Why the blog?

I write as the Spirit moves me. I have prayed about what I'm supposed to do with my life a lot. A lot. Writing. Writing is what I believe God is leading me to do. Whether or not He wants me to write for anyone to read is His business. Much of my writing has been therapy for me so maybe I'm the only one who is supposed to read it. So, why the Blog? As a sounding board, a note pad, a place to keep my ideas and thoughts. A place to share and promote my books, and photography. Written prayers, a place to vent. Possibly, even a place for the unknown reader to learn about the love of Jesus.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sanctuary, next excerpt:

This is the second installment of "Sanctuary": 

Claire wanted to jump up and run up the ladder as quickly as should could. "No", she thought, "I must be careful."  She forced her hands away from her eyes as slowly as she could.  Slowly, she lifted her face up towards the heavens to feel for sunlight, but felt only raindrops.  Very faint light, so light she would not have noticed it before,  filtered through the clouds and touched her eyelids.  It startled her and hurt her head so she jerked her face towards the floor.  Remembering one very important item in a locker in the back of the room, Claire darted towards it, retrieving a pair of sunglasses.

Sunglasses on, Claire pulled out the rain poncho and draped it over the backpack before lifting the pack to her shoulders.  It was heavy enough as it was, raindrops would make it much heavier, not to mention ruin all the things inside.  "My God is so mighty," Claire sang softly as she gripped a rung with her right hand, "so strong and so true," as she gripped a rung with her left, "there's nothing my God cannot do." Closing her eyes, she took a slow deep breath and raised her chin up to feel and hear what was above her.  The rain had stopped. No light filtered through her glasses.  Was it night time?  Had she lost track of night and day in the deep bowels of her bunker where there was no day? She had no watch, no need to know the time.  After all, she had no appointments, no lunch date, no job to hurry to.  No one was expecting her.

"My God is so mighty," right foot up, "so strong and so true," left foot up. The bars were damp from the earlier rain so Claire wrapped her arms around the ladder and gripped the bars from behind.   Falling was not an option, she told herself. "There is nothing," right hand, left foot, "my God cannot do," left, right, "for me."  Slowly, up she went, counting the bars at each grasp of her hands as she listened to the pounding of her heart, which seemed to echo off the walls of the bunker.

Suddenly, Claire froze.  She was more than halfway up, but something startled her, aroused her senses.  Her skin prickled, her ears were alive with the sound.  Familiar sound and feeling, but oh so very distant.  Claire thought about how the deaf might feel when they heard sounds for the first time or how the blind felt the first time their sight was restored.  She was neither, but had seen and heard very little in her time underground.  While locked away from the outside world, alone in the dim light and then total darkness there had been no sounds from the outside.  No cries, no knocking on the door, only the vibrations of the shaking earth.  She had talked and sung to herself for a while, then grew tired of the sound of her voice.  This day was the first time she had spoken out loud in quite some time. Claire tried to imagine what the color of the sky looked like, the color of grass, the color of roses, and the sound of laughter of little children.

It came again, the sound, bringing her out of her thoughts. It was the sound of a fresh breeze, which gently coaxed her on.  A few more steps and the top of her head was at the surface.  Here, the breeze was a bit stronger, just enough to blow a single strand of hair across her face and tickle her ear.  "Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, " she sang in a whisper, "Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord. And He will lift you up". Claire looked straight up and all around.  The sky was dark.  She could just barely make out the shapes of clouds. "Thank you God for lifting me up," she prayed as she took another step up, lifted her right arm out of the hole, and onto the ground. The damp, hard ground.  Claire's eyes and nose were now out of the bunker. Her home and prison beneath her feet.

Fear now began to creep over her.  She had been safe inside her bunker.  Alone, isolated, in the dark, but most importantly she had been safe.  Now that she had exposed herself to the outside world, was she safe? What was out here? Who was out here?  Was the air safe? Was the water safe? Would she die the second she stepped foot outside? Maybe going out was a bad idea. Maybe she should go back in.  "Wait a minute," Claire scolded herself, "who told me to go in the first place?  Had Peter been safe when he walked on water?  Yes, because Jesus told him to go.  He only began to sink when he doubted." For another moment, Claire questioned whether or not it was really God who told her to leave. Perhaps she was hallucinating, perhaps it wasn't God. Perhaps. Clair looked down the shaft into the bunker.  Perhaps she should have faith.

Dirt. Claire gathered a handful of damp earth and held it for a moment before refocusing her attention on the task at hand. One last step with her right foot, shift weight to exposed arm, step with left foot and thrust her body onto the earth above.

Laying motionless on her belly on the slightly damp earth, Claire shed tears of joy, tears of the realization that this was a new beginning. One of uncertainty, but definitely a new beginning.  Several minutes passed as she collected herself, caught her breath from the climb.  Claire took off the backpack, then slowly rolled onto her back. A feeling of doom began to spread over her entire body as she looked around her with her eyes, not daring to move.  This was not the world she had locked herself away from.  This was no longer the Florida she loved and called home. It was not the vacation capital of the world any longer.  But, what had she expected? After all that had happened...she know it would be different... but this?  This place was unrecognizable.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Man In The Mirror, second excerpt

Man In The Mirror, next excerpt:

A red BMW convertible with the radio playing full blast screeched to a halt in front of Celeste who was sitting on the curb.  “Hey chickie, whatcha doin sitting on the road?”
“Waiting for you,” answered Celeste. “I feel like the beach today, Tawny.  How about it?”
“I’ve got a geometry test,” answered Tawny, a tanned bleach-blond girl with too much money thrown at her at a young age.
“So, I’m not doing great in geometry,” Tawny said blowing bubbles in between words. She raced down the street, ignoring the street signs.  “If I fail this test my daddy will take away my car.”
“At least you have a car,” groaned Celeste.
“You’re in a foul mood today.  We will have to change your name to go with your sourpuss attitude,” she giggled with a twinkle in her eye.  “You will not be Miss Celestial Star today!” Tawny rolled through a stop sign barely missing a truck.  “Today you will be sullen Sally!” she said with a laugh.  “Come on, I’m kidding.”
“Not funny.  He’s back and they’re at it again.”
“What is it this time?”
“Who knows. My dad was out of town for work and apparently he has go again. Mom is tired of him being gone all the time. She wants to get a job, but he won’t let her.  It’s the same thing every time. I’m so sick of it.”
“Bummer.  Hey, my geo test is 3rd period.  Beach after?”
“Definitely!”  Celeste managed a smile.  “Really not into school today.”
Celeste climbed out of the BMW over the door, put her headphones in her ears and slowly made her way to class.  She zoned out during her first class, American Literature, which at one time was her favorite.  All she could think about was how often her parents had been arguing over the last six months and how she felt like an orphan, an unwanted, unloved orphan.  Her parents barely acknowledged her presence.  Her mom pretended to be happy and free, glad to have some time to herself when her father first started traveling.  Celeste, however, often heard her crying at night.
“Miss Gallagher!”
Celeste jumped in her seat.  It was second period and her teacher was handing out test papers.
“Take your headphones off and put them away this instant,” the pigeon-faced teacher said, shaking a bony finger in her face.
Celeste looked at the U.S. History test and groaned.  She had forgotten all about the test. Staring at the questions, the words became fuzzy as she tried to hold back tears.  Facts and dates were impossible to remember.  Names of important people and what they did in the past were unimportant to Celeste.  Especially on this day.  She thought about what Tawny said about failing her geometry test and wondered what her father would do if she failed a test.
Mustering up all the courage she had, Celeste began making herself gag.  First she coughed just a little.  The next cough she conjured up a dry heave.
“Are you alright Miss Gallagher?” asked the teacher.
“Oh, I’m fine,” Celeste answered feigning a pained smile, “just a little indigestion.” Several kids snickered as she began to cough again, this time with a little more gusto and another dry heave.
“I think you should go to the nurse,” suggested her teacher while writing out a pass. “Brent, please escort her.”
Halfway down the hallway Celeste stopped. “I’ll take it from here Brent.”  She then turned and made a bee-line for Tawny’s car.  After tossing her backpack onto the front floorboard, Celeste laid down on the back seat, closed her eyes, and fell asleep.
The sounds of the ocean with its waves crashing and seagulls cawing brought Celeste drowsily out of her slumber.  The warm sun was invigorating.  “Are we where I think we are?” she asked no one in particular.
“Right where you want to be, chickie,” answered Tawny from the front hood of the car.  “Get up and get out here.  You have no idea how hard it was to sneak you off campus.”
“Don’t even want to know,” answered Celeste as she joined Tawny, “but thanks.”
“You okay?” Tawny gave Celeste a concerned look.
“Parents. They really bite.  Ever since my dad started traveling for work my mom has gone a little nuts.  She looks like the perfect housewife. Dresses all high fashion.  She says she goes to the country club to play tennis and hang out with her friends and she has this fake smile plastered on her face all the time.  Except at home.  At home she is moody.  When dad is home they fight. Or they ignore each other.”
“You think one of them is having an affair?”
“I don’t know, maybe.  I know she is not going where she says she is because I saw her best friend at the mall the other day and she asked about mom.  She said she had not seen her in a while.”
“That’s not good.”
“I found booze in the trash can the other day, too.”
“Yours?” Tawny nudge Celeste trying to lighten the mood.
“Uh, no.  I don’t know who it belonged to. My parents don’t drink, at least my dad doesn’t. Maybe that’s why...I don’t want to talk about them anymore.  Let’s go for a walk.”
The girls tossed their shoes into the car and ran towards the surf.  It was a typical sunny California day.  The water was cool and the sun was warm.  The beauty of the ocean momentarily washed all problems away.  Tawny splashed and chased the waves giggling like a little girl while Celeste watched and laughed, then fought back tears as she remembered the good times she used to have with her brother on the beach. Most weekends were spent in just this spot when they were in elementary school.  Even her parents were happy then.
Janet and George Gallagher had met on the beach, so Celeste was told by her mother.  Janet’s parents lived on a large farm with several other families.  They had a large organic garden, a vineyard, milked their own cows and goats, raised chickens and made their own clothes from natural fibers.  They had not been a religious group, simply believed in living off the land free from outside influences. Celeste remembered her father recently called them “hippies living in a commune” because all the children were taught by their parents at home instead of going to traditional schools. George came from a similar but less radical background.  His parents owned a health food store at the beach catering to athletes, actors, and surfers. George was a surfer.  He had aspirations of going pro ever since he was old enough to stand on a long board. Janet met George on a family outing when she was 16 and he was 18. She had been admiring George as he surfed and when he crashed she helped him out of the water and bandaged his wounds.  It was love at first sight.
“I’m in serious need of a change.” Celeste panted after running to catch up to Tawny. She wondered what happened to the love her parents claimed to have had for each other.
“Such as?”
“A radical haircut for starts, maybe change the color.”
“Ooh, ooh, I know just the place chickie.  You know who Cara is right?  Did you see her cool new haircut? Well I know where she got it done.  Let’s go.  I’m sure I can get you in and I just happen to have my credit cards on me.”
“Is that you mom?” Tawny pointed to the SUV driving slowly in front of them just a few blocks from Celeste’s house.
“Looks like it. Slow down and follow her. I thought she told me she was going to the club to play tennis all afternoon and then have dinner with a friend.”
Tawny slowed her car staying just far enough behind to see but not be seen. She stopped her car behind a tree as the SUV pulled into the driveway. Mrs. Gallagher parked the car in the garage, opened the back and pulled out several large shopping bags.
“Looks like she’s been doing a little shopping,” whispered Celeste.
“A little, there’s like 6 bags.”
Celeste and Tawny watched as her mother closed the hatch and went inside leaving the garage door open.
“I’m getting out here. Call you later.”
Celeste quietly slipped into the her house tracing her mother’s footsteps.  She did not hear or see anything.  No arguing. No TV.  No crying.  Silently, she tiptoed up the back staircase all the while listening for sounds of either of her parents.  She hadn’t noticed if her father’s car was in the garage. Upon reaching the top of the stairs, Celeste noticed the door to her brother’s room was slightly open.
“That’s weird,” she whispered to herself.  Celeste had not been in that room since her brother left over 3 years ago.  Looking around and hearing nothing, she silently tiptoed toward the room.  She pushed the door open just a little with her pinky finger.  The light was on.  She pushed it open a little further. Clasping her hands over her mouth she thought, “Holy cow!  What the hell is all this?” All around the room and crammed into the open closet were shopping bags.  Full shopping bags.  Celeste tried to count them.  She got to 57 and stopped, amazed and in disbelief.  Was this what her mother did every day? Shop?  Could this be what her parents were fighting about? Was this how her mother was handling her feelings? Celeste’s mother was sitting in the middle of the room, cross-legged.  She was mumbling something.  Celeste strained to hear.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The following is an excerpt from "Sanctuary":

CH.  1

It is time.

Claire awoke with a shiver.

It is time.

Claire rubbed her eyes to erase the dream, then sleepily yawned and tried to go back to sleep.

It is time to go. Get up.

This time the voice was unmistakably clear. It was not a dream. The voice was calm, clear, and soothing.  Claire took a slow deep breath to calm her nerves then said aloud, to whom she wasn't sure, "Is it safe?"


Claire held her breath, listening intently for more. No more came.  It is time. Get up. Go. She repeated these instructions over and over in her head.  Could it really be? Was the voice who she thought it was or had she lost her mind?  Slowly, quietly, as if she made a sound she would miss the voice, Claire, young and alone, frightened but excited, lifted herself off her cot and gathered her belongings. She knew who the voice belonged to.

The room was dark, had been for nearly a week since her self-powered generator broke.   The batteries had given out just days after construction of the generator was completed. Claire chuckled to herself as she caressed the seat of the old bicycle frame, proud of her accomplishment.  Candles were not safe here, but there was a bag of them stowed away in a corner.   They were found along with a box of matches and put in her backpack.   Food and water had been rationed sparingly, and were running out fast.  Only a few days left.  Claire put all that she had in the backpack.   On the cot were her clothes.  She found what she needed and put them on, slowly one leg at a time,  feeling the unfamiliar, uncomfortable fabric against her skin.  Alone and in the dark, they had been unneeded and cumbersome, now they felt scratchy on her skin.  How long had it been since she had bathed, washed her clothes?  Weeks, months? Time had lost all meaning.  In the far corner of the rectangular room were two unused cots with their blankets neatly folded on top.  Claire rolled them up together and fastened them to her backpack.  New blankets for a new beginning, she thought.  Rain gear that had been stored in a locker were unpacked, then placed into the backpack.   The pack was beginning to get heavy. 

Claire scoured the small room with her eyes, long-adjusted to the dark, remembering the day she first arrived, not wanting to remember.  She pushed those horrifying thoughts out as she looked from box to chair, to shelf to ventilation duct, to waste disposal cabinet thinking of what else she should bring, what to leave behind.  She saw what she needed on a top shelf. Thrown there in anger, but not forgotten.  Delicately fingering the leather she prayed, "Please forgive my anger, God, I know it is you who have kept me safe and you who now tells me to go."  Claire pressed the Bible cover close to her heart and wept.  The pages had long been destroyed.  "Protect me Lord. I am afraid."

The quiet girl with the sad eyes and aching heart, who had dreamed of and dreaded this day, wiped her tears, turned, and stared hard at the stairs that led to the outside world.  What lay ahead she did not know, what was must be left in the deepest part of her memory. Not forgotten, just put in a safe place as to not haunt her future.

Ten steps forward and twenty-five, straight up.  Seems easy enough, but Claire thought she lacked the courage to take the first step. NOW.  The voice was urgent, demanding.  "Okay, God", she said, "I'm going". Thoughts ran through her mind. What would she find?  It must be okay, God said to go.  He wouldn't be so insistent if it were unsafe. Would he?  Would she be among friends? Who, what would she find? There, she made the first step. Left, right, left, right. Slowly, painfully, heart beating faster and faster. Claire closed her eyes, took a deep breath, then another, hand trembling, she found the valve.

The bunker door was 25 steps up a metal ladder, but the mechanism to open it was right in front of her.  "Please God, help me remember how to open the door."   The valve in her hand was a lock.  She didn't remember why the valve was to be turned first, she just knew it was. Hoped it was.  It felt rusty.  Would it break if she turned the wrong way?  Would it break if she turned the right way?  Deep breath, which way to turn it? Claire wiped her sweaty palms on her pants, gripped the valve with her right hand and pushed down, to the right as hard as she could.  Click. The valve opened. "Whew!"  she let out a deep sigh of relief.

Next to the valve was a large steel wheel about 20 inches across. It sat higher up on the wall, its center about level with her forehead.  It, too, felt rusty at the joint where it connected to the bunker wall.  Claire gripped it with both hands, one on each side.  Which way?  Lefty loosey, right tight or to the right just like the first one?   First she gently nudged right.  Nothing.   Nudged left.  Nothing.  Claire stood and stared at the wheel, gripping so hard her hands began to hurt. Which way? Lefty loosey.  That has to be it.  She attempted to turn the wheel.  It didn't budge. "Oh God, help.  Am I tightening it instead?"  She took a deep breath and tried harder. To her amazement and much relief it moved.  An inch.   A drop of sweat dripped into her eye.  Not wanting to let go, she rubbed her eye with her shoulder.   Slowly, Claire slid her right hand over to her left while turning to the side of the wheel.  "Here goes nothing," she muttered then slid both hands as high up as she could so as to hang from the wheel. Suddenly she dropped all her weight and lifted her feet.   The wheel gave a creaky groan, turned, and Claire fell to the floor, hands still gripping the wheel.

It had turned!! Claire sprang up and tried the same technique again. The wheel turned again.  After one more attempt, Claire sat breathlessly on the floor.  Panting, she closed her eyes tightly to try to determine if the door had opened enough for her to escape.  Any light that came in could blind her, so she covered her eyes with her hands. A drop of sweat dripped onto her arm. Then another, and another. Claire stiffened and listened and felt. Raindrops? Those were not sweat drops because she felt one, two, three drops of water on her head.  Her senses were screaming for more.  She could hear faint sounds of dripping onto the metal bars and just a whisper of wind.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dear Blog Reader

Dear Blog Reader:
Hello and thank you for stopping by.  I appreciate you.  

If you are thinking that you are here by mistake (maybe you put in the wrong tags or search words or that you pressed the wrong link) don't leave yet, because you are not.  That's right, you are not here by mistake.  There is a reason you pulled up this Blog.  Please take the time to look around and find out what that reason is.  

Everyone has a reason for being, a reason for living, a reason for breathing. Did you find this site or was it put in front of you for you to discover something new?

Read on.

I'd love to know more about you. Where do you live (state/country)? What was your first thought when you read this post or saw this Blog? 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Man in the Mirror

The following is an excerpt from my 6th book, "Man in the Mirror". 

Chapter 1
A familiar sound broke through the silence of a dream.  They were at it again.  Did it ever stop?  A high-pitched wail was followed by and then intermingled with a booming bass.  The down comforter was pressed hard against ears not wanting to hear.  Muffled yet ever familiar sounds crept in and threatened to ruin the day. The sounds were more intense than yesterday, more demanding than the time before that.  Words could not be heard.  They weren’t necessary.  They were absolutely unwanted.  The tone and inflection were more than enough. A soft down pillow was placed over the comforter to bar the sounds even further to no avail.  Sounds of a familiar song suddenly burst forth overriding the irritating sound.
“Thank God for the alarm clock,” Celeste said, grumpy and relieved, as she rolled out of bed, turning up the volume on her way to the shower.
The day had begun exactly like it had ended with Celeste’s parents arguing.  All had been peaceful while her father had been away on a business trip.  The house had been silent and still.  There had been no yelling, no talking at all really.  Celeste went to school, hung out with her friends and came home.  Dinner was delivered at exactly 6 p.m. where it was eaten in silence with only the occasional question or comment from mother to daughter.  Same thing every day. Boring, predictable, but quiet.  Now this.
Celeste, looked at herself in the mirror.  She looked tired. Average. Boring.  She thought everything about her appearance was average. Medium brown hair, stick straight and just below her shoulders.  Brown eyes, nothing unique there.  Average face. Not ugly, but not beautiful either.  She was thin, mainly because she didn’t eat much.  Very little food was kept in the house.  Dinner was always delivered from a list of restaurants, breakfast usually brought in by the housekeeper.  Her teeth were perfectly straight thanks to the overpriced orthodontist.  Turning sideways to look at her nose, Celeste remembered her mother stating she could get it fixed after High School. That was hurtful.  There was nothing wrong with it that she could see except the tiny bump in the middle that could only be seen on very close inspection. Even her chest was average. B cup. Several girls in her class had already had plastic surgery because they didn’t want to be average. Celeste’s mother had undergone several breast enlargements.  The last was an anniversary present from her father and it was insinuated by her mother that she could have one whenever she wanted.
With a shrug and a shake of her head, as if to get rid of memories that the image evoked, Celeste quickly showered and got dressed in her usual school uniform of blue jean shorts, T-shirt and flip flops.  As an afterthought, she returned to the bathroom vanity to quickly apply mascara and lip-gloss.  With one last glance in the mirror, Celeste took a deep breath, slung her backpack over her shoulder and headed out the door.
“Why do you have to go again?” Celeste heard her mother bemoan as she ran down the stairs.
“It’s business. It’s what I do.  I work for a living,” she heard her father reply in an angry sarcastic tone.
“But you just got home last night.  One week at home and two on the road is no life.  We never see each other.  When you are here you are locked in your office or on the golf course.”
“Someone has to pay the bills! If you didn’t spend all your time shopping maybe I wouldn’t have to work so hard.”
“So I’ll get a job and then you won’t have to travel all the time.”
“Yeah, that’ll be the day. You haven’t worked since High School.  No wife of mine is going to work at the mall.”
“Um,” Celeste poked her head into the kitchen timidly, “I’m going to school.”
“Wait, I’ll take you,” Celeste’s mother said as she ran her fingers through her hair trying to straighten it up.  She pulled her pink silk bathrobe tight at the waist.  “I’ll just be a second. Let me get dressed.”
“No, that’s okay. I’ve got a ride.” Celeste looked over at her father who was staring at his laptop with a scowl on his face.  “Maybe I can drive myself?”
“No,” he stated adamantly.
Celeste shook her head and grumbled, “Whatever,” as she turned and ran out the front door.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Go into al the world.... part 2

This entry is the second installment with the theme of: "Godly people I know who live Mark 16:15-16 and Matthew 28:19-20." Loretta Parrish is, in my opinion, the person who most exemplifies these verses.  I have had the great pleasure of knowing Loretta for 15 years. Her life story is quite amazing. I do not have the time or space to tell it properly, therefore, I am only giving a snippet of her heart:

1) Loretta, who do you say Jesus is?

Jesus is the Creator God, who chose to humble himself to become a flesh and blood man born to one of the women of His creation.  He came to be the savior and redeemer of the lost children of every age - for those who choose to trust in him and obey.  God is one God with three persons, Father, Son (word) and Holy Spirit.

2) When did you first believe this and what did you do about it?

I first believed at the age of eleven and made the choice to follow him.  I was baptized and began teaching a Sunday School class almost immediately.  A few years later, I became very hurt and angry with my Lord because I thought he had been unjust and harsh toward me.  It took about six years of  struggling with my pride and resentment, with my conscience fighting for  my repentance.  Finally, I prayed and told God that I was sorry and just wanted to come home but did not know how.  He lovingly led me back and has helped me develop and very close and personal relationship, including giving me understanding of the hurt and anger of my youth.

3) What have you done in the past to "Tell the World"?

Three of my strongest gifts of the Holy Spirit are sheparding, teaching and discernment.  Before I knew these were gifts given me to glorify God and to equip the body of Christ, I knew they were part of my being.  I was always drawn to teaching, counseling and reaching out to people.  My husband used to say I had a mark on the forehead that attracted those people who needed me.  I worked with many women struggling with marriage, parenting and many who were returning to the workforce.  I also volunteered with a pregnancy counseling center and women in abusive relationships.  I owned and operated an adolescent substance abuse treatment center for many years.  We did not just treat the teens but also their parents and siblings.  The treatment model was adapted to the teachings of the Bible.  Every client was given their own Bible and we had weekly classes they could request to attend.  It was amazing to see the changes when God was invited in to help with recovery.  Over the years, I have been invited to speak at various women's events, both in the church and in the secular world.

4) What would you like to do in the future?

My prayer to God is that He will take me home the day after I am useful in the Kingdom.  So, the answer would be more of the same.  I seek to keep myself aware of the leading of the Spirit and to respond immediately.  Whatever God wants me to do, I want to do.  It is important to me to walk the walk that I teach others.  I also seek to empower those I teach to develop their own close, personal relationship with our Lord and to also listen to His voice.

5) Who inspires you?

Besides Jesus, my inspiration has been King David and the apostle Paul.  I devour their writings to direct my thinking, and try to learn from their mistakes.  As for people on earth, my parents and grandmothers definitely set the role model of  seeking God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.  I watched them individually study the Bible daily, worship in spirit and in truth, and serve others as if it were Christ himself.  Anyone who empties self and lets the love of God fill their hearts to serve others will always inspire me.  I have known many of these humble servants over the years.

6) You have lived through many trials.  What helps you to keep your eyes on Jesus? What do you do when you feel in despair? 

The Word.  I learned from my period of hurt and rebellion that nothing in the physical world (no matter how bad, how hard, how painful or how humiliating) gives evidence of God's love for me.  He loves me because He said He does - He is the unchangeable God.  All things work together for my good because He said they would if I love him and am called according to the promise.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  He is greater than every thing of the created world because he created that world.  What I do when my flesh feels despair?  I pray and tell him everything, including my anger, fear and evil thoughts.  I read scriptures that help the situation.  Finally, I simply obey and ask him to forgive them - and then ask that he help me mean it.  For instance, there are some things that are almost impossible to forgive and forget.  But, we are told that if we seek we will find; if we ask we will receive; and, if we knock he will answer.  So the bottom line is:  Trust and Obey - He does the rest.

7) What are you passionate about?

Jesus Christ died so that we can have life eternal and be restored to the Father.  Therefore, I am passionate about seeking to know Him so intimately and personally that the power of my flesh fades into oblivion.  I am passionate about teaching others, helping others and seeking the lost children.

8) I often refer to you as my moral compass.  You have also been my 2nd mother, mentor, teacher, and friend.  Many people feel the same way. Why do you think this is and how do you feel about it?

When the Spirit equipped me for service in the body, this became the greatest joy I could ever know.  You are my heart and my blessing, as are all the other young women and some men that God has brought into my life.  I feel humbled but very joyful and filled with love.  A previous question referred to how hard my life has been on many fronts, and it truly has been hard.  But all of the women, men, teens and children that are brought into my life heals every wound because the things I learned in the hard times are what all of you need.  So, they just prepared me to love people.

9) What would you like to say to the readers from around the globe who do not know Jesus?

Look around at all the things created by Jesus - heavens, earth, fish, animals, birds, trees, green things, the wind, the waves.  He created them in perfection but our selfish and self-willed sins have brought the defects.  Jesus was God and came to live on earth in human flesh.  Because he chose to perfectly trust and obey the Father even to death, he redeemed us from the death and decay of sin.  The Good News is that he conquered the grave and with that act give us the ability to conquer the grave and have eternal life.  He then gave us a gift - He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in the heart, mind and soul of the redeemed.  The Spirit can do everything we cannot if we give up self will and trust and obey.  The Spirit will give us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  He will teach us, correct us, lead us and comfort us.  What does the world offer that is greater than that?

10) In closing, is there anything you would like to add?

The greatest commandment is:  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.  The second greatest commandment is:  Love your neighbor as your self.  

Everything in the Law of Moses and spoken by the prophets were based on those two commandments.  When we leave this earth and join our Lord in heaven, these two commandments will define how we will live.  There is no law or requirement by God that cannot be met by obeying those two commands.  These are not suggestions.  They are commands.  Let us trust and obey.

*** Loretta, I am honored to be able to call you friend and sister in Christ. ***

Friday, May 20, 2011

Are you ready?

Harold Camping believes Saturday May 21, 2011 will be the end of the world. I think that's pretty incredible since Mark 13:32 -36 says:  32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
   35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”

A dear lady at my church is in her last days of her life. Her daughter says she is very tired and is ready to join the Lord in His house and is looking forward to seeing her husband again.  Even she does not know what day that will be. 

No one knows what will happen when Jesus returns. Many have speculated.  Will there be war? Doomsday? Panic? Looting? Rejoicing among the believers? Will the dead rise from their graves and be visible to all as they ascend to their final resting place. Who knows. Does it really matter?  

Personally, and this is just me.  I am not in the least bit concerned.  Bring it. I'm ready. Until then, meditate on this:

When will the world See that we need Jesus? If we open our eyes We will all realize That He loves us When will the world See that we need Jesus? When our hearts are as one And believe that He's the Son of our God (Chorus) The Lord is our God And we shall never want The Lord is our God And we shall live forever When we share the love of Jesus See each other as He sees us Then His love will see us through His love will see us through When will the world See that we need Jesus? When sister and brother Love one another as one When will the world See that we need Jesus? Will we ever understand Jesus is the Son of man? We must live in the shadow of His love When will the world See that we need Jesus? If we open our eyes We will all realize That He loves us When will the world See that we need Jesus? When our hearts are as one And believe that He's the Son of our God When will the world See that we need Jesus? When sister and brother Love one another as one When will the world See that we need Jesus? Will we ever understand Jesus is the Son of man? We must live in the shadow of His love


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Author Interview

Interview with author E.V. Mitchell, who's novel The Color of Heaven I have recently read:

Author Interview:  Julianne MacLean/E.V. Mitchell
You are a traditionally published author of 15 historical romances and have hit the USA Today bestseller list.  Why did you choose to self-publish The Color of Heaven?
I came up with the idea for this book six years ago, and wrote half of it while I was between contracts for my historicals. My agent shopped the half-finished manuscript around in 2007 to all the major New York publishers, but we had no offers. We were told things like:
“I wouldn’t know how to position this book.”
“It’s too commercial for our line.”
“I wasn’t fully convinced of the book’s commercial appeal.”
“I did not feel connected to the character of Sophie.”
“I was connected to the character of Sophie, but didn’t connect with Cora.”

One editor loved it and said it brought tears to her eyes, but when she showed it to her senior editor… Well, that editor felt differently.

I had just signed a new deal for two more historical romances, so I had to shelve this project and get back to work on my books that were actually selling.

Skip ahead to 2010. I still believed in the story and was never able to let go of the characters, and I was following the changes in the industry in terms of authors choosing to self-publish their work as E-books.  Some authors were seeing great success, and the idea of having complete creative control excited me, so I reworked
 The Color of Heaven over the summer, and here we are.
The Color of Heaven  is told in first person as if it were a true story.  How much of your own experiences went into the plot and the creation of Sophie’s character?
A tremendous amount of this book is based on my own life, starting with Sophie being a writer. Our experiences were very much the same, in that I have worked at home while trying to balance the writing with motherhood. Toward the end of the book, she is trying to sell a novel, meeting with rejections, and I’ve been there, done that. It took me six years and five novels and countless rejections before I sold my first book to a publisher.
Another element from my own life is the car accident. I skidded off a road and rolled down an embankment when I was twenty-five years old. I am still amazed that I survived it, because it was a pretty horrendous wreck.
In The Color of Heaven Sophie's daughter is very sick. How much research did you have to do about medical issues?
The emotional side of that difficult period in Sophie’s life again comes from my own experiences. My daughter was very ill with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome when she was two-and-a-half years old, which is a blood disease and very similar in many ways to the treatments that Sophie’s daughter receives. I spent six weeks living in the children’s hospital and going through some very difficult times when we weren’t sure our daughter would survive. There are some moments in the book that are almost exact, and they were difficult to write.
I did have to do a fair amount of research, however, into the science of it all – treatments, medications, etc – and that was a bit painful, to be honest. There were days when I wondered what the heck I was doing, and why I was putting myself through that.
The Color of Heaven includes a scene about a near-death experience.  Have you ever experienced such a thing?
No, but I’ve always been fascinated by near-death experiences, and since my car accident, I’ve often wondered “what if?”  I did a lot of research on the subject. I read about the science of it, and I also read The Tibetan Book of the Dead, which is quite beautiful in places.
You’ve written historical romances in the past.  Why did you take a pen name?
I struggled with that quite a bit, because this book is very different from my romance novels – in structure, voice, and genre conventions - so I wanted to make sure readers would not have unrealistic expectations. The wrong expectations can really spoil a book for some people.
Will you write more mainstream contemporaries?
Yes, I definitely want to write more books like this and I will continue to self-publish in the future.  I also want to write more historicals.  I just wish there were more hours in the day, and more days in the year.
Thanks for having me!


The Color of Heaven can be purchased here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Looking for free Ebooks to read?

Today I set a goal to reach 100 "Likes" on my Facebook Author page.  As soon as I reach 100 I will post coupons on that page for a free copy of each of my 6 ebooks.  Simply click here then click on the "Like" button at the top of the page.  Next, tell all of your friends to do the same. Periodically check back to see the coupons as soon as the magic number appears.  See the magic number but no coupons?  Send me an email: freedspirit05@me.com and I will get them up ASAP!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

To Give or Not to Give. Can you spare a dime?

Today's blog is an experiment.  I'm going to be very frank, honest, and to the point in this post.  My passion is serving my God by writing. If you have read any of my posts or pages that is pretty clear. If this is your first time to this blog, stop now and read all of my previous posts. I have been praying very hard and contemplating how I can write full time while also being able to pay the bills.  Thus, the idea for this experiment.  

I remembered watching a movie a few years ago about a woman who wrote a blog and had a passion for writing, similar to mine (Julie and Julia).  Someone suggested to her to put a "Donate" button on her blog.  She did and it enabled her to write.

After my recent doctor's visits and the pain I have been having with my shoulders I have been unable to do much writing after a long day of work, which by the way involves typing for 8 hours.  Therefore, I thought, 'what could I possibly do to help support my family while trying to write and promote my books so that my writing will be my sole means of an income?'   

Here is where the experiment comes in to play.  I am not going to share this post on Facebook or email it to friends.  I am simply going to sit back and see what happens.   I'm curious. Why do people give money on the internet?  Who do they give it to? How much are people willing to give?  What would happen if everyone who visited this site gave a dollar? Would they pass it on and share it with others?  Would people be interested in supporting a struggling writer? Would you be willing to donate a Dollar? Your support is greatly appreciated. I would love to be a "retired medical transcriptionist". 

Not comfortable "donating" but want to help?  Then please consider supporting me by purchasing my books at Smashwords or WordClay.

Let the experiment begin. Praise Be to God the Creator of all things whom I serve.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ice, Needles, and Prayer

James 1: 2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

By now, you know I don't like ice. Specifically, I don't like being cold.  Probably because I grew up in Texas and have always been little, meaning very little body fat and I get cold easily.  I bring a sweater everywhere I go.  It's 90 degrees outside and I have a sweater in my car "just in case".  Therefore, when I was told I needed to ice both my shoulders three times a day I was not a happy camper. 

On to needles. Needles hurt, plain and simple. I had to have my blood drawn many, many times when I was pregnant with both of my children. It hurt. My veins like to move around like rubber bands and sometimes the nurses had to poke me several times.  To make matters worse, I get nervous and afraid and I tense up my muscles which makes the poke hurt even more.  You know how you remember all the wonderful feelings and forget the pain of injuries and, well, childbirth?  I've been told we women were gifted with forgetting pain because, well, we would all have only one child each. In any event, when I was around 20 I got a severe case of poison ivy and had to have a cortisone shot. IT WAS PAINFUL!!!  My very first memory and beginning of my fear and dislike of needles.  

Today, I had an appointment with an orthopedist for my shoulders.  Two days prior my physical therapist said to me, "if they offer you a cortisone shot, take it".  Fear ensued. I was not going to get a shot.  No thank you.  I awoke this morning, which by the way is my wedding anniversary, extremely nervous, apprehensive, and not looking forward to my visit.  The nice nurse took x-rays of both of my shoulders then the doctor did his exam, which hurt like the dickens.  The doctor and I, with my awesome husband next to me, sat down and looked at my x-rays.  The doctor then explained to me the various defects in my acromions, humeral heads, and greater tubercles.  

Then, I heard it. The dreaded word. Injection.  I could feel the blood drain out of my face.  I turned and looked at my husband who told the doctor, "she does not want a shot."  Well, the good doctor then explained the alternative, surgery. Ugh, even worse.  Reluctantly, I got up on the examination table, looked straight ahead while the doctor prepped my shoulder.  I politely crossed my ankles in fear that I might kick him. 

To my great surprise, it didn't hurt.  I mean, I felt the pressure and the medication going into my arm, but it did not sting or burn or really hurt at all. But after he was finished I was shaking so badly I thought I was going to cry from the release of adrenaline that had built up.  

Point number 3. Prayer.  Please pray that the injection, ice, medication and therapy works so I do not have to endure surgery.

So, what does this have to do with the above verse? Everything. This whole shoulder thing is a huge trial for me. I have had pain that has limited my activities, sidelined my running, and in general has worn me out.  I cried like a baby on Sunday at church because I was so tired and in pain. How I handle this trial is a testament to my faith.  I can either rise above it and praise God, regardless of how lousy I feel, or I can grumble and complain and blame Him. Oh sure, I'm going to whine a little bit but it is not going to change who I am. This will pass. I may or may not have surgery on one or both shoulders. I might have to endure months of ice and many more needles.  However, the one thing I will not do is compromise my faith. I will let this experience, this trial if you will,  draw me closer to God. I will rely on Him to get me not only through it, but to somehow help someone else who may face a similar situation in the future. 

1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

God Bless America

Support our Military. They are children of God.
 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”  Matthew 3:17
 ... whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Matthew 20:27-28

 I am so proud of my children and who they are becoming. They love God and serve him with all their heart.  Even though one is an adult, who has sprouted wings and has flown over the ocean and the other is nearly an adult, they will alway be my babies. 
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”   John 20:21

My prayer today is that I have, through Jesus, taught them enough to be pleasing to God and t
hat they will in turn lead others to Christ.

God is in control. Always. 

"Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out."
~Proverbs 24:19-20

Colleen Wait Edits

Colleen Wait Edits

About Me

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This YouTube channel was created to add video to my blog.  Read it here:  www.colleenwaitwrites.blogspot.com.  I write about my life, my books, my family, my cats and kids, and of course travel.