Fictional Worlds

As a child I was fortunate to find the library and the world of books.

Lately, I’ve found some authors that are becoming my favorites. I recently read Women’s Intuition by Lisa Samson, Out of Control and In Too Deep by Mary Conneally – the first two of a series, and then today I finished Secrets on the Wind, the first of a series by Stephanie Grace Whitson.

 (all photos from Amazon.com)

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These three authors, uniquely gifted, share the capacity to make characters so real and the story so compelling, that it is hard to come to the end of their fictional worlds.

The other night it occurred to me that living in a non-real world was effectively keeping me from enjoying time with my husband. I ended up apologizing and he forgave me.

So, with this last book, I made sure to read most of it when he was gone. My youngest daughter needed a favor, so the book took second place. It continued that way throughout the day – as responsibilities arose, a bookmark kept the page.

I enjoyed the last book all the more because even though it interfered with some of my plans, I chose mindfully instead of just getting lost in the tome.

I needed to go to the library for a quick trip. Last week I asked the librarian if she would order techno-thriller books written by Jefferson Scott since there were none in the cooperative counties’ library system.

She told me she couldn’t order them through her purchasing vendor. I thanked her and then turned away. Before leaving I returned. “If I buy them and read them, would it be okay to donate them to the library?”Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

She said yes and so I will.As I looked for them, I realized I had just called them technothrillers, not Ethan Hamilton Technothrillers and I almost missed them on Amazon.com’s site. No wonder she couldn’t find them. I learned that librarians like to buy books when it’s within their budget and they’re supposed to provide for an interest range to suit their customers. If worldly books fill much of the shelves, it does my heart good to see well-written Christian books available for perusal as well. If people don’t ask for the books they like, the librarians will purchase from selected lists.

Jesus told us to ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and you shall find, etc. Matt_7:7, (KJV): Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
I love the Word of God even more than I like fiction.

May God bless you!

 

 

Forever Gone

I began a blog last night that had 196 words in it and suddenly my computer froze and it was gone. The computer offered me a chance to recover the document and it was an empty page. A computer guru may have been able to recover it, but I’m just saying c’est la vie, which sounds like say la vee and is French for “such is life,” or sometimes I’ll say, “it is what it is.”

A minor disappointment can be overcome. Sometimes I wonder if things disappear from my writing because they weren’t worth writing about in the first place. 🙂

Yesterday at Bible study I felt such an overwhelming sense of unease in the atmosphere that I stopped the reader from proceeding with the book and asked them to sing a worship song. We opened in prayer and then sang an older song with lyrics “What a mighty God we serve, what a mighty God we serve, angels bow before Him, heaven and earth adore Him, what a mighty God we serve,” by Hezekiah Walker.

Then with help from the youngest member of the group we sang, David Crowder band’s song, “How He Loves.”

I started it with “He is jealous for me…” and asked her if she knew the rest. She sings beautifully and she began it again. The heaviness in the atmosphere lifted, what a relief. I was reminded of a verse that says that God inhabits the praises of His people. Psalm_22:3, (KJV):  But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

“Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal,” is part of the song David Crowder sings in “Come As You Are,” such a beautiful song.

I decided to play a stream of his songs and now “I Am” is on. These are some of my favorite songs! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5AkNqLuVgY&list=RDr2zhf2mqEMI&index=10

When I feel discouraged or any other negative emotion, it amazes me how God erases those with praises to Him and with time in prayer and in the Word. Heaven is a place with light and love and darkness is banished – forever gone.

It’s time for me to move on with my day. I’m working on new curtains for the kitchen. I found my way to a fabric store on Tuesday.

May God bless you.

 

A Change in Course

I’ve said it before, “My life is not my own.”

Early Sunday morning I thought about the day ahead and then the phone rang. My daughter from up north was calling. I said, “Oh, no.”

Because of the time of day, I rightly assessed the nature of her call, it wasn’t good news. She didn’t ask for my advice but when I heard my young grandson had another fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit and the pain in his legs from five days ago had now turned into him only being able to stand on his tippy-toes, I told her to take him to the hospital with the best care for children. Her pediatrician agreed, so off they went.

Many years ago one of my sons’ needed to see a specialist for a problem and the doctor told me he didn’t need to see a pediatric specialist. “We’ll just watch it for a while.”

I felt uneasy about it, but I trusted him. Two-three years later, the office hired a pediatric specialist. He told me my son needed an operation. Cosmetically it ended up helping him, but internally and functionally his body had adapted to work around the incorrect configuration. Once the doctor fixed the structure, the body ignored the repair and worked as it always did, imperfectly. “He needed this operation two-three years ago,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

So we’ve dealt with it and moved on.

Last week my grandson had been diagnosed with the flu by his pediatrician, sight unseen. At the hospital, they said it was a virus and his body’s immune system sent enzymes to fight it. They were too high, although not alarmingly off and he was dehydrated. So they monitored his enzymes overnight and gave him an IV to get his fluids up.

As soon as I heard about it, I told her I’d drive up. We asked people to pray. I’ve found this Bible verse true more than once in my life: Philippians 4:6, (KJV):  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Php 4:7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

My husband and I rearranged what we could of our schedules. The dr.’s told her the virus could affect individuals in various ways. That night, her oldest son’s digestion erupted and the three adults in the house pitched in to clean up the vomit.

I was the first on the scene, so whenever we babysit and something like that happens I always tell her “You owe me,” and sometimes I add, “big time.”

Her response varies from a laugh to a smile or a comment. Yesterday she said, “I know it!”

We only saw them for about half an hour once they got home in the afternoon. My husband needed to be at work.

When my grandson came in pale and shaky and still on his tip toes a bit I almost started crying. My husband told him to flatten his feet out and he worked at it and then smiled as he regained total balance.

I guess he slept from the afternoon all the way through until morning. The oldest finally got his stomach to settle just after we left.

I’d been doing laundry and cleaning and bringing him water with advice to take it slowly –which he ignored the first time. His poor tummy. I tucked blankets around him and felt his forehead for fever. His grandpa went to buy him ginger ale.

When his mom got home, she sat close to him and I gave her the watered-down ginger ale that I’d swirled to get the bubbles out of.

She fed him a teaspoonful and got close to look in his eyes. She spoke softly and they seemed to be closed off from all the rest of us. I could sense him relaxing. “Mom and my brother are home, all is well now,” radiated from him.

It was so hard to leave. We haven’t seen them in a while. Yet, I’m the one who invited my husband which knocked a day off of our availability.

He took her some pajamas and stuff into the city in the dark of night. I hadn’t thought of that when I asked him to accompany me.

He’s the kind of dad that listens to his kids, so I’m sure she found comfort in him showing up. She said she was glad he made it there, too. She was just trying to figure out if I could extend my stay. I had an appointment today, so that’s the way it goes sometimes.

I’ll see her before too long if my time doesn’t get hijacked again. I make plans and then adjust them when life rears up with an alternate scenario.

I wonder if my son’s misfortune happened to prevent my grandson from going to the wrong hospital and ending up with kidney damage. Only God knows.

May God bless you this last week of February.

Meeting of the Minds

I went to a meeting today because a regular attendee couldn’t make it. I thought it would be good to be in the loop. The consultant asked who didn’t like a certain event and he told me that I should not be on that committee since I did like the event. He wants ways to improve it and if I’m happy with it, I won’t have ideas to change it for the better.

It occurs to me tonight that my reasons for attending were because of thoughts that my husband wanted me there, maybe I could be of help, and I’d enjoy it. He consistently said I was welcome if I chose to be there. He didn’t exactly want me there. I might have been of some help, but the leader needed to hear what we thought needed fixing. I probably did 50/50 of that and what was working. He only wanted a little of what was working. I enjoyed it, but a project I hoped to work on today got put aside until tonight when I was tired.

So, I’m going to attend the meetings I need to attend as a leader and pastor’s wife and leave the other meetings for the regular attendee to resume.

There are only so many hours in the day and the Lord did say in Ephesians  5:16, (KJV),

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Eph 5:17  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Image result for clock with pictures instead of numbers

(I reached this from Google by clicking on clock with pictures on their list of entries.)

I know the Lord has me doing a few things that require me to be in a quiet mode which is impossible in a group setting. So, I only got half of what I wanted to get done when my husband came home. Then I switched to a book and notebook to jot down some notes while he was busy doing his thing across the room from me.

I hope this finds you well. May God bless you.

Time is of the Essence

photo from:http://www.visitdelaware.com/things-to-do/history-heritage/dupont-mansions-gardens/

Last Sunday at church, I felt as if the Holy Spirit was saying to be ready for the end of life for one or more of the attendees there. That they should be ready or as my husband says, “Keep short accounts with God.”

We all mess up. So, immediately make it right with God by repenting and then if possible, make it right with the person that got hurt by your actions, if that’s the case. I was considering God’s characteristics yesterday, and one of them is that He is a merciful God. He’s a loving God, as well.

Today at the nursing home Bible study we read Matthew 19 and then Matthew 20. Somehow, the conversation came up about God’s forgiveness. I think it was around the passage where the landowner hires workers at the beginning of the day, the earlier part, the middle part and at the end of the day. He paid the last workers first and they received a denarius. The workers that bore the heat and toil of the day expected the landowner to pay them more. He said, “Didn’t you agree to the wages I offered? Why are you jealous over my generosity?”

I got talking about the fact that the Jewish people knew God and were loved by God for many years before He reached out to the Gentiles in a bigger way. The Jewish people received the benefits from God: love, provision, acceptance, mercy and direction. They also experienced discipline, attacks from the devil because of them being God’s chosen people, self-sacrifice through obedience to God which is not always easy but makes for a better life, and occasional chastening when His people followed the Gentile’s gods and ways.

So, as we spoke about these things God’s response to repentance came to mind.

Isa_1:18, (KJV):  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isa_43:25  I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Isa_44:22  I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

Mic_7:19  He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

I thought the Scripture that says God forgives our sins and throws our sins into the sea of forgetfulness was in the book of Isaiah. 🙂

When King Hezekiah was very sick, he said in Isaiah 38:17, (KJV):  “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.”

After this, God healed King Hezekiah.

God amazes me. He loves us unconditionally, but He is a judge and we must believe on Him and His Son and repent and let Him be our Master. That’s what He says in His Word, especially in the book of John. I think that’s why when people become born again, they are often directed to read the Bible and to begin in the book of John.

I hope this finds you well. This earth is only ours to visit for a short time and then we have the opportunity to live in heaven for all of eternity. That’s the promise in John 14:

John 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

Joh 14:2  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Joh 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

winter walk near biltmore house photo from: http://www.goodsearch.com/search-web?utf8=%E2%9C%93&keywords=Biltmore+mansion

Of course, God’s mansions will far outdo any mansion man can build. Just look at creation and His animals and His people!

May God bless you.

 

The Great Life Cookbook

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I might have written a month or so ago about a vegan meal my husband and I got invited to partake of; we went with a friend. While there, we got to meet Priscilla Timberlake and Lewis Freedman, RD. She kindly offered my husband a cookbook she and Mr. Freedman co-authored. It’s for our church’s use. I will use it for potlucks and give the author’s the credit and when it is time for us to move on, I’ll leave it in the church kitchen. It’s entitled The Great Life Cookbook, 2nd Edition. It was copyrighted in 2013 and published by Coddington Valley Publishing, Brooktondale, NY. It does not have a Christian world view in the first few pages and the science behind the nutrition is excellent.

The back of the book directs the reader to go to www.GreatLifeCookbook.com for more information, (which is where I got the photo from) and www.facebook.com/TheGreatLifeCookbook .

I made a recipe using millet and cauliflower which I downsized because this cookbook is scaled for potluck dinners. It is easily divided down to family-sized meals. I noticed that I felt better than normal after eating this entree and then I found out that millet is a naturally alkaline food.

My friend said if I thought the millet recipe with cauliflower was good, wait until I try the Millet Croquettes with Orange Miso Sauce on page 168. She said they are delicious. She’s liked every recipe she’s tried so far and she’s had the cookbook a while now.

Tonight I tried to make a soup based on one of the recipes in the book using ingredients I’ve never used before: umeboshi plum paste, umeboshi plum vinegar, and brown rice vinegar. I used many of the ingredients from the Broccoli and Cauliflower with Tangy Sesame Seed Sauce recipe. I added a bunch of other vegetables and some other seasonings and put them in the Crock-pot. It needs a little something. I wish I knew Ms. Timberlake well enough to call her and ask for suggestions. 🙂

I started thinking about eating vegetables only, many years ago and we began by following the McDougall diet. My family and some neighbors were so concerned about my children not getting enough calcium for their bones, even though green leafy plants provide plenty of calcium. I’ve noticed lately that almond milk’s label states that their product gives much more calcium than cow milk. Anyway, we finally gave up and went back to our old way of eating and promptly started to gain weight and feel hungry and become less healthy. About fifteen years later, we were introduced to the Hallelujah diet and that was great but harder to follow. So we’re doing our best to eat more fruits and vegetables and whole foods with no preservatives and lots less of sweets, fats and animal products. Some days are better than others. 🙂

In the book of Daniel, Daniel and his friends asked their captor to please allow them to eat vegetables only instead of the king’s rich foods for ten days and then the eunuch in charge could decide if the young men looked healthy or not. The Jewish captives looked so much healthier, that the man in charge allowed them to continue with their simpler fare.

In the book of Genesis, God made food for Adam and Eve from the plants and the seeds only. It was after the world wide flood when God first allowed mankind to eat animals. Could it be because the plants were mostly washed away in the devastating waters?

Our teeth are better suited for eating vegetables according to The Hallelujah Diet founder, Rev. George Malkmus’ research on the subject.

May God bless you and protect your health.

 

 

Wisdom on the Fourteenth

I got reading Proverbs 14 today in the NASB – 1977 version and the following ones resonated with me:

Proverbs 14:26: In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and his children will have refuge. *On the side of the margin there was a translators’ notation showing “His” as an alternative for “his.”

Proverbs 14:27: The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death.

Proverbs 14:34: Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.

In this day and age, I know people that work their own businesses and occasionally they find themselves short on finances. A person told me today that when reading the Bible it occurred to them that there may be times coming when it’ll be best to ask God to supply their need and not necessarily in a monetary way. Then the individual said, “If ever government required their citizens to buy and sell by using a chip in their forehead or in their wrist, by already having the faith to pray for needs, the person could avoid having a chip inserted into their very being.”

We were discussing the new credit cards which are slowly being replaced with cards containing a chip, mandated by the US government. From a chip in a card, may we be made to get a chip in our body some day? Certain people think the number “666” will be hidden in a binary code made up of zeros and ones, so ordinary folks wouldn’t have a clue that they were receiving the mark of the beast under their skin. It could be sold to the people as a security measure.

So, reading verses that say that if I have the fear and/or reverence of the LORD, I’ll have confidence and a refuge place, those Scriptures bring comfort and the wisdom to continue following God. My husband reminds me that the twelve disciples chose death over life when asked to recant their testimony of Jesus and His miracles and His choice to be the sacrificial lamb for the sins of all the world – for the Jew first and then for all the rest of the nations’ known as the Gentiles. They saw Him risen from the dead with the marks of the crucifixion and of the beatings and of the plucking of His beard. Heavy stuff on my mind tonight.

I hope this finds you well and looking up to the Father of lights, as James called God, for your provision and peace and refuge in times of trouble.

May God bless you.

 

Writing Choices

I bought a book from the library last week by Debbie Macomber entitled Hannah’s List – a hardcover for $4.00 – copyrighted in 2010 and published by Mira, USA.

Since she’s a “New York Times”  and “USA Today” Bestseller, I thought I’d analyze her book. I just finished reading Changing Habits by her and liked how quickly the characters drew me in. It was copyrighted in 2004 and published by Harlequin Enterprises.

Changing Habitsphoto from http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/changing-habits-debbie-macomber/1100346303  

I’ve been praying about what God wants me to do with my writing. I bought a labeler for organizing and after the kitchen labels, I went to the office. I labeled four different notebooks and it could have been five.

One was filled with notes and outlining for a romance my younger sister and I were going to write. She moved and we both began to realize the immenseness of writing a novel. We decided to give it up.

Another notebook had the bare bones for a novel I thought of beginning last year.

The next notebook is filled with character sketches, pictures of furniture where the characters live, detailed outline notes. That’s the finished novel that fell flat.

The fourth notebook was going to be a non-fiction book for children on the Great Depression. An elderly lady wanted to co-author it with me, but then she told me she wanted to do it by herself since she planned on writing for adults.

The non-existent notebook would have helped with a book on marriage. I spent a lot of time researching and writing a book on marriage. Unfortunately I listened to an editor at a writers conference when she said, “You’re writing a book on marriage? There’s so many, why waste your time on that?”

So, I am seeking God for guidance.

I have a lot of interests and I’m picturing my writing life. Decisions, decisions – without distinct goals nothing will get done.

As I eliminate items from my home I’m seeing things more clearly. Praise God!

May God bless you.

Again, God is Good

I’ve heard this dozens of times: “God is good, all the time” and then someone answers, “and all the time, God is good.”

Where did that come from? I looked online, but there wasn’t a clear source.

I’m assuming it’s from Scripture. Here’s an example: Matthew 19:13, (KJV):  Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

Mat 19:14  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 19:15  And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

Mat 19:16  And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

Mat 19:17  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Another example is in Psalm 73:1  A Psalm of Asaph. (KJV): Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

Speaking of Israel, from what I understand, President Donald Trump intends to support Israel. Psalm_122:6, (KJV) says: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.”

Those that love Jerusalem will prosper.

God’s ways are hard to figure sometimes, but when He says something, He means it. He loves all the nations:

Rev_7:9  After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Mentioning heaven, it says in Rev_21:24, (KJV):  “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

Rev 21:25  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

Rev 21:26  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

Rev 21:27  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Rev_22:2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Because God is good, He wants healing and prosperity and love to be in the hearts of mankind, and all the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22, (KJV):  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Gal 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

I hope this finds you well! May God bless you.

Changes on the Way

 

I don’t get afraid to face a blank page as a writer, but I do have moments when I wonder what I can say that I haven’t said before in this blog. 🙂

My husband had a headache yesterday so he didn’t feel like talking. I tried to keep quiet but when we watched television, if I had a question I’d bring it up. He said, “You like to talk.”

Not mean-spirited, not jesting, just clarifying. I smiled at him; “Yes, I do.”

I like to talk and I like to write. There are times when I don’t get to write and it’s like the times when I don’t get into the Scriptures, I get grumpy. God wired me to write, I suppose.

I’ve been going through The Productive Writer to set up a notebook filled with categories. I read the book through a while ago and began reading it again to underscore in red the highlighted sections that really stood out- a tip I read from one of James Scott Bell’s books on the craft of writing.

The Productive WriterThis image is from: https://sagecohen.com/books/the-productive-writer/ 

Sage Cohen wrote the book, The Productive Writer and copyrighted it in 2010. Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH published it.

On page 189, she talks about social media: “A daily rhythm of just fifteen minutes a day can create a momentum of communication that grows your visibility and reputation.”

I’ve heard that said before, “just 15 minutes a day…” at writers’ conferences.

I need to go back to her Chapter 13 so I can understand the balance between social media and writing time. It almost looks unread. By the way, I recommend her book.

May God bless you.