Saturday, December 31, 2016

For the New Year

New for post 10a

"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died of us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Romans 5:8-10

"If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved, for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." Romans 10-9-10

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. " Romans 5:1

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

We all do wrong things. Whether in thought or deed, I have sinned against God in my life. I am so thankful that the gift of God is free, and that Christ's death on the cross was atonement for my sins.

Will you let Christ's ransom be applied to you?? If so, you can pray.........

Dear Lord, I know that I am a sinner and in need of Your forgiveness of my sins. I know I deserve judgment in hell. I understand that I can only receive this forgiveness through Your Son, Jesus Christ, who died for my sins and rose from the dead that I might spend all of eternity with You in Heaven. I now invite Jesus Christ to come into my life as my Savior. Thank you in Jesus' precious name. Amen.

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Words to Live By

May the celebration of our Savior's birth inspire us all to rejoice and to serve Him with humble hearts. May we always remember the "reason for the season".

Our Heavenly Father loved us so much that He gave His beloved Son to this fallen world, to die for our sins so that we may live forever with Him (John 3:16) It's a gift that cannot be earned or worked for. It's free to all men.

May your hearts be filled with love and joy this Christmas season.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas

Cards are sent. Gifts are wrapped. Food is cooked. Preparations are done. 

All that remains is the fellowship of family and friends. 

Wishing you a Blessed and Merry Christmas

Monday, December 19, 2016

The beauty of God's earth



Living in the deep south, we never see snow. A few years ago our family experienced the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. It always overwhelms me how the beauty of God's earth declares His holiness.


"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!"

Isaiah 6:

Monday, December 12, 2016

Comfort ye



Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God"

George Frideric Handel wrote the oratorio "Messiah".

"Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low, the crooked straight, and the rough places plain."

In 1741, Handel was deeply in debt, his health was failing and he seemed certain to land in debtor's prison.

"And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

Charles Jennens, gave Handel a libretto based on the life of Christ, to set to music.

"Thus saith the Lord of Hosts: Yet once a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, the sea and the dry land, and I will shake all nations; and the desire of all nations shall come." The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple; even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in, behold he shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts."

Handel began composing on August 22, 1741. He grew so absorbed, he rarely left his room, hardly stopping to eat.

"And He shall purify the sons of Levi that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness"

The structure of the text follows a chronological portrayal of the biblical story of the Messiah.

"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Emmanuel."

The work is in three parts. Part I contains the broad themes of Messiah's coming foretold.

""O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain; lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold you God!"

His birth, life, and ministry.

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Might God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."

Part II features Messiah's passion and resurrection, Pentecost, and the birth of the Church.

"Behold the Lamb of God, tha taketh away the sin of the world."

This section ends with the celebratory "Hallelujah Chorus" proclaiming Messiah's ultimate victory.

"Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." "The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. King of Kings and Lord of Lords."

Part III is the believer's personalized response, expressing the hope of those redeemed by the Messiah.

" I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God."


This section ends in a hymn of praise to the eternal, reigning Messiah.

"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain and hath redeemed us to God by His Blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. Blessing and honor, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."


Several years ago we attended a presentation of Messiah at my son's college. It was an outstanding performance by some very talented students. But the thing that continues to strike me every time I hear this, although many believe that Handel's work is not inspired, I continue to see how his music has been played through the years in honor of the Son of God. When I listen to the classical music stations (which in our area is housed by a liberal university) I am praising God for HIS Words that are filtering through their airwaves.

Hallelujah!!!

Monday, December 5, 2016

What's your word?

 
For the last few years I've seen bloggers post their one word for the coming year. It's been an interesting concept, one that takes the place of a New Year's resolution. I tried doing it a couple of times. The problem was, I'm not sure I followed through. What's really funny is I can't even remember what those words were.

So tell me, do you have a new word for 2017? Did your one word encourage you to fulfill your goals in 2016? I'd like to hear how your one word for 2016 motivated you throughout the year. And then share your new one word for 2017.

If I were to choose one word I think it might be "edit." I've written two novels. They need a lot of work. After submitting them to a writing contest, I've been kind of at a loss for the next step. Websters defines the word "edit" - compile, revise, rewrite, adapt. And I must say my manuscripts need a lot of that!

words text in wood type against background of letterpress printing blocks
Okay, your turn! What's your one word?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Words to Live By

 
 "All I  have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Simple Gift


The other day I heard about a random act of kindness at a coffee drive-thru. Someone paid for the coffee of the one behind him in the drive-thru. That driver then paid for the one behind him. The simple act of goodwill spread six cars back. I love stories like that. I don't think that I am a giving person often enough, but yet when I hear stories like that I want to be a giver. I want to be kind to strangers. Giving inspires giving. Kindness inspires kindness.

Typically simple acts of kindness and giving are more prevalent during this time of year. When you are kind, you inspire kindness in others. Have you ever walked past someone who looked unhappy? By sharing a smile with them, they in turn smile back. It is is a simple act of kindness and in a way a simple gift. When you give to others, you infect them with a generous spirit. The next 25 days before Christmas are going to be full and busy, and maybe even a little hectic at times. It is easy to miss the chance to give a simple gift.

I am thankful for simple gifts. A hug from a child, a smile from a stranger, kind words that encourage.

As we walk out on this first day of December, share a simple gift :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

To write the love of God

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
though stretched from sky to sky.
                                           The Love of God | Frederick M. Lehman

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Spread your wings

Every year, this is a day of thoughts and memories. Every year I try not to allow this day to get me down, or swallow me up. But there are just some things you cannot forget.

Thirty seven years ago my sweet Mom left her place here on earth and walked the streets of gold. She left suddenly and quickly. Which does not make it easy on family.

"Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."

I know thirty seven years seems like a very long time, but when you are young and you lose your Mom, there is a hole left in your heart. It really does not heal, but it becomes like a wound that has a scar over it. You always know it is there.

With time the pain does subside, but the memories are still there. And I am so thankful that our loving Lord comes along side of me to lift me up on the days when the memories bring back pangs of pain.

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

Spread your wings............

Monday, November 14, 2016

Acting and writing


Acting. I've had a little experience in the field. I was a professional child actor from the time I was old enough to learn lines until my teen years. At that point, we moved from the Big Apple to a much slower pace and a "normal" life.

In this day and age, there are so many actors and actresses haunting the audition halls. Some are destined for great fame, while others will be playing second fiddle off Broadway or traveling the country in stage shows.

I've felt that the caliber of acting has reached a low mark. You see, from my viewpoint, an actor's job is to bring to life the words from the script. In years past, most actors got their training performing before a live audience. They were able to gauge their performances by the reaction of the people sitting out front. In practicing how to deliver a line, the actor's use of facial and vocal expressions weighed in to perfect their craft. If a line was delivered like a wet noodle, many key points were missed. So you learn to change the expression, or wait the pregnant beat to deliver it with more flair or punch.

The point is, you always get a second chance with the next group that comes to the theater.

Unlike live performances, writing uses words to bring your characters to life. You cannot physically look at the person and gauge what they are thinking. You have to actually write words that will fill your imagination with scenes. Crafting the words to draw and keep your readers. Not an easy feat. As I have been studying writing, I also read a lot. Some authors seem to have a natural gift of expressing the thoughts of the characters they are writing about. Perhaps I could equate it to someone who has a gift of speaking. There's no "um" or pauses to collect thoughts. They just glide with a speech, enchanting their audience.

When I first started writing a novel, I thought it would be just as easy as what I am writing now. But I am learning there is more to the craft than just sitting at the keyboard and letting the letters fly on the page. A lot more!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Words to Live By

"
"If we desire our faith to be strengthened, we should not shrink from opportunities
where our faith may be tried and strengthened." -George Mueller


Friday, November 11, 2016

Thank a soldier

Several members of my family have served in the armed forces. Today we honor all those who have served and are serving to keep our country free.
 
Veterans Day

Monday, November 7, 2016

Will you trust?



Is anyone among you suffering?  Then he must pray. James 5:13 NASU

Through the seasons of life, it is always difficult to walk through a painful time.  Spurgeon said " The God of prayer is the ear of God."  Attaining the ear of God can only be reached by patient and persistent waiting upon Him.  By pouring out our hearts and permitting God to speak to us, we come to know God better.  And as we know Him more, we will spend more time in His presence. 

During times of testing, God reflects His faithfulness. A few years ago I read this -

"Will you trust Me?  Will you trust the God you know?  If you will trust the God you know, you will be at peace."

 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His SonHe would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.   What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who is against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?  Who will bring a charge against God's elect?  God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns?  Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.  Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  Just as it is written,  "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED."   But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 8:29-39 NASU

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sweet Memories

Sometimes November starts out on a sad note. My mother's birthday was in November. She also died in November. I was a young bride when she passed away. So I did not have all the years that many people have with their parents.


But another very special lady stepped into her shoes.

She was my teacher, my friend, and my soul mate in treasure hunting for over 30 years. I used to tag along with her to yard sales, antique shops and all kinds of second hand stores. She loved paper weights, and she also loved vases. She had quite a collection of both. She had a heart of gold. She loved her kitties and was a generous friend to everyone she met. She shared her stories with me. About her youth, growing up a little on the wild side. About the time when her husband was away in the war, and so many of her adventures.She certainly loved life, and lived it to the fullest.

She loved my children and was a huge part of their growing up years. She never had children of her own, but she "adopted" me and became like a grandmother to my own children.




I think of her during this time of year, on the day it would have been her birthday. She lived to be 96, although her last few years were less active, she knew all of us and loved us still. We were blessed to  have her in our lives, and I cherish the sweet memories that she so freely gave from her heart.

Thank you Hanna.



Monday, October 24, 2016

Voice

 

One of my hobbies is quilting. Through the years, I have subscribed to many quilting magazines. Recently I went old copies, trying to decide which ones to keep and which ones to pass along.

I found it interesting that each magazine had their own voice. I could pick up a copy of a certain magazine and know exactly what their patterns would look like. Some feature modern quilts. Others have a certain style with lots of borders. And then there are the ones that feature applique or paper piecing. It made me realize we all have a voice. A style if you rather call it.

The same goes with writing. Every author has their own distinct voice. Whether it is historical fiction or contemporary, each writer brings their own voice to the page. Looking back in literature you see Charles Dickens books were heavy themes. Jane Austen's were about romance from her time period. Agatha Christie and Alexander Dumas are thick with mystery. Surely they were influenced by their own history.

In writing, voice is as natural as your speaking voice. It's unique to your style. But voice and style are different from each other. To break it down, voice is your personality. Voice is the expression you put on the page. Each of us is unique in life experience. Distinct. It's our personal style. Style is how you translate it in the words the writer uses. But in the end it's the marriage of the two that makes your writing distinctive.

Did you know that it's usually the writer's voice that keeps the reader reading? Jeff Goins is a writer and teacher. He makes a point concerning reading habits. He suggests you write down five books, articles or blogs that you enjoy reading. Examine them and see how they are alike. How are they different? I enjoy contemporary romance, so I read Denise Hunter, Eva Marie Everson, Rachel Hauck, Dani Pettrey and Kristen Heitzmann. Historical authors line up with Sarah Ladd, Sarah Sundin, Elizabeth Camden, Tamera Alexander and Jody Hedlund.

Do you find that your reading habits run along similar voice?

Monday, October 17, 2016

After the Storm


Sometimes I'm not exactly sure what God is trying to teach me. I know that I am a difficult student. For years I've struggled with the learning process. Some days, after feeling as though I'd been bashed in the head, I'm wonder if I will ever learn the lesson.

You see my will is strong. I've followed my own heart for too long. And when a situation presents itself, my will immediately jumps up and says "It's not right!"

Of course it's not right.

When someone walks all over you, or takes advantage we want to scream "it's not right!"

But was it right for Jesus to endure the cross? Was it right for Him to give up His life for me? Was it right for Him to save me from my sins even though I do not deserve God's mercy and forgiveness?

Sometimes I get angry. It boils up inside of me. But when I stand back and look at the situation that has caused me to be so upset, I wonder, why? Why is it so hard to let it go??

Too many questions.

Only one answer.

" And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience - among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2: 1-10

Monday, October 10, 2016

Writing a difficult scene

I've been writing a novella, which is a preview for the novel I've already written. A prequel of sorts. The story before the story.


The writing is flowing and I'm probably about half way through. But I've come to a scene and I find it difficult to write. The images in my mind are too vivid. Perhaps it's because it's related to a true life event. An event where a young man lost his life. When I think about it, it makes my insides turn. I can't help but think about the horror the family went through as they lost their sixteen year old son. Not only was it a tragedy, but the way he died was gruesome. An accident.

Everything I read about writing says we have to suck it up. Be tough. Whether it's the writing, the criticism, or the rejection letters. I thought I could write this and not be bothered by it But truthfully, it has found spot that makes my heart ache.

Writing can be hard. Especially when you filter real experiences through the grid of fiction.

 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Psalm 73:26

Monday, October 3, 2016

Drama

 

Movies. We all love them. Whether we enjoy a good comedy, romance or murder mystery. There is something about a good movie that captures our attention.

Two of my favorite actors are Tom Hanks and Jack Lemon. In a sense, Tom Hanks has become the Jack Lemon of this generation. They both can portray light comedy and serious drama. They star or are featured in many of my favorite movies. And believe me, they both have made a lot of movies.

Watching a movie on TV the other night, the intensity of the music captured me. I started thinking how music is just as much the actor as those portraying on the screen. When your thoughts are caught up in a scene, the music pulls you to anticipate the next action. Feel the intensity? The drama?

How does that relate to writing? If my words are not compelling, not powerful enough to draw you to turn the page, it's like a movie without music. Have you ever turned the sound off when an actor is about to commit a crime? Or when the suspects name is going to be announced? You lose the building tension. The drama of the music steers you to watch and listen carefully. More times than not, the music crescendos and they go to a commercial! Come on! Who wants to buy another flashlight, or youth serum. Let's get on with the story.

In writing a story, there are no commercial breaks, so the intensity has to be developed by the author. The little innuendos, hints at what is coming. Sometimes a chapter breaks and you are taken to a new set, a different scene with a different player. But you know... you know, the drama will eventually unfold. I always try to figure out the "who done it" in a mystery novel. Sometimes, when I just cannot wait, I jump to the end and find out if I am right. Sigh... Yes, I know, it's probably not fair, but it sometimes gives me an "in" to watch for the clues that are dropped along the way.

Learning the craft of writing has opened my eyes to many areas I previously had missed. The drama that is life! Maybe one day I'll be able to pull it all together and garner the complete package.

As they keep saying. Practice, practice, practice.

 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. -Colossians 3:23

Monday, September 26, 2016

In Memory

If tomorrow starts without me, And I'm not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things, We didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me, As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me, I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me, Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name, And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready, In heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind;
All those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away, A tear fell from my eye for all my life,
I'd always thought, I didn't want to die. I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible, That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays, The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all that we shared, And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday, Just even for a while,
I'd say good-bye and kiss you and maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized, That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories, would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things, I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did, My heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven's gates, I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me, From His great golden throne, He said,
"This is eternity, And all I've promised you."
Today your life on earth is past, but here life starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow, But today will always last,
and since each day's the same way, There's no longing for the past.
You have been so faithful, So trusting and so true.
Though there were times you did some things, 
You knew you shouldn't do.
But you have been forgiven, and now at last you're free.
So won't you come and take my hand, and share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts without me, don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me, I'm right here, in your heart.


Author believed to be
~David Romano

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Words to Live By


God never uses anyone greatly
until 
He tests them deeply
A. W. Tozer

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Writing with God

What does writing with God look like?

 All of my adult life, I have enjoyed writing. I wrote poetry as a young adult, small essays as time would allow, and in the last several years, two novels.

The novels appeared from a time when I was experiencing a deep hurt. It was a release, a way to take my mind off of the problems that seemed insurmountable. And the words just came. The characters danced in my head until I had to write, or they would continue to taunt me.

I felt like God was giving me an outlet. The next words, paragraphs, chapters, just kept coming. I asked a few people to read my manuscript and they were complementary.

But then again they were my friends.

Feeling confidant, I went out on a limb and submitted the first ten pages to a writers contest.

And then I waited. Surely they were good enough.And I kept writing. New stories were filling my head.

When the scores came back, my bubble deflated. To the point I put my little manuscripts and all my notes away. Was I following the wrong path?

I started studying the craft of writing. Finding out it was more complex than I ever imagined. Like anything in life, there are questions to be answered. Ways to learn how to refine what you know. Even the best authors continue to study and learn their craft.

One thing should be at the core of any faith-based writer. I have a post it note on my desk that says "Have you prayed about this?" God should be my center. Whether I am a good or bad writer, seeking Him should be my first priority.

This article by Allen Arnold "Why God Invites You to Write" defines it best.

And as Allen says, may you never write alone again.

Monday, September 19, 2016

If you could...

...marry a fictional character, who would it be?

That was a question posed on a recent Kill Zone blog post. It had me thinking. Not specifically about who I would marry. But who is it that inspires my characters.

After being married for a long time, over 40 years, I think you become one skin. Because we married young, I've always said we grew up together. Good and bad times intertwine throughout the lives we have shared. So where does the inspiration come in?

As a businessman, and avid sportsman, I admire this man for many different reasons. He has taught me so much over the years. Courage, discipline, determination, strength, faithfulness, integrity, honesty, compassion, hospitality, friendship. Wow, the list could go on!

These are the traits I weave into my characters. It is something that has been walked out in the life of the man I've lived with longer than anyone on this earth. He has consistently shown his faith in God, even when times were tough. God has always been at his right hand.

And truthfully, I can't imagine the characters that walk around in my head being any different.

If you could marry any fictional character, who would that be?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Master Weaver


Some writings are considered classics. Corrie ten Boom quoted the poem, The Master Weaver’s Plan, when she spoke and traveled around the world.

The Master Weaver's Plan
My life is but a weaving
Between the Lord and me;
I may not choose the colors–
He knows what they should be.

For He can view the pattern
Upon the upper side
While I can see it only
On this, the under side.

Sometimes He weaves in sorrow,
Which seems so strange to me;
But I will trust His judgment
And work on faithfully.

‘Tis He who fills the shuttle,
And He knows what is best;
So I shall weave in earnest,
And leave to Him the rest.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needed
In the Weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

~~ Author Unknown ~~

A Christian classic worthy to save.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Angel with Steel Wings



It seems that heroes are made of a different fabric during war time. Men are wired to step into the line of duty and die for their country. The ultimate sacrifice.

But what of the women? During the World Wars, women's roles changed significantly. The story of Mandy and Harvey trace the work women did during the second World War. "Angel with Steel Wings" brought to light what some women did to help with the war effort. These angels flew planes, as test pilots and for target training. Safe flying? Hardly. Yet these women of courage loved what they did. WASP's were the first women to fly for the Army Air Corp.

With a shortage of pilots at the beginning of the war, jobs for women included Ferrying Command or Training Command. Ferrying aircraft from factories to air bases and points of embarkation.  In the Training Command, women's missions ranged from towing aerial targets for the infantry, flying tracking missions, simulated bombing, and testing radio-controlled aircraft. The women performed all stateside flying duties.

"Angel with Steel Wings" is a fictional account, relating the world women faced when they volunteered to be flygirls. With the threat of the WASP program being shut down, spunky Mandy McCabe takes up the challenge to change Major Harvey Applegate's mind. Yet a sweet romance develops between them.  Anne Greene's well written book, plunges us into the heart of her characters. One can only imagine the fear of getting too close to someone who might be shot down or crash in repaired planes.

"Angel with Steel Wings" is a delightful historical fiction. One that expanded my knowledge of how women were treated during one of the most trying times of our country. Great read for history buffs.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Words to Live By


Even before they call, 
I will answer;
while they are still speaking, 
I will hear.
Isa. 65:24

Monday, September 5, 2016

Fatigue

Image result for simplify simplify thoreau

Days become more and more complicated. I remember hearing this quote by Thoreau years ago. Whenever I feel a bit overwhelmed, I pull it back out and ponder.

How is it that our lives are so out of control? Newer and better everything seems to take a little bit of the joy out of day to day experiences. No longer can we sit and enjoy things that used to be fulfilling. Walking the beach, watching the sunset, listening to music, reading a good book... everything now needs action.  We are either dumbed down, or just bored.

For years I have been a quilter. I love taking beautiful fabric, cutting it up and sewing it back together. The quilts I make are simple in design. Basic blocks with basic quilting. But over the years quilting has become an art form. Taken to new heights with new techniques, machines, even thread. I lag behind and wonder at the creativity and inspiration these new quilters develop. Yet my joy comes from sitting at the sewing machine, using time honed patterns that kept our forefathers warm in winter. They add grace to my home as I spread them out on a table or throw them over the back of my sofa.

Has writing become that kind of art form? I've tried to study the craft and become more and more confused and sometimes overwhelmed. This rule and that structure. Each teacher bringing to the table their take on what makes a good novel. Many of them contradicting the others. It has sapped my confidence as I sit and try to write the words that are floating in my head.

Learning about the craft of writing has made me a better reader. It thrills me when I read a book that draws me in. Sitting in my favorite chair, I wander the pages of a novel and drink in the wine of words. I leave this world as I enter their world of fiction. Page after page, it intoxicates me.

And then, sitting at my keyboard I start to over analyze the words I've written. Where did the free flow go? I get up, fatigued at the thought of pursuing the next chapter...
paragraph...
sentence. 

Then a word from the Lord settles in. Don't be overwhelmed. Don't let your emotions conquer your thoughts.

Don't give up.




Sunday, September 4, 2016

Words to Live By


"In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation."

Psalm 5:3

Friday, September 2, 2016

Pass it on

Years ago, it was a common practice to teach children crafts. Of course during those days many of the things children learned were not considered crafts. They were necessary tools that were functional and kept a family safe, fed and warm.

But as we have become a society of less time and more resources, children are not usually taught some of the basic skills that our forefathers (and mothers) needed to learn to survive. Truthfully, because I was a latch key kid, my mother never had the time to teach me many of the things she had learned herself.  I learned to sew in Home Economics in High School. I learned how to cook after I got married. And I learned how to quilt because it was a hobby that caught my interest. I've always loved to put puzzles together, and quilting brought together the math and the beauty of color.

Once, in a blog post, I shared with how I taught my friend to quilt.and she in turn taught one of her friends. In the same respect, teaching and encouraging kids to do something you love, is a way of passing on to the next generation a love that will hopefully be carried on yet again.

Several years ago I met with my daughter and her friend as they wanted to learn how to make quilts. The reason being, they had a desire to help with a cause.


They saw a need and thought the best way to help was to design and stitch a quilt for every fallen soldier during the beginning days of the war in Afghanistan. It was a monumental undertaking. Especially for two young girls. When they started this project the casualty rate was not daunting. With the help of friends, and other quilters, we marathoned the task, sewing and quilting dozens of quilts.
 
When my daughter moved to Chicago for a job, her friend and her mother took the reigns of this project for several years. Their effort touched the families of hundreds of fallen soldiers.  Operation HomeFront Quilts was eventually passed on to military wives but the effort and beginning was started by the stirrings of two young girls who wanted to do their part.

Consider, whatever it is you love, share it with a child or young person. Whether it be writing, quilting, or even cooking. It can become the catalyst of something that goes far beyond our little world. Let's keep passing it on.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hotel to Nowhere

We live in an area that is steeped in history. It has more interesting historical factors then two Super Bowls. Where my husband grew up, there were Indian mounds where he and his brother found all kinds of arrow heads.

But back in the 1800's the railroad came to town. And this hotel was built to accommodate many wealthy Northerners whose desire was to escape the frigid winters.

Let me tell you, this is one magnificent building.

Built by Railroad owner, Henry B. Plant, The Tampa Bay Hotel was in a class of it's own. Henry Plant built several hotels along his railroad line. This one may be the only one that has survived.

The hotel was financed by Plant personally, not investors, at a cost of $2,500,000 and an additional $500,000 was spent for furnishings. It took two years to build, covered six acres and was one-quarter mile long. The 511 rooms were the first in Florida to be electrified.

The grounds of the Hotel spanned 150 acres. The amenities included an 9-hole golf course, flower conservatory, tennis courts, croquet courts, boathouse, hunting and fishing grounds, stables, racetrack, kennels, exposition hall with Florida products on view, casino with 2000 seat auditorium, heated indoor swimming pool, bowling alley, spa facilities and card rooms, totaling 21 buildings in all. Not a bad winter destination :-)

There were many celebrated guests of the hotel, most noteably Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt headquartered his Rough Riders at the hotel before deploying to Cuba.

The hotel closed after Henry B. Plant died, but the city eventually bought it from his heirs. It now houses a University, but the building still stands in all of its magnificent beauty.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Words to Live By



                                                            The Lord will lighten my darkness.
                                                           --2 SAMUEL 22:29

A Christian may for many days together see neither sun nor star, neither light in God's countenance, nor light in his own heart, though even at that time God darts some beams through those clouds upon the soul; the soul again by a spirit of faith sees some light through those thickest clouds, enough to keep it from utter despair, though not to settle it in peace. In this dark condition, if they do as St. Paul and his company did, cast an anchor even in the dark night of temptation, and pray still for day, God will appear, and all shall clear up, we shall see light without and light within; the day-star will arise in their hearts.

~Richard Sibbes