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


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.