a local magazine—he thought they were ingenious ideas that were eventually going to make him rich, rich, rich! Of course, all I could see was my security flying out of the door.


But then my mother's voice called back in my mind, echoing her premarital advice, "Remember to dream with him." Men often enjoy dreaming about the future, even when it's not currently possible, while women tend to think in the present, counting costs, roadblocks, and impossibilities. I used to think that if I allowed David to dream that I was non-verbally giving my permission for him to begin. In reality, I've found that the opposite is true. He actually begins to see the practical side of things for himself.


4.
Listen to your husband when he tells stories in public...and don't correct him! Have you ever been at a friend's house when your husband tells a story wrong? He may get most of it right, but he leaves out some interesting sideline or he gets the person's name wrong. The standard response is, "No, that's not the way it went. Here, let me tell it." And then he's left looking like a moron in front of your friends.


Let me challenge you to stop disagreeing with your husband on the little things. There may be times when he gets some details wrong, but no one is taking score about who gets the fine points right most of the time.


5.
Look him in the eyes and smile. Just the way you look and react to your husband can give the impression that you are honored to be his wife. Think about what it would mean to him if you stopped what you were doing, looked him in the eyes, listened and smiled. This action sends the message, "It pleases me to spend undistracted time with you and to hear what's going on in your life."


Looks like I'll make this in three posts, rather than five....so the last one will be in a day or two. Take care and don't forget to hug your husband tonight!


By Sabrina Beasley

Taken from the September 2005 issue of The Family Room, FamilyLife's online magazine. www.FamilyLife.com/familyroom. Copyright© 2005. All rights reserved. Used by permission

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Five Things Your Husband Wants You To Know

5 Things Your Husband Wants You to Know

1. I want to please you sexually. It's humiliating for men to ask for directions, so help us by giving us a road map for sex.

2. I need you, but I need others, too. When guys want to know what to do, not how to feel, they turn to male friends.

3. I want to find meaning in my work. We derive satisfaction from what we do. So support us as we sort out our goals and gifts.

4. I want to be reconciled with those I love. Contrary to the "take no prisoners" attitude men express, we're still bothered by unresolved conflict. You can help by asking questions.

5. I want to remain young and virile forever. Love us, make us feel we're still sexually desirable, cook us healthy meals, and suggest an aerobic walk around the block.

By James Charis, from 30 Days to a More Incredible Marriage, edited by Ramona Cramer Tucker (Tyndale). Used by Permission.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Reeling With Shock and Amazement!


Wow! I'm sitting here at my computer feeling completely stunned by a call I got last night from my agent. She and I both assumed most of our current business with one another was complete, after we signed with Kregel for my new book. But no...there's more.

Yesterday she received a very unexpected phone call from a representative from the family division of a major motion picture studio. They saw a brief summary of my book online, and think it would has the potential to make an excellent family movie. She requested the full manuscript to be sent to her ASAP for review.

Nothing is certain and no offers are being made, but I'm blown away that they even noticed it! They'll read the MS and decide if indeed it can be made into a successful movie. Last night I wrote a 900 word screen-play treatment...an overview that presented the major scenes through-out the book, and the reasons why this would make an excellent family movie.

Please pray for the entire project. Never in a gazillion years did I think my book would have any interest to the movie industry! God knows what's best and if He wants this book made into a movie, it will be for His glory. I'm praying that lives will be touched...even if it's only the life of the one person who reads my book to review it. It's sitting on her desk right now, and she plans to start on it soon. I'm lifting her up in prayer, that her heart will be touched and the book will find favor in her eyes, God willing.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Listening to God's Voice


Another way the Lord speaks to us is through a gentle ‘nudge’ to our spirit. It might be a quiet voice speaking through our conscience, or an impression that comes into our mind while praying, worshiping or considering a problem.

Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.”

It’s important to spend time with the Lord in prayer, opening our hearts and spirits to His voice and waiting on Him for direction. Spend time in worship, give yourself totally to Him, asking that Jesus be in complete control of your mind and heart as you seek Him and listen. As children of God, we can be confident that the Holy Spirit will lead us, but as stated in Col. 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,” peace must accompany the leading or direction we receive.

God’s peace is the sure sign that the Holy Spirit is directing, rather than our own thoughts or desires. The Holy Spirit is quiet and gentle, but persistent, calling us to wait quietly before Him and listen for His voice. He speaks to us when we take the time to wait on Him, not rushing, not feeling we must always be talking, but patiently waiting for Him to speak.

Sometimes He chooses to speak when we’ve opened our hearts to Him in worship and are simply desiring to serve Him. While worshiping during a Wednesday evening service at my church, I strongly sensed the Lord was asking me to kneel during the balance of the worship service. I felt uncomfortable, as the rest of the congregation were on their feet. He impressed on my heart, that if I would be obedient, He was going to show His power before the service ended.

The ‘nudge’ was so strong, I knew I had to obey. I quietly slipped down to my knees and finished the worship service in tears, more moved than I had been in a long time. When the pastor came up to speak, he shared that someone in the congregation was in physical pain and asked that they come forward for prayer. A woman immediately stepped out, but he didn’t pray for her at once. Instead, he explained that the Lord had shown him there was someone present who had been given a gift of faith for this woman’s healing and asked that they come forward to pray for her. I immediately felt faith well up in my spirit and knew this was why the Lord had asked me to be obedient. I walked forward, laying my hand on her back and praying briefly. She testified that the pain left as soon as my hand touched her back. The Lord chose to do a sovereign work, but in this case it was dependant upon my willingness to listen and obey.

The Lord also speaks to by the operation of the gifts of the Spirit, as listed in I Corinthians 12:8-11. The gifts of wisdom and knowledge are used to help a person apply the revelation of God’s Word to a specific situation. In Acts 5, when Ananias & his wife Sapphira lied to Paul and withheld some of the money they received from the sale of their property, God revealed it to Paul through the operation of a word of knowledge.

The operation of the revelation gifts can help us make Godly decisions in our daily walk. If we are being used in counseling others, a word of wisdom or knowledge can shorten what might otherwise be hours of ministry. 1 Corinthians 14:1, it says that we should ‘Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.’

We need to follow hard after God and desire to be used, keeping our hearts open to whatever gift He might want to bestow on us. Whether it be the prophetic gifts or any other, we must operate in an attitude of love. God seeks people who are anxious to hear His voice and use His gifts in ministry to others, while continually bringing glory to Him.
Are you content to hear God’s voice only through the voice of others, or do you want to hear His voice for yourself? If so, will you pay the price He requires to make hearing His voice a way of life? Romans 8:6 says, “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” It takes time and commitment to learn to listen, time quietly waiting on the Lord as well as dwelling in His Word. God is more willing to speak to us then we are to hear, and He will be faithful to answer as we tune our hearts in to His.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Another Word On Prayer

Praying for our Spouse or a friend...Praying the Word.

I was emailing a gal tonight who's been struggling in her marriage. Her husband had fallen away from the Lord due to hurts and disillusionment caused by others. He's allowed bitterness and resentment to rob him of his walk with the Lord and turn him into an angry, hurting man.

She's been hurting too...knowing that the man she married is still in there somewhere, but not sure how to help him, or help to break him free of the pain he's locked in. Here's one suggestion I gave her, that might help you in a situation you find yourself in right now.

Pray the Word.

Pray the Word, you say? How? Why? What good will that do? I already pray every day for him, and I'm not seeing a lot of change.

But you see, the Word is powerful and cuts like a two edged sword...it discerns the heart and mind of a man and it brings light and truth anywhere it's used. We don't understand how it works, or why, but Christians through the ages have proven time and again, that using the Word in prayer, is one of the most powerful way to pray.

Find 5-10 scriptures that resound in your spirit...ones that you KNOW are for the person you're praying for. Write them down, individually, on 3x5 cards, then pray each one of them, every day, for that person. Here's an example of what I prayed for my husband: Ephesians 1:17-20. This is fairly long, so bear with me...but I think you'll see what I mean.

Lord, I'm lifting up Allen before you. I pray that you will give him spiritual wisdom and understanding, in Christ Jesus, so that he might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that his heart will be flooded with light so that he can understand the wonderful future that he has, to those that you have calle. Help him to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has been given. Lord, I pray that he will beging to understand the incredible greatness of God's power for any of us who believe Him...This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realm.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Definition of Crazy...Do You Fit It?



Our pastor shared something this morning that I thought was very appropriate for this group...the definition of crazy.

Here's the definition....IF you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you've always got. Draw a circle in the air and think about the circle being unbroken and unending. If we keep on behaving in ways we have always behaved, but still believe that we'll get different results than we've gotten in the past, we're crazy! It can't happen. As long as our beviour, attitudes, thoughts, etc., don't change, we'll stay in that circle.

So tell me....what circle would YOU like to break out of? Is there something in your life that you'd like to give to the Lord and ask Him to set you free from? Are you willing to lay it before Him and ask others to help you be accountable?

Try to find one person you trust and tell them...having someone help you be accountable and support you, could make all the difference. Don't stay stuck in your circle even one day longer. First identify the problem, then give it to the Lord and ask Him to break the power it's had over you, and enlist a prayer partner to stand beside you as you break free from your past.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Update On Our House, and Still Waiting!!!


Here's the newest picture of our house taken a few days ago. We still have the exterior paint to do, but it's snowing up there right now, so has to warm up about 20 more degrees and be dry, before paint can begin.
The hardwood floors are in, the window casings are in process, then comes all the trim. Kitchen cabinets will be installed in 2 1/2 weeks, and carpet immediately after. We're hoping to move in 6-8 wks, and we've just made a counter offer on our house...the offer was way too low, so we'll see what happens with our counter.
On another note, I'm trying not to get frustrated over my book still not having a title. The publisher was out sick the first of last week, and planned on making a final decision when he got back. The marketing person was out the first half of this week, so I couldn't check with her till today...I finally sent both she and the publisher an email, only to get a response back that the publisher is out of the office from today till March 6th. Big sigh....I really am trying to be patient, and I'll let you know when I know anything more!
I also am hoping to have a release date by the end of next week, as well as getting a peek at the front cover, but we'll see what happens. God is still in charge, so I'm not sweating it, just curious and a bit anxious to see what they decide. I hope you all have a wonderful week end!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Why Pray? Does it Really Matter--Part Two

I Thes: 5:16--- Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

The Purposes of prayer---


1. To Minister unto the Lord-----
Through praise and worship, recognizing who He is, just talking to the Lord, taking time to listen for His voice---

To establish relationship with God, to know the character and nature of God

This is non-existent in most people’s lives and certainly isn’t a top priority in many peoples lives

2. To Minister to Ourselves
Not necessarily to ‘get’ something material for ourselves, but rather to bring us into fellowship with God and make us like minded with Him.

Prayer develops character in us, makes us sensitive to the Lord. It changes our attitudes and perspectives to line up with His Word, especially when mixed with the Word

Prayer makes us useable…..A sign of spiritual maturity is to ask the Lord to rather make me useable, before you ask Him to use you. Prayer is meant to be an avenue of change for our own heart, as we spend time in the presence of God

As God’s love builds up in our lives through spending time with Him, faith will start to grow. We will find that the more time we spend with Him, just being with Him, not asking for anything, the more His love will fill us and the more our faith will grow. Then when we have a need, the faith is planted and growing in our hearts and will be a natural outflow to help bring to pass the answer as we pray.

3. Allows God to flow to us and through us

Prayer is a way of us receiving things from God for ourselves and for others---- for ministry and our needs

John 14:12-14, I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Jesus is saying we should bring our petitions before Him in His name

John 15:16…. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

If you asked the average person what the purpose of prayer is, they would tell you it’s to ask and receive things from God. That is one purpose, but shouldn’t be our primary purpose. Prayer is not meant to be need related exclusively, but rather to be relationship related. Our prayers should draw us closer to the Lord and our main desire should be to develop a closer relationship with Him.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Biting My Nails!


For any of you who don't know, I've written a novel and it's to be released this fall. Publishing houses like to have published authors endorse the book if possible, meaning they read it and make a short (hopefully positive!) comment about it, which will be used in some form of advertising, or in/on the book some where.

I put out a call to several authors I know and four of them were gracious enough to offer to give their valuable time to reading my manuscript. Now, here's the thing...I assumed the book wouldn't be sent out till AFTER it had gone through a full round of edits by the staff at Kregel.

Wrong. I just got a note from one of my prospective endorsers, saying she was so excited 'cause she's just received her copy of my manuscript. Being very new to this entire process, I was a bit shocked and I have to admit, a little horrified.

It's one thing to have friends and family read your book, you know they're all going to love it...they have to, right? But never did I expect other authors to be reading my book that hasn't gone through editing yet! Well, honey...let me tell you, I'm not sure I'll be sleeping tonight! Praying a lot, but sleeping? Naaahhh, don't think so!

Okay...I've blown off enough steam now and I'm feeling considerably better. Still biting my nails and chewing my hair off, but feeling better, LOL! I'll let you know if I get any positive comments after they've all had time to read it...and I'm asking them to be honest, believe it or not! Pray for me! Scary stuff!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why Pray? Does it Really Matter




Why Pray?

Does God mind if we ask questions about prayer? Or is he like a parent who constantly says when we ask why, “because I said so?”

God doesn’t mind our asking Him ‘why’, in fact, He wants us to care enough about his instructions to want to understand and follow them out of love for Him and a desire to do so.

God tells us that we should pray; in fact, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says:

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

The Word tells us to pray, but we often hear that God will do what He wants to regardless, so where does that leave prayer? Do my prayers really matter, or will God do what He wants to do no matter what?

Will my prayers actually change anything that happens in my present or future?

If we really knew that MY prayer could actively change the course of history, would our prayer life improve?

Why don’t we pray more often? Is it because we either don’t believe God answers, or we aren’t seeing evidence that He’s listening? If not, why not?

Dutch Sheets in his book “Intercessory Prayer” says this:

“If God is going to do something regardless of whether or not we pray, then He doesn’t need us to ask and we don’t need another waste of our time. If it’s all que sera, sera, or (what will be, will be), then let’s take a siesta and let it all just happen.

If, On the other hand, John Wesley was correct when he said: God does nothing on earth save in answer to believing prayer:”, I’ll lose a little sleep for that. I’ll change my lifestyle for that. I’ll turn the TV off and even miss a meal or two.”
More Next Time!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Catch Up Time!

Wow! I've never gone a week before between posts, much less 9 days! Life has gone by at super sonic speed this past couple of weeks and I'm finding myself falling behind daily.

Just a short catch up note, then I'll do better this week, and post something more uplifting and helpful.

First, an announcement~Ta-Da----drum roll---- Our 28 yr old son Steven just got engaged about a week ago. He and his lovely fiance Hannah spent a day on the Oregon coast where he proposed. We feel so blessed at the choice he's made, as Hannah is a wonderful, Godly young woman. They are tentatively planning on an August wedding. Wow! A wedding, and my book releasing, within about 30 days of each other, that's going to be some kind of exciting summer!

Our house is making good progress....in fact, that's what's kept me away from here this past wk or so. We're at the place where our contractor is installing the tongue and groove fir ceilings. But we wanted to stain them a light mahogany color, with one clear coat over the stain, so a two step process. My hubby and I have been doing all the staining an coating, trying to keep enough boards done to stay one day ahead of the workers. The entire upstairs will be done by tomorrow afternoon, but we had to spend this afternoon coating enough more for the entire day tomorrow, then will go up to do more, so they can have enough for the next day. One more week and all of them will be complete. Then we get to start painting all the baseboards and window/door trim boards and crown moldings, LOL!

I'm waiting to hear from the title committee on my book. I do know that it won't be Yesterday's Child, as that title is being used too many times already, but other books on the market. I've submitted a list of titles for their consideration, and am hoping they'll make a decision this week. Here's my top 4....tell me what you think...? If you haven't read the excerpt yet of the opening scene, you can do so on my web site.

Yesterday's Secret
Child of Yesterday
Forgotten Secret
Forgotten Memory

Friday, January 26, 2007

Are You Jesus?




Someone sent this to me via email today. I've never posted something like this on my blog, but felt it's very worthwhile and thought provoking. Hope you enjoy!


A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night's dinner.


In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all>managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding. ALL BUT ONE !!! He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned.


He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination>and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor. He was glad he did. The 16 year old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping and no one to care for her plight.


The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.


When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the>girl, "Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?" She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, "I hope we didn't spoil your day too badly." As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, "Mister...." He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, "Are you Jesus?"


He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul: "Are you Jesus?"


Do people mistake you for Jesus? That's our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace. If we cl aim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church. It's actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.


You are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Is Life Getting You Down?


Do you ever wish you could run away to a desserted island for a few days, and escape the rush and stress of life? My week has been that way, and I know I'm needing to step back and evaluate my priorities.

Are you feeling the same way? Is everything you're involved in right now really vital & necessary? Only you can answer that question with any honesty. But if the answer is no, then take a deep breath, sit for a minute, and think it over. Is there anything at all that you can cut from your schedule?

I'm guessing there is. The problem isn't that we CAN'T cut things, it's the guilt we often feel when we do. It's hard to say no to people, and even harder when it's a worthwhile endeavor. I believe that the Lord calls us to say NO at times, even to ministry related requests. He didn't design us to be the "do all" and "be all" for our church, family or friends...believe it or not, we're not supposed to take the world on our shoulders and try to fix it. Nope, that's His job.

So when you're tempted to take on too much, stop for a moment and ask this question..."Lord, is this from You, or is this something I'm doing out of a sense of obligation to man, or misplaced guilt that someone else has put on my shoulders?" If it's not from Him, lay it down and walk away. You might just be robbing the person of a blessing who is supposed to be doing that job, or that ministry.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Book Update And Help Needed


Thank you to all who've recently signed my guest book on my web site as well as left comments here on my blog...your names are in the hat for the drawing of my book....be sure to check back next week for the announcement.

Yes, it's official! I've mailed the contract back in to Kregel, and the marketing team is looking over the marketing proposal I put together a few months ago.

I'd like to take a minute to explain a few things about the marketing of a new book, especially when it's written by a brand new, unknown author, like me. I don't know the percentages, but I'm guessing the author is probably responsible for about 75% of the marketing. Yes, the publishing house makes the book available to many book stores & online book sites, but they don't do a massive advertising campaign to familiarize those place with me, or my book, as that's terribly expensive.
They'll promote it at the upcoming booksellers convention in July, which will be attended by a large number of retail bookstore owners from across the country. If they don't notice it there, the only way for them to really notice it, will be through YOU!

Yes, that's right...I'm heavily dependant on my friends & family to get the word out. It's critical that I build a web presence over the next 8 months, to make people aware that the book is coming, what it's about, and a little bit about me. Right now about 200 people or so are familiar with it, or commited to helping, but that's not near enough. Think about it....the book needs to sell at least 4,000 copies for me to get an offer on my second book. Unfortunately, I'm not able to drop in to every book store in the nation and personally ask them to carry my book.

That's where you come in. I'm hoping you'll pass the word to all the people in your email address book, post my web site & blog links on yours, and when the book comes out, trek down to your local store, look on the shelves, and if it's not there....walk up to the owner & ask them why they aren't carrying it. If I had 500 people scattered across the nation, all willing to ask their librarian, local book store, and church book store to carry the book, plus told at least 5 friends about it and urged each one to buy a copy, it would be a success.

Again, I can't do this alone. I hope you'll get on board with me & help me make my first book a ripping success.....so that it won't be my last! LOL! Seriously, I have two more books in the works right now, and I'd love to see them published too! Thanks to all of you & keep watching this blog for the announcement of the name of the winner of the book.

PLUS----and if you've read clear to the bottom of this post, you'll know something others won't know, if they gave up-----I'm going to do this drawing again, in a month or so. I'm not telling when, so you'll have to keep checking back so you won't miss it! Hugs to you all & thank you for your continued support!
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