Monday, January 30, 2006
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Sunday, January 22, 2006
He stumbled under the weight of the thick splintered cross. Wind tunneled down the narrow street, billowing his blood soaked robe. Flesh hung and she could see the jagged edges of his skin and muscle. She could see through to the bone. Bile rose in her throat and tears streamed down her face without restraint. What had they done to him? Why?
The man she loved, whose feet she washed with her tears. They tried him as a common criminal. Battered and humiliated him beyond belief. For what? For loving them? For healing them?
The jeering and mocking of the crowd pounded in her head like the wild beating of drums and she wanted to scream. "Stop! Leave him alone!"
Isn't that how he defended her the night she washed his feet with her perfume? "Leave her alone," he commanded Judas and the others. "She's done this for my burial."
She knew then of his complete acceptance, his unending love. His eyes never left her face. No man ever looked at her the way he did. Pure. Without demand. Without lust. Now, oh now. She dared to look at him again. He'd fallen and his blood stained the cobblestones.
"Get up!" The soldier demanded, kicking his ribs.
Pain gripped his battered face. He tried to rise, but the cross tipped off his shoulder and he stumbled again.
Help him. Help him.
Then, there, his hand, reaching out to her. His eyes were swollen closed, but his hand, trembling, red and dripping, reaching. To her? His friend. My friend.
"You! Carry the cross." The soldier jerked a man from the crowd. He tripped and fell before him, but with such care, took up his cross. Blood fell on the man's clothes, his hands and feet.
She followed the procession to the hill. Sobbing, uncontrollable, helpless to stop them as they nailed his hands, his feet to the splintered tree. He flinched with each blow of the hammer, but not once, not once did he cry out.
Willing he went, she now knew. But why? He's innocent. So beautiful.
She stood at the foot of his cross, and with one last breath, he gazed down at her. There were others, crowding around, but she felt as if he saw her alone.
He struggled to see as the blood from the thorns seeping down. She dared, reaching up to touch his battered, pierced foot. He sighed when she touched him.
Any other time, any other man, she would not have recognized him. But there, in his eyes, she saw her true love. His lips parted. A smile. Did he smile? In the midst of such suffering, did he smile? At me?
Then she understood, with every part of her being, the purpose of this Man. More than the night she wiped his feet with her hair. More than when she looked at his face and he silenced her accusers. His purpose is complete and utter love, without condition.
Nothing could separate them now. Not even death.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
He said, "You got me hooked." And this from a sci fi reader. He's doing a great job of recognizing things the are inconsistant with Robin Rae McAfee's character. He's also recognizing when a scene doesn't end right or needs more punch. There's only been a few, but I'm glad he's cathcing those things. He's learning.
February is focus month. I have a to-do list.
Pray. Fast. Clean closets. Come up with next book idea. Visit friends. Work out. Of course, I'll have to time that with fasting, but I can do it. I'm looking forward to it.
I really like Lost In NashVegas. It's shaping up. I also did the line edits for Georgia On Her Mind last week and am really digging that book, still. Can you believe I started it two years ago!
Fire Dweller was awesome last night. We had 50 people. Javi lead worship and blew it up, of course. We had consistant prayers, too, and Javi and I go into some good antiphonal singing.
Just a continued seriousness in our hearts. I see Joshua 24:15 rising. "Choose this day whom you will serve."
The fence is going away. You will either be wholehearted for or so offended you'll be against.
Oh, one of my girls wrote an awesome blog! Check it out. http://cassiecampbell.blogspot.com.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Isn't it amazing the power of music to transport our emotions to a different time, a different place?
The song, which I can't remember now, stirred my heart to remember my teenage years in Tallahassee. We had a lot of fun, working, going to school, rollerskating.
I think, "Dad was alive then." All my memories are sorta tainted now with his death. Mom is planning to sell the house this year and move to Versailles, Indiana with Grandma.
When she does, life in Tallahassee will end forever. There will be little reason to go there. Unfortunately, I've lost touch with many of my friends. It is the way of life, I suppose.
But, I'm excited for the future. I don't know if you all can feel it, but God is up to something huge.
A friend of mine had a dream about God opening up doors of evanglism (it was an incredible dream) but I don't have permission to share it here. But, I'll tell you, the dream indicates change in the earth of Biblical proportions. His wife was telling me the dream and though the details seemed simple, I said, "Oh wow, this is what we've been reading about in scripture for 2000 years." We both got chills.
Anyway, after that I cried and cried cause my friends will also be moving as part of what God is doing in their lives. She was my first "daughter" and I'll miss her.
But people, get ready, Jesus is coming. Forget what lies behind, press forward to what lies ahead. It's the upward call of God in Christ.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
I don't know what kind of whacky diet they're trying to pass on the American public, but hey, I bought a box. Stay tuned...
Tony filled in at the Vineyard this morning for Jim Bartholomew. We always like going up there. A great church.
Came home, watched the Steelers beat the Colts, then met the Fire Dweller leaders for dinner at.... (drum roll) Carrabbas. I've eaten there five times in the last three months. I'm SO over it. But, I loved the company. We had a great time with Javi and Brenda, Don and Wendy. Missed you Matt and Dee.
Friday night I met with Lynn Evans for new photos. She did a great job. I don't have the pictures yet, but we previewed them on her 8 megapixel SLR, and there were some really nice ones. She's great at posing and capturing the essence of her subject.
Writing is going well. I want to make some subtle changes and add some layers, but the time is winding down and I'm very, very tight on getting it critiqued. I wish I could write differently so that I had time for critiquers, but I don't.
I figured out I write like I think. Oh, duh, Rachel. Here's what I mean. I may be in a conversation or meeting, and after the fact, I go away thinking and then come up with a great solution, reply or answer. I do the same with writing. I write a scene or dialog and then later while exercising or taking a bath or cleaning, I'll come up with elements to enhance the scene. So, it takes me awhile to get a manuscript ready for critique.
So, all is well. It's cold tonight but we got home too late to worry with building a fire.
I'm reading Tracey Bateman's "Color Of The Soul." Very awesome!
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Do you find yourself walking in agreement with lies, negativity, self-pity, fear, depression? So much of our emotional battle on a day to day basis is our flesh and being in a world where the prince of the air, the devil, lies about us day and night. His lies are every where and so easy to agree with.
Me, last night: No one likes me. My writing career is over. Surely I've offended too many people. Every one is ignoring me. I email people, they don't email me back.
Blah, blah. Oh, such a sad, sad song. It was so bad I went to Tony after the first worship set and said, "Dude, I feel like I'm going to freak out." I felt condemnation like chains.
He prayed for me and I felt better. Then when I came home, I said, that's it. "GET OFF!" Did some warfare and felt a whole lot better.
We forget our war is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities of darkness in heavenly places. Read Ephesians 6.
Wage war. Do not agree with the lies of the enemy, even if you physically feel sick or panicked, fight the good fight.
I remember one time, years ago, I stood in the back of the sanctuary and oh, self pity was standing there with me, yaking in my ear. I nodded my head in agreement, my heart awakening to the sorrow of my plight. Which was, what, I don't know. Nothing. I have no real plight.
So, in walked one of our twenty-something young ladies, a single mom, really hard family life. She'd made some really bad decisions and was struggling. While I can't compare myself, I knew in that instant I would never want to trade places with this young woman (which Jesus did, btw) and I told self-pity to take a hike. "The Lord rebuke you."
I had to work at it for a few minutes, but I physically felt different when it finally left.
Who are you agreeing with, what voices real or imagined? If you are not agreeing with the Word of God, you're agreeing with you soul or the devil. Agree with God. He sent Jesus to pay an enormously huge, costly, expensive price for you. You're an heir. A princess, a prince, a ruler in your Father's house. And there's so much more where that came from. We're seeing the tip of the iceberg.
You know what? There's a tip to God's iceberg, and to the devil's. One lifts you up and gives life. That other, slowly kills you emotionally, spiritually and physically.
Choose this day whom you will serve.
Go out in joy! Be lead with Peace!
Congratulations to Margo for winning Mary's book, Made Of Honor!!!
Monday, January 09, 2006
Saturday, January 07, 2006
She's the person at the family gatherings who is always either telling a story or listening to one! Before realizing she was a writer, life was a bit confusing. She tried everything from secretary to math tutor (that actually worked out pretty well). These days it's family, friends and church activities that keep Mary busy when she's not writing. And blogging.
Keep reading and find out more about Mary's book, Made of Honor. Sign my guest book for a drawing for a free book!
RH: Tell us about your current book?
MG: Dana Rose pledges to say "I won't" the next time she's asked to be in a wedding. Her weak will has turned her closet into cemetery for satin gowns from periwinkle to Pepto pink. After ten stints as bridesmaid, Dana thinks she's seen it all. Then she's fired, forced to turn her hobby into a business and faced with her prodigal brother, back-stabbing sis and Mr. Practically Perfect, the ex who not only married someone else, but opened the business of her dreams—across the street. There's that Maid of Honor thing too… And this time she can't say no. Will wedding #11 show Dana what's she's really made of?
RH: What inspired this story?
MG: I used to own a seasonal bath and body business. Steeple Hill rejected my first manuscript but they liked my voice. They asked my agent about me doing a chick lit. I didn't know what that was exactly, but the prospect of writing in first person sounded interesting, so I tried it and loved it. I also have had a lot of wonderful single friends over the years.
RH: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
MG: I'd love for readers of MADE OF HONOR to come away from the book knowing that they are fearfully and wonderfully made and that God delights in them and loves them in an intimate way, despite whatever mess riddles their pasts. Christ stands waiting to embrace them as His bride.
RH: How do you balance writing with your "every day life?"
MG: I don't. LOL Really. I've long since given God that job. He called me to be a wife and mother and a writer. Sometimes (like a deadline week) that doesn't always look like I think it should, but God graced me with the family I was supposed to have. I try to keep the Word first place and keep the lines of communication open so that when things get off balance (too much work, not enough work) we can talk about it. When I try to stop writing to be Super Mom, my kids are like,"Go write something. You're cranky!"
RH: As a Christian Fiction Writer , what is the spiritual truth your book carries thematically?
MG: MADE OF HONOR is about seeing what you're really made of and knowing that God loves you anyway. This book is about a woman discovering that everyone, including herself, isn't quite what she thought and realizing that God still loves them all. Dana knows how to love, but she has to learn how to let her self be loved...both by God and the other people in her life.
RH: If someone said, "What blurb could I put on a t-shirt that would encapsulate the feel and tone and plot of your novel?"--how would you respond?
MG: MADE OF HONOR--Girlfriends, God and all the giggles in between!
RH: What is the one, all-encompassing, totally-vindicated secret of good writing that you made sure to employ in writing MADE OF HONOR?
MG: Secret? I don't know any. When you discover one let me know! LOL I just fell in love with the characters and tried to fall deeper in love with Jesus. Somewhere along the way, we got a book.
RH: Who are your three favorite writers, and will you be sending them copies of MADE OF HONOR?
MG: Well, many of those folks are dead and probably wouldn't have been interested, but there are many writers who I respect who endorsed the book like Sharon Ewell Foster, Lisa Samson and Kristin Billerbeck.
RH: How can readers learn more about your books and get in contact with you?
Add a comment to win a free Made of Honor. All the names will be put in a hat and drawn for the winner.
Friday, January 06, 2006
Second, fun day. It's absolutely beautiful here. Sixty-one degrees on a windy, blue sky, sunny day. I met with my old Harris co-workers (they are now MediaSpan Software) because Richard is retiring - again. He retired from Harris four or five years ago, missed us and came back.
I first met Richard in '87 or '88 at a Connecticut newpaper. He was the calm, cool, production manager, I was the beautiful and gracious classified system installer and trainer who had no clue what she was doing. Just kidding. I knew what I was doing. Right, Teresa? Anway, Richard was then and is now one of the kindest men I've ever known. God's speed, Richard.
During lunch I caught up on all the news with Chuck, Dave, Hyer, Jim, Steve, et al. I didn't get to talk to Juli or Darryl or Jo or Ralph, Steve, Roy, Nancy, Kathy and Ann, but it was wonderful to see them. Of all the things I could say about Harris Publishing, this will always be true, my co-workers were the best. I miss them still.
Went shopping after that for a leather jacket, but only went to Macy's and they didn't have anything. Came home. Took a nap.
I didn't get any editing done, but I worked so long yesterday I needed a think day. Will work tomorrow.
I've been listening to Mike Bickle's series on the forerunner and the fasted lifestyle. Fasting of our time, food and money. He talks about how disruptive it is to give ourselves to God in a radical way. We are living in a prophetic time, we are a prophetic generation, many believe the generation before the Lord's return, and there is a call to radical, extravagant devotion to Jesus.
If we say Yes, we are blessed in the deeper things of God during this life and the one to come. If we say No and lock ourselves behind our safe religious traditions, we risk our hearts growing cold to the deeper things of God. We don't separate ourselves from His love, but we close the door to a greater awakening and walking in deeper revelation. Don't know about you guys, but I want a deeper revelation. The same ole same ole doesn't work any more.
But the radical, fasted lifestyle messes with our worlds. It's disruptive. It means eating less, spending less, sleeping less so we can get up or stay up for prayer. Worse, our pursuit disrupts the lives of those around us - our friends and familes.
"What are you doing? Giving thirty percent. You're being religious." Or "You're fasting? But this is a party." Or, "We don't need to sit around praying, we need to get out there and do something."
That last one's my favorite. One, I've never been in a crowded prayer meeting, have you? Well, not unless I'm at a conference.
In Matthew 11:19, Jesus is preaching and reminding the people the religious leaders said John the Baptist had a demon, and they accused Jesus of being a glutton and drunkard. Bible believing, Bible preaching people are going to be offended at the radical lifestyle and they are going to call us crazy, demonized, drunkards and all sorts of things. Our reputations will be ruin, perhaps.
Jesus tells us we will be reviled because He was reviled. But, we will have what can't be taken a way - a knowledge of the Beautiful man. An experience in the pleasures of God, IN THIS LIFE. And I believe, walking in divine power and authority.
I've concluded: Prayer is a must. Not bless Aunt Betty prayers, thought Lord, please bless Aunt Betty, but intercession. We cannot go on without it. We must pray the Word, believe the Word. We must dialog with God using His own words. It deepens our own understanding, our own revelation.
Giving, praying, fasting unlocks our hearts! Even our smallest effort. The writer of Hebrews understood this and challenges us. "Oh my stars, you guys still want milk? You could be eating steak by now. (Rachel Hauck translation.)
Are you struggling in your finances? GIVE! Are you succumbing to the same old sin over and over? FAST! Are you board with church and the current state of "her" affairs? PRAY!
Lookit, I'm on a journey to make this real in my heart and mind. I've made small steps. But I'm not looking to write a blog like this when I'm fifty. I want to be like Anna. And when I'm eighty, I want to walk with a renewed mind and heart under the anointing of the Holy Ghost living a life hidden in Jesus.
But see, that's another thing. This life is hidden. People may never, ever know how much you pray, give or fast. People may never recognize what a great writer I am (wink) but I have to settle in my heart I'm writing for an audience of one. It is my reasonable and exceptable service.
So, there's my eclectic blog. Peace out.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
The quarterback for USC, Matt Leinart, said, "I still think we're a better football team, they just made the plays in the end."
Isn't that what makes a better football team? They make the plays in the end? And I do mean end. Texas was loosing by two touch downs with 6 minutes left in the game. And until the last 2 minutes, USC scored every possession.
So, what's the lesson? NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP!
I actually have so many thoughts about writing, friends and being violent about the things that steal my affection from Jesus I can't actually put them in cohesive words. Some, I can't post here 'cause it's personal, but if you find one of my other blogs, you might find it there. Haha.
I think I'm in a place where the Lord is weaning me off people for some things and drawing me closer to Him. After all, I've only been praying to be more abandoned and whole hearted for about five years now.
Well, I'm on a tight deadline this month. So, better get to writing. I think I have a Fire Dweller leadership meeting this afternoon and I'd really like to go to Spinning, but I don't think I'll have time. This month is about deadlines, deadlines, deadlines.
I lead worship last night, and will again on Friday, Sunday and next Wed. Man, the band sounded awesome last night! We did Misty Edward's new song, Favorite One. It was awesome, but it's a soaker song. We had to sing it through a dozen times before this deep anointing came.
Okay, to work.
Monday, January 02, 2006
Yesterday was fun... sorta family day. We had planned lunch with a new couple in church Matthew and Elisa, and when I showed up at church, Reuben and Allison Maher were there.
So, after a hearty lunch and good fellowship with Matthew and Elisa (and me winning Apples to Apples again, thank you) we got together with the Maher's and Ramlall's. Reuben and Allison's daughter, Kaityn, turns two in a few days, so we went to dinner at Carabbas then back to Grandpa and Grandma Ramlall's for cake and balloons. Kaitlyn is very cute and very smart. We enjoyed hanging out with every one.
Today I did a few chores and edited some before the game. Working on getting Lost in Nashvegas done, done.
Also, walked and had a prayer time, read my Bible. Working on keeping up with regular times with the Lord so that my heart is awakened. I was praying and reading out of Isaiah 1. Soon I hope to get my keyboard back from Lynn Coleman so I can start singing scripture. Love to do that.