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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 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 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!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Raising Your Kids For Christ

In this day and age, it's a challenge to raise children that will grow to be adults who serve the Lord. Here are a few ideas that might help~

1. Every Christian parent knows this, and we all pray for our kids, but it's important to also pray WITH our kids. Prayer is learned by experiencing it and observing others engaged in it, especially those we trust.

2. Read to your children~ Some would encourage only Bible reading & I agree, that should be the top priority, but don't let it end there. Teach them to develope a love for reading by exposing them to a variety of non-fiction and fiction that envelope the type of life lessons you want them to absorb.

3. Listen to them~None of us have much trouble talking to our kids, but listening takes time and patience. Some kids are chatter boxes, and we slowly learn to tune out much of their talk....some are quiet little introverts that keep to themselves, and if we aren't careful, will pull into a world of their own. Find subjects that interest your child and encourage communication. Discern when they're anxious or troubled and dig a little deeper than you normally would.

4. Make your home a haven for their friends, and have intimate knowledge of the type of homes their friends come from. Encourage the kids to hang out and have fun under your roof...make it a place where they want to spend time.

5. Be aware of what goes into their minds. Monitor their TV, books, music and most of all the computer. Keep it in an area where the kids can be observed and accountable...and keep close tabs on any groups they join or emails they send. Internet predators are a reality and search for kids who's parents aren't attentive.

6. Love your spouse and show it around the kids. The best gift you can give your children is to love your mate. Healthy relationships, love and laughter in the home, will make for an emotionally and spiritually healthy child. Give your kids lots of love...hug them often, no matter how old they are, even if your son towers above you by several inches, he's never too big to hug!

7. Responsibility and discipline will go a long ways to raising mature, well-adjusted kids. Regular chores will help create a sense of belonging and along side your kids and teach them strong work ethics~ they'll thank you and so will their employers someday!

8. Encourage their dreams. Set aside your own preconceived ideas of what you'd like your child to do with their lives and listen to what they'd like to do. More than likely it'll shift and change a number of times over the years, so go with the flow. As they get older and more mature, find ways to help them set goals and achieve them, that relate to their dreams for their future.

9. Speak a blessing over your child...Don't be afraid to give positive comments about their character and the good choices they make. Kids will grow into the type of person YOU believe they are.

10. Don't be too proud to apologize to your children if you've made a mistake. Your honesty and humility will gain their respect.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Just time for a bit of catch up tonight, on a more personal note. The holidays were very nice, with family close by, but little else was accomplished. It's nice to be back to normal, if there is such a thing! LOL! I don't have much of a concept of what normal might be, as our life changes so dramatically every few years.

The signing of my contract got placed on hold, as the publishing house adjourned for the holidays & will be returning to duty tomorrow. I'm hopeful all the final details will be confirmed this week so we might move forward.

Our house is making steady progress once more. Due to high winds over the past few weeks, we have a big sheet of plywood over the new front doors, rather than take any chances. I won't be taking a new picture of the front of the house, until the plywood comes down & that's not apt to happen for another week or two. We're in the last stages of taping & texturing the drywall, and next week will begin spraying the paint primer, then color on the walls. Next comes hanging the Tongue & Groove wood ceilings through most of the house, then when it's all painted, the floors go in!!! It's starting to look like a house now, rather than just a shell and I've beginning to believe we might really live there one day.

Progress on the gasifier is moving forward, with final test runs to determine the energy saved and moisture removed, later this week. The dryer will go on the market shortly after, with the gasifier a few weeks behind.
Allen continues to make progress on the restoration of our sailboat, too, in the hope that we'll be taking it for at least a 2-3 month trip next fall. I'm voting for waiting till fall and heading South where it's warm, rather than going north to Alaskan waters this summer. I'd love to be home for the summer, getting my yard & flower beds established, and go somewhere warm for the winter when nothing can be done outside.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas & I wish Blessings for you all, in this New Year!
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