Friday, September 30, 2005

Mary of Bethany

. . . Or better known as Mary the Devotee. Get this - she's mentioned in Matthew 26, Mark 14, John 12, and possibly in Luke 7 if you think she's the "sinner woman."

Why? Because she poured out a costly perfume on Jesus, wept and wiped His feet with her hair. She shamelessly showed her devotion in front of all, even though they criticized her.

Jesus defended her before her accusers, "Leave her alone! Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her."

So, let's back up a chapter and peek into John 11. Jesus is on his way to raise Lazarus from the dead and John is setting us up for this great miracle. Mary has NOT yet anointed His feet with her perfume, but John writes:

"Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick."

I love it. John qualifies that Lazarus, the-dead-guy-raised-again, is Mary's brother! Not Mary, the-sister-of-the-guy raised from the dead. No, it's Lazarus, the brother of the girl who poured out perfume and wept over Jesus.

Mary's story was known to the church in Jerusalem. He knew that. John actually doesn't recount her story until the next chapter.

Amazing! You know what this means? Whole hearted devotion trumps being raised from the dead. Yep. That's what it means. Jesus didn't say Lazarus being raised from the dead would be preached around the whole world in memory of him. Nope. Mary's pure, heart felt devotion would be remembered.

Do we want to see people raised from the dead? Yep! Do we want to see blind eyes opened and the lame walking and demons cast out? Absolutely. But we cannot seek it without being whole heartedly devoted to the One who makes those things happen.

We want the do without the be. But I say Be! The do will come. Be, just be! Let's have a heart like Mary. The miracles will come.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Waste My Life On Something. . .

Last night at youth church, Dave and I got in a groove with the band and starting singing antiphonally. Only Dave can make a D to G chord progression sound "groovin'." Yeah you heard me, groovin'.

I started singing, "I'm gonna waste my life on something, I might as well waste it on you, Jesus." Dave echoed with "You are worthy." It was very cool and first time I've been able to do that at Youth Church for a while. Happens every week at Fire Dweller, but not so much at youth or big church.

I'm really thankful to the Lord for what He's doing in David's life and that he's baaaaack!!! He's a great chief musician.

Yesterday was weird. I only wrote about 1600K words, but I only wrote for about 3 hours. Went to youth church, then Taco Bell. I can't believe I'm eating Taco Bell once a week. But, it's where the kids want to go afterwards and well, whaddya gonna do? ;) When it stops raining in the evenings, it's back to Checkers!

Well, tis all for now. I woke up this morning and took a walk-jog, (hot day already) am blogging as I cool off, will take a shower, then go up to church for Fire Dweller leaders meeting and come home and get to work. I really want to get the bulk of this story done, then I can edit and fix and make it purdy! I'm motivated. But you know my best writing time, really? It's weird. . . like 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Moral to the story: learn to settle my soul down earlier in the day.

Stop yakking soul! It would help if my email blew up and Diet Cokes weren't calling me from the 7-11. "Come buy us, come buy us."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Starting a new book

Starting a new book is always thrilling. Then, a third of the way through I have to remind myself that, yes the first draft is hard, yes it all sounds the same and cliche. It will get better. It will get better. It always does.

Plowing over blank white pages is like plowing through eighteen inches of fresh fallen snow, walking up hill, both ways, with the sharp wind in your face and your gloves at home on the hearth, warming by the fire.

I love fresh fallen snow.

Went to prayer, then took my car to the shop where I learned my AC compressor is going. Naturally. I mean, gee whiz, the car is four years old. Note to the world: Do NOT buy a Volkswagen! Ever. Cheap parts, weak warranty. Everything breaks right after the warranty runs out. Shoulda run tail when the told us the warranty was only for 2 years.

But I researched my Cabrio and other than advise about not buying leather seats (too hot for Florida ), the Cabrio owners gave the car great reviews. Well, now I know. They were paid to lie. Had to be. I can't imagine any car owner raving about a car that starts to fall apart before it's two years old. Now, at four years old, it's ready for the nursing home!

I want a Mini Cooper convertible next. Think they will be any better?

After a lovely time at the auto shop. . . really. The folks there are great, I stopped by Barnes-n-Noble and got "The Big Stone Gap" by Andriana Trigiani. Might as well see what the competition is doing. She's not writing hick lit, but writing about life in the small-town south. Mountain people.

Now, I'm blogging as if to prime the pump and get to writing. Youth church is tonight so I don't have long to mess around. 2000k words, here I come.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Cover, The Cover

Krista (Steeple Hill Editor extraordinaire) snail mailed a copy of the cover for Georgia On Her Mind. Very cool, ya'll. I don't have a scanner, so I can't put it up for you to see, but it's very peachy keen!

Wow! It's so cool to see the cover. With my name on it! I feel this way about the Heartsongs, too. By the way, Lambert's Code comes out in a few days!

Times like these I miss Dad. Typically, I'd call him and talk to him about it. Or get reassurance that I can write two more books under contract. Of course, my dear Mom is a great encouragement, and my hubby, but for some reason, I want to hear Dad say, "Rach, you can do it."

I think it goes back to my Ohio State days when I called Dad completely stressed out. "I can't do this!!" He'd talk me down off the ledge, give me a few pointers and send me on my way with a verbal pat on the head. There's an echo from those days, deep down in my soul, still moving across the valleys of my life. "Dad, help, I can't."

But, you'll be happy to I have matured some in the last 20 years (I know, I know, I went to college when I was fifteen) and the doubt is just a wispy remainder of weaker times. Jesus has shored up my insecurities and immaturity and assured me I can do this and if I can't, He can step in and help. He'll do more than give me a verbal pat on the head. He'll give me ideas and creativity and rivers of flowing life.

Maybe it all just a longing in my heart to hear my Dad's voice again. I can't believe that almost five months later, tears come when I realize he left this life for a better one and didn't take me with him.

He came back for me that one time. I was eight and he'd gone off to pick up some kids for church, probably desperate for a moment to himself. I ran after him as he drove down the long gravel drive, "Wait for me."

But he didn't. Balled up on the gravel, I cried. Then, heard the putt-putt of the VW Micro bus coming back down the road. He came back for me.

This time, he didn't. He couldn't. My partnership with Jesus is not done in this life yet. So, He comforts me. He's my daddy's voice. "Rach, you can do it."

Went to a meeting for the Young Women's meeting last night. We went over final details, then the ministry teams got together and ministered to each other. Way cool. I got a couple of good exhortations from the Lord.

Well, off to work. Got a lot of writin' to do. Peace out.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

John 7:37

The citizens of Jerusalem were celebrating the Feast of Booths (Tabernacle) and for some reason, had a tradition of pouring out water.

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "Any man who thirsts, let him come to me and drink!"

Any one of us can go to Jesus if we are thirsty. But there are so many things competing for our appetites; entertainment, food, sports, gossip, envy, the approval of others, status. But we must find our satisfaction in going to Jesus.

We must know Him. The scriptures tell of Him, yet they are not an end of itself like the Pharisees thought, but the map to understand and know Jesus. The written word leads us to the living word.

Pray the Word. Talk to Jesus about what He says. It will awaken your heart and change you.

But, it takes time. Deep calls unto deep. Becoming deeper in Him takes time. Give Him some part of your day. Let Him interrupt your schedule, not your schedule interrupt Him. (Note to self. . . )

Guess what will happen when we go for deep, to be wells of living water? Out of us flow rivers. Rivers.

For me as a writer, it makes me realize that as I spend time with Jesus, letting Him become a living well in me, rivers will flow out and onto my written pages. Creativity, truth, life, inspiration. That's what I want in my writing - for it to be a river of living water.

What about you? Room for a river or two in your life? ;)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Sleepy Saturday

Krista Stroever, Steeple Hill Editor, and me. What is with my eyes? I look like Cat Woman! Krista looks great!

I slept until noon-twenty, went to the store with Tony, ate lunch, watched a Bob Hope movie, "My Favorite Brunette." I paid attention to scene beginnings and endings since it was a detective, stream-of-consciousness type of movie. There were a few lines Tony said I should try to use.

After that, I picked up a book to read and immediately fell asleep for two more hours. Guess I'm catching up from last week in Nashville in which I slept very little.

Talked to Mom, caught up with her and life in Tallahassee. She's doing well, adjusting to life without her husband, but pressing on. I missed Dad these past few days. Like, hey, I'm ready to see you now. It's been almost five months since that weekend we were together in Tennessee for Asa's dedication.

I realize there's that part of me that only Dad shared. And, now I want to connect with him, but I can't. Tony says to just talk to him, but it's not the same. I just want to hear his voice.

My friend Kristin Billerbeck said, "You're a natural, Rachel," so for the moment, the Lord used her to be the voice of my Dad. That's something he would've said. (Wow, is this sounding like all-about-me or what?)
In fact, I found a letter he wrote me about 20 years ago and he was going on and on about how I should write. He declared my destiny over me. Honestly, he probably only read one or two things I'd ever written. He just knew. He was my Dad.

I read over some of the stuff I wrote yesterday and cracked myself up. The sister, Eliza, of the heroine, Faith, is going to study English Lit at Cambridge for the summer. Cambridge as in England. So, she tells the family during Sunday dinner. They are all excited and proud. One of the Grandma's pipes up, "We'll drive up to see you."

They family stops talking.

"Grandma, I'll be in England," Eliza says.

I don't know why, but that just cracks me up!

Anyway, really, it's funny, trust me. You'll laugh. The whole scene is funny, especially when Faith tries to tell her news. So, hang on to read it this time next year. IF, I don't edit it out.

Oh, when I was having lunch with the WestBow Press team, we were laughing and talking about movie out-takes and I said I thought it would be really funny to have edited out scenes from our books in the back, like they do on DVDs. Everyone thought that was a great idea. Of course, no one said, "Let's do it."

See how impressive I am? Ha!

Krista, my editor at Steeple Hill, emailed that she was sending me a copy of the cover for "Georgia On Her Mind" so I hope I see that soon. I'm excited about that.
I leave you with this thought: Squandered time is squandered destiny. Ask the Lord to help you redeem the time.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Conference 2005 - Part III

I keep thinking of conference things, but now that I want to write them down, I forget. Ok, here's one. Karen Ball was speaking and she asked, "Are you all called to write?"

We answered a muddy, "Yes."

So, she asks again, loud! "Are you called to write?"

"Yes!" We shout a little louder.

And then a third time. "Are you called to write?"


When I shouted, "Yes!" I felt the anointing tingle down my body from the top of my head. Yes, I'm called to write!

Sometimes all we need to do is agree with God and stop agreeing with the devil or our flesh.

Every time I make a sale, I'm excited, but there's something deep down that resonates, "Yep, just doing what I'm supposed to be doing." I don't have that stunned, overwhelmed feeling like "I can't believe it!"

By the grace of God, I believe it.

My prayer is to always be humble, even if I make it to the New York Times Best Seller List. I always want to be more amazed at God's love, favor and goodness in my life than any goal I achieve on earth. You know, if it doesn't matter in heaven, why should it matter here?

Think of all the things we worry about, get worked up over in this life and they just don't matter in eternity. Like, I was mad NBC cancelled the show "American Dream." I loved that show, but the fact that I wasted one moment of mental energy on it is crazy. Not going to matter in eternity.

Or, in a moment of weakness, I make a negative comment about a person or situation. Soul, be still! It will NOT matter in eternity. At least not the situations I allow to upset me. Geez, I get sick of my weaknesses sometimes. I'd like to just unzip my flesh suit, step out of it and be all holy and warm and fuzzy, not bound by my sins.

I always come home from the conference sure someone doesn't like me anymore. A someone I care about, but you know, so what. Nothing I can do about it unless confronted with it. But, isn't it just like the enemy to divide and keep us worrying?

I give it all to You, Jesus.

Well, I need to get writing. Ciao.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Conference 2005 - Part II

I took Brandilyn Collin's "Kicking It Up A Knotch" workshop. She did a great job and I learned a new thing about backstory. "Don't do it!"

Bonded with Sydney Zech, our fab conference coordinator. She surprised me with a massage on Sunday evening. Allison Wilson was everything I promised Sydney she'd be! Thank you, Allison.

I met Heather Diane Tipton in person! Hey, Heather! You are awesome.

I laughed with Tracey, Chris and Susie until I couldn't breathe! "A-heem, a-heem."

Chris, thanks for the heart to heart. You are a great friend.

Karen Ball was poignent and funny. The devotionals were wonderful. It was great to see old friends, ACFWers from conferences past. Love you all!

Rebeca Seitz is fun to hang around with. And a true Gilmore Girl.

Sleep is impossible to catch at a conference.

The Bluebird Cafe is wholly Nashville, and grand.

Lisa Young is beautiful and makes me laugh. Thanks for Saturday night at the Bluebird. I'll never forget the back of James Dean Hicks head.

Thanks to Kaye Dacus for the tour of Nashville and Sunday night at the Bluebird. Thanks for buying, Susie.

Tracey Bateman has become a true leader. Great job, Tracey!

Susan Downs, we missed you. Anne Goldsmith, it wasn't the same without you! Next year in Dallas?

God is good! Even in my weakness. . .

Monday, September 19, 2005

Conference 2005

Diann Hunt, Kristin Billerbeck, Me, Colleen Coble
The 4th anual ACFW conference has come and gone. I'm exhausted. I flew to Nashville Sunday the 11th and hit the ground running and did not stop until yesterday afternoon when Sydney walked me down to the hotel's massage room in the hotel and said, "Enjoy!"

There is so much to blog, I cannot capture the week with words, but the hightlight was last Wednesday. Colleen Coble, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter and I met the West Bow Press staff, went to lunch and toured the facilities of Thomas Nelson. We had a great time. What a great team. It was so weird to walk into a publishing house and have them go, "Oh, you must be Rachel Hauck. Welcome!!"

One person, Jennifer, who works in advertising, read my proposal and told me how she loved it. Then the publisher's assistant, Lisa, took me to song writers night at the Bluebird. Now, last Sunday Susan Warren, Kaye Dacus and I went to the Bluebird. We enjoyed those songwriters a lot, but Saturday night were published song writers who had multiple hits. Wow! It was fantastic. Amazing songs, amazing guitar work.

To be continued. . .

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Deep Worship

After step-weight training class last night I went to Zion to worship with Kent Henry. I sang with him a few years ago, and should've last night, but I was in simplify mode. Ha! He is an incredible worship leader and of course the Fire Dweller Band was backing him up and. . . ahhhh!

I walked into the sanctuary and whoosh! I was washed by the presence of the Lord. So incredible. Not just that I felt the Lord's touch, but that there is a place in worship - deep worship - that removes all the shadows from my heart.

Besides worship, Kent is very into unleashing the creative spirit in each of us. He talked about fear being one of our number one enemies, but also judgments. Our inner voice of "you can't do it" or the outer voice of others "you can't do that."

We have to break that off! God says, "I can through you!"

I went through that when The Country Princess sold. What if I can't do it? What if the editors hate it once it's done? What if... what if... At that point, it's all about me and I completely deny the power of my Lord.

But I realized what I was doing and turned it around. I can do it! Jesus is able to enable me! He's done so much for me already, how can I deny Him now?

Afterwards, I talked to Kent and he's wanted my name and number to talk about writing and my journey - as a testimony to others who are on the creative path. We'll see what happens. I had a sense from the Lord about something last night, but I'll leave it to Him. I'm familiar with that subtle sense and know the Lord will make it happen in due time.

Note to self: pray in the Spirit more. Hour a day?

Hurricane Allie is submitted along with Lena, Pamela and Lynette's stories. "Get Me To The Church On Time" will probably be retitled "Windswept Weddings."

You know one of my favorite parts about writing books? The dedication. I love that. . . Having a book dedicated to you would be so cool, don't you think?

I'm always torn between wanting to have a blank page with just a simple dedication like, For Dad, yet knowing I can't leave out all the people who support me and encourage me on this writing journey. So, I include thanks to people directly related to the book.

Well, we are off to buy new phones. I have lots to do today!

Tomorrow I'm off to Nashville. I probably won't blog next week, but will try if I can!

Peace out! Viya con Dios.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Frustrations - a feeling

Frustrations can be good. They can spur us onto bigger and better things. Thus, I'm frustrated. Well, I feel frustrated. Therefore, I must be. Ha!

Do you know there is a personality type that actually makes decisions by feelings? They read their feelings as fact and then decide. I learned about this when taking the Myers-Briggs personality test several years ago while working at Harris Publishing.

"I feel, therefore I am." (wink)

I, however, am not one of the personality types that makes decision based on feeling. I want the facts. I analyze, I ponder. I want proof and evidence. However, I am discerning. I often read a situation or person and know what to do or how to respond.

Except when it comes to mio - myself. Decisions for self are difficult. If self discipline was easy, we'd all look like Mrs. Universe and be millionaires. We wouldn't overeat, oversleep, sluff off on the job, make excuses not to exercise, or clean the kitchen or write a book. ;)

Tony edited Hurricane Allie for me last night and I was so frustrated every time he asked me a question. Not his fault. Mine. I wanted to watch "Gilmore Girls." How rude is that? I just wanted to not work. Be lazy. Part of the drama of an authors life. It seems to never end. We can write all day long. Feel guilty if we don't.

I really was feeling guilty for not working more on my chick lit. I know the conference is coming up and I'll be gone for a week and that's going to knock me off kilter. Then I have two conference the beginning of October! BUT, I can do this, right? I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Decision time. Turn off the cable? I really only care about like three shows, but I end up watching more than that just because. . . I get stuck. I wanted to keep up with Ohio State Football, Gilmore Girls and King of Queens. I like Joey, too. But I ask this question, "What does it benefit me?" What a waste.

Discipline. Self discipline. You know my biggest frustration? Here it is. Fractured days. My days come at me in pieces. Morning prayer, 7-9, followed by maybe errands, email and chores. Then by noon, I try to be writing. Then three nights a week I go to the gym at 5:00 for class. Three nights a week I have something to do; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

So, this frustrates me. I like my evening aerobics instructors, but maybe I should switch to the morning. Maybe I'll shoot my email.

Simplify is my moto for 2006. Oh, here were my goals a few years ago. Still trying to get it down: 1. Prayer and the Word. Hanging out with Jesus. 2. Write 3. All else subject to 1 and 2.

Random thought. I love my family. I love my Mom and Grandma. My brothers and sister. Lately, Beka has been really special to my heart. I love my husband. He's pretty awesome. Sorry ladies, he's taken.

Well, off to the doctor to check the healing of hole he made in my cheek last week and to get my hair done. Ah, the frustration begins.

I hide myself in you, Jesus. I hide myself in You...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Discern the Times

Some days I fear I am watching the decline of a great nation. Did the Romans recognize the crumbling foundation of their great country? Did they know the world they conquered would soon conquer them?

Jesus tells us in Luke 12: 56 to discern the times. I'd be remiss if I did not peer into the crucial hour in which we live. Not because a hurricane devastated a city. That has happened before and will happen again, but because the hearts of men are bitter and angry.

We are pointing the finger and blaming each other. It's unbelievable. I honestly can say I'm shocked, but even more so, saddened. Deeply saddened.

"Oh Lord, give us an Esther. A David. A Daniel!"

It is raining. Tropical Storm 16 is dropping a cloud load of rain on us. Praise the Lord it didn't build into a hurricane. Our nation is struggling so much as it is.

Tonight, I am so going to Spinning class. I rode my bike last week a few times but did not make it to the gym. I'm so over due! My body is screaming, "Exercise!" I've been watching the tennis U.S. Open and Football, and that doesn't help my sedentariness. ;)

Note to self: Don't forget the bike seat.


Saturday, September 03, 2005


College football premier day! Yay! We watched Ohio State until they switched over to Oklahoma and TCU. We were winning so they took us off. To which I say, "Rotten, son of a, sassin' frassin' ..."

Get this. I'm watching the game and think, "Oh, I'll go put on my authentic, fake OSU football jersey." Joel got one for me for Christmas last year. . . thanks, bro.

I come running back out, my big number 47 on and look at the play on the tv and a defensive lineman for Ohio State is rushing the Miami (Ohio) quaterback. Saks the guy. And guess what, he's number 47 and his name is Hawk!

We laughed and cheered. Hawk was Tony's nickname all through high school and college. So many people pronounce Hauck as Hawk.

Isn't that like, so, cool! God knows I like little signs to tell me the Buckeyes are going to win.

Ah, the sweet season of football. :)

Friday, September 02, 2005

Friday Afternoon

It's thundering and raining. Mom and Grandma just arrived and are napping. I wanted to nap, too, but got to doing email and blogging.

I first blogged about Katrina, but decided to delete it. My heart is so grieved over the devastation, but more over the news reporting, the politicking, the accusing and the lawlessness. New Orleans is supposed to be a "great city." But just like with people, the character of a city is revealed in times of crisis. We can now see the character of that city.

We as a nation need to repent and beg God for mercy. Pray for the city and people of New Orleans and of all the Gulf Coast states effected by this storm. Having been through four hurricanes in the past ten years, I know a little of what they are going through.

Tonight Mom, Grandma and I are going out to eat. Tony will go to Fire Dweller. We will have a relaxing weekend, I'm sure. Then Monday, back to the grind of writing! Starting a new book. Tony will read Hurricane Allie for me tomorrow and offer suggestions. Then, that story will be done.

Can you believe a week from Sunday I leave for Nashville and the fourth annual American Christian Fiction Writer's Conference. Wow! I'm so excited. Mostly to see everyone, and of course, to take Brandilyn's continuing session and other workshops. I'm actually going to attend classes this year!

I took a bike ride this morning and when I came home, two big dogs were laying inside my garage; a boxer and a German shepherd. "Well, hello," I said. I hoped they were friendly.

Jack and Pal were in the yard by the side of the garage going berserk! I gave the visitors water and some food, and called Animal Control. Since they had tags, I called the owner and told him the "boys" had escaped.

He didn't live far from me, so I walked them home. So, that was a funny little adventure.

Well, tis all for now. Peace out!