Monday, June 29, 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society

Tsvinussbaum2 I didn't think I'd like this book. It's written in letter form from an author to her editor and friends.

But I would've missed a touching, heart felt story told by characters that could've been my friends. Or relatives.

Set in early '46, right after the war, author Juliet begins corresponding with the residents of Guernsey, (yes, where the cow comes from ;) about their Occupation by the Germans during the war.

Can you imagine? Your town isolated and about to be invaded by an occupying force? Your children had been evacuated for safety. But who knew if the families taking them in would be kind? Or if the town where they lived might not be bombed by the enemy?

Most of the men had gone to war. So the island was left to women and older men, or boys too young to enlist. I can't imagine.

The invading Germans took the best homes, even blew up one that was in the way of the guns. They took the food. The took the women if they could.

Those opposing the rules or harboring a pig to kill later for food, were sent to the Commandant. Many were sent to prison, or the camps. (Yeah, the ones what's-his-name says never happened.)

In the story, one character went to Belsen where he was made to live in hideous, starving conditions, digging ditches for all the thousands of dead. The Russians were coming from the East and the Allies from the West. The Germans poured petrol on the bodies and torched them.

The above picture is of a nine-year-old boy who was arrested by the Germans in Warsaw. He survived Belsen by God's grace.

What I love about this book is the writing, the humor, and the story of a brave, strong people on an English Channel Island who survived five years of enemy occupation.

As we head toward America's birthday of Independence, let's remember we are the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Lately, we act more like the Land of the Whiny and Home of the Fearful.

If you want happiness, don't wait for the Government. The more control we surrender to them, the more Freedom we lose. Pursue your OWN happiness. So far, there's not many things to stop you. Only your own weaknesses and laziness.

As far as I'm concerned, we can never talk about the atrocities of WW2 enough. Please, more stories about the death camps and what the Germans did to weaker men, women and children.

Please more books about what a unchecked government can do. Please more books about what can happen to a nation when good men and woman do nothing!

The answer is not in what Washington can do, but what WE can do!

Happy 4th!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Never A Bride Blog Tour

Never the BrideHey, I'm honored to have this book on my blog. I'm a few days late, Sorry! But I love Rene Gutteridge and her stories, and am excited to meet Chery McKay. I've read the beginning of the book and love it. It's a great summer read.

Here's a blurb: When God becomes a live-in-the-flesh part of Jessie Stone’s life, Jessie is skeptical. After all, most men wind up disappointing her. Could God really have a better love story in mind? A romantic comedy with a spiritual twist, Never the Bride is about losing control and getting more than any woman could ever imagine.

Jessie has spent thirty-five years fantasizing about marriage proposals, wedding dresses, and falling in love. She’s been a bridesmaid eleven times, waved dozens of couples off to sunny honeymoons, and shopped in more department stores for half-price fondue pots than she cares to remember.

But shopping in the love-of-her-life department hasn't been quite as productive. The man she thought she would marry cheated on her. The crush she has on her best friend Blake is at very best. . .well, crushing. And speed dating has only churned out memorable horror stories.

So when God shows up one day, in the flesh, and becomes a walking, talking part of her life, Jessie is skeptical. What will it take to convince her that God has a better love story than one of the thousands she’s cooked up in her journals? Will she trust Him with her pen when it appears her dreams of being the bride are forever lost?

A romantic comedy with a spiritual twist, Never the Bride is what it means to lose control—and getting more than any woman could ever imagine.

Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge’s awesome creative chemistry has already impressed fans of The Ultimate Gift—the two co-authored the novelization of the film. You won’t want to miss this duo’s latest collaboration!

Cheryl McKay is the co-author (with Frank Peretti) of the Wild and Wacky, Totally True Bible Stories series, which has sold nearly 200,000 copies, and the screenwriter of the award-winning film The Ultimate Gift.

Rene Gutteridge has published thirteen novels including Ghost Writer, My Life as a Doormat, the Boo Series, the Occupational Hazards Series, and the Storm Series. Together, McKay and Gutteridge are the authors of The Ultimate Gift, a novelization based on the feature film and popular book by the same title.

Monday, June 22, 2009

God provides

I came across this verse last week in 2 Corinthians 8.

"As it is written, "He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gather little had no lack."

I love the picture of this verse. God provides all our needs. Even a few of our wants, but if we are living a Sermon on the Mount lifestyle, we will have neither too much nor too little.

It's hard to fathom too much, isn't it. But I think one can have too much. King Solomon had MUCH and in the end he claimed he was empty, and all he had was vanity.

I believe everyone's right to pursue as much as they want. I'm against redistribution of wealth by government agencies, but I certainly admonish those who have abundance to give. That's what Paul is telling the Church in Corinth. Give so none have need.

Giving cannot be legislated. It will cause envy and strife, and in the end never fixes the problems the government thinks they are fixing. The rich will just find other avenues for hteir money, and the poor will be even more so.

God is a giver. He loves giving and He loves givers. Luke 6:38 says, "Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure--
pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."

In these economic times, trust God to provide all of your needs.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Comforted by God and One Another

I love the Word. It's so rich, deep, powerful. In the mid-'80s to early '90s, I struggled with fear and anxiety, and my prescription was meditating, ingesting, believing God's Word.

I read, "I do not have a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind," and believed it! I quoted it in the hard, heart-pounding moments, and was comforted.

I also surrounded myself with like-minded Believers. They stood with me and prayed for me. Soaking prayer was also a huge part of my deliverance. For a year and a half I attended a 6:00 a.m. prayer meeting with a handful of others, once in awhile, I'd be the only visible person in the sanctuary, and there Jesus wooed my heart.

The other day I came across this verse and it so touched me: 2 Corinthians 7:6-7

"But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus; and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you..."

So clearly God comforts us, sometimes supernaturally, but often by the fellowship of the saints. If you're struggling, join with the Body of Christ. Find true Believers who will pray with you, agree with you for the "peace of Jesus to guard your heart and mind."

Don't give up on his plan and destiny for you. I'm so glad I never caved on my belief that God's Word worked and would set me free. I'm living proof. He is who He says He is. Was it always easy. No way. I had to struggle and push through. But the more I gained victory, the more I gained strength in my faith. My mind and emotions were renewed and transformed.

Fight the good fight, run with endurance. Speak who He says you are, despite your feelings and emotions. His joy is your strength!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Great letter from a fellow American

I read her letter, coupled with my own thoughts and realized, we are no longer being governed by our elected officials, but by special interests: ACORN, the EPA, the AMA, the Feds, Frannie and Freddy, Unions, Labor, etc. All of our rights are being determined or threatened by an elite few.

Speak up, America.

Here's the post from a woman in Arizona.

I'm a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me.

Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are.

Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you're willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?

Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:

One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I'm not a racist. This isn't to be confused with legal immigration.

Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.

Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.

Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.

Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don't you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!

Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don't you start there.

Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.

Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why ‑‑ what do you have against shareholders making a profit?

Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.

Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we'll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band‑Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.

Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try ‑‑ please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.

Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.

Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let's just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person.

I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I'm busy. I'm busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course.

Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance.

Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. (Mine, too!) I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making.

We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington. Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we're morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented.

You think we're so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far.

Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations.

We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn't ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when hewill rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don't care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now.

We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear?

We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent?

Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A weekend in Nashville

The weekend in Nashville was fun. What a great city -- big and exciting but with small town warmth.

Country music fans are some of the nicest music fans in the world. As they waited in the hot sun to be let into Rocketown for Sara's Fan Party, they said nothing when VIP guest went in ahead of them. Same with Josh Turner's fans. They were even helpful. So, big shout out to country fans!

Sara's fan party was energetic and packed. About half way in, she introduced the book and called me up on stage. We plugged the book and I said what a great team we made. She was so easy to work with -- we had a lot of similar ideas.

Cool for me, too, was meeting a couple of players on the University of Alabama's softball team. I'd just been watching them on TV a few weekends ago. I was and am a fan! I got a picture with them, and gave them an Advance Reader Copy of The Sweet By and By.

Saturday I attended Josh Turner's Fan Party. I'm "new" to him, but have come to love his music. He was so casual and fun at the party. Good banter.

I had to leave before I could meet him, but I wanted to get to the airport on time or Budget would charge me for another day of car rental. And don't get me started on the fiasco for the weekend. Yikes!

Listen, go over to Sara's site and sign up for a chance to win a trip to Nashville for the launch party. Also, check out Country Weekly in the next few weeks. Their photographer was there and got a picture of me with Sara!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sara Evans Fan Party

Good news! I'm heading to Nashville tomorrow for Sara Evan's Fan Party on the 12th. She introducing the book to her fans this weekend.

I'll be in touch via Twitter and Facebook. Looking forward to sharing more news with y'all!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Learning about prayer at my Mama's knees

When I was a little girl, my father smoked. In fact, one of my first memories of him was listening to Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass, playing on the front porch while he smoked a cigar.

He had a three packs a day habit. In the early '60s, a lot of people smoked. My paternal grandmother smoked. My uncles and aunts. To this day, I love the smell of a lit cigarette.

My older brother and I would ride with Dad to the drug store -- he in his stocking feet -- and run inside for a pack. Can you see it? A five or four year old going up to the counter with a dollar and asking for a pack of Camels?

I'm not sure how my Mom came to this notion, but she started to pray for my dad to quit smoking. I'm not sure if he wanted to or if she thought he should. She didn't nag him. My brothers and I were not subject to big fights over cigarettes.

Every day she had my older brother and then younger brother (there were only 3 kids then) pray for Dad to quit smoking.

"Let's ask Jesus to help Daddy give up cigarettes."

So we did.

One day my dad opened a new pack of cigarettes, lit up, but spit it out. It tasted bitter. He tried a different cigarette. Then a different pack of cigarettes. All bitter. The taste and desire to smoke was gone.

For the rest of his life, Dad never smoked again. He didn't even have a craving.

What an impression to leave on a young girl's heart. My mom demonstrated faith and holiness, and the heart of Jesus, by teaching us to pray.

I wish I still had the faith of my four-year-old self.

Thanks, Mom. What a terrific inheritance.