Sunday, August 28, 2011


I love giving. It's such an amazing gift to humanity. A picture of God's generous heart.

Nothing is gained by being stingy, clinging to our hearts, our money, our "stuff."

Yea, I like my stuff. I like things. But I've found such a freedom and joy in giving.

Especially giving of words. Encouraging others, praising others, esteeming others higher than myself. (A work still in progress.)

So, as we go into fall, approaching the busy season of school, holidays, Christmas, I want to encourage giving.

I've got 3 copies of Dining with Joy to give away. And two audios of The Sweet By and By!

Leave a comment telling me some "giving" you plan to do or have recently done. I'll draw a winner next week!

Happy giving!

Friday, August 26, 2011

More than a 1000 Words

If I could write the emotion this picture displays... Dog mourns the death of his master, Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, was one of 30 Americans killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 6 when a rocket-propelled grenade took out a U.S. Chinook helicopter.

Thank you for your service and sacrifice Jon, and to your family and dog too. God is the God of ALL comfort.

United we stand, divided we fall.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Which God?

Words from my hubby:

In my last blog I discussed proof of God in general. I did not specify any God in particular. So once you’ve established the existence of God, how do you go about choosing among the many gods available? Can God even be known? The short answer is, “only if He wants to be known."

Consider that any Deity capable of creating the universe can certainly hide from us if He wants.

We can “search for God” diligently, but if He doesn’t want to be found, there is no finding him. My recommendation is that you scratch off your list any religion claiming to have found the way to God. If God can only be known if He wants to be, it makes more sense to look for where God has revealed Himself to man.

Take Jesus for example. He claimed to be God come to earth, backed it up with convincing Godlike character and miracles, even had men write down things about His life ahead of time so we’d know it was Him.

Then He correctly identified that there was no way for us to reach God, explained how God would make a way from His end, and demonstrated unearthly love by suffering to become that way.

Finally, rising from the dead and ascending into heaven other religious figure even comes close to the Incomparable One. I guess the choice isn’t that difficult after all.


Rachel here: I love this. Yes, some claim there are many gods and they must be known by their character. I heard a Muslim man quoted as saying America is Muslim because we have "In God We Trust" on our money. Allah, in his definition, is God.

For a moment, I pondered. "Okay, Allah is God. In Spanish God is called Dios. In Arabic or Islam, God is called Allah."

But it didn't sit right with me. Jehovah God we meet in the Old Testament is plural. He's the Father, the Spirit. The Son. The God we meet in the New Testament is clearly plural.

Allah, in Islam, is one. In fact, around their temple in Jerusalem the stone is inscribed with, "God is one. He has no son."

So Allah is not the "In God We Trust" on our money because American's founders believed in the triune God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They believe in the Father, the Son and the Spirit.

It's important to know what we believe and why. God is willing and able to reveal Himself to all who ask.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Used To Take A Lot of Pictures

I used to take pictures. Back in the day when we used film and had to wait a week for a roll to be developed.

I started out with in junior high with an Instamatic camera. My grandfather and my great uncle were great photographers.

Then I graduated to a Canon SLR. Finally to a Nikon with a bunch of fancy lenses. In fact, my final quarter at Ohio State sealing up my journalism degree wasn't writing a ground breaking story, but taking pictures. The Lantern advisor gave me an A-. Not a common grade from him. He gave me a C when I was on the copy desk. (snort!)

Sidebar: The Lantern advisor used to collect bad headlines and cutlines to use in class. "Here's what NOT to do."

Well... Winter Quarter of '85 I was a copy editor on the paper. One night the Editor handed me a photo. "Write a cutline for this." He explained what was going on in the photo ending with, "Write Pope releases pigeons of peace or something like that..."

So, it was late. I was ready to go home. And I wrote, "Pope Releases Pigeons of Peace." End of story.

But two quarters later when I'm a photographer on the paper for the summer, our newspaper advisor popped that baby up on the slide saying, "Pope releases doves of peace, not pigeons."

It was hard not to laugh out loud. I leaned to my friend and whispered, "I wrote that!" Oh man, she nearly spewed.

We laughed a lot that summer.

AND, now this is really weird. Seven years later I go to Israel with a team of people from around the world. There was this zany and fun Australian woman who kept us all entertained. One day we were at the Wailing Wall and she said, "Look at the pigeons of peace."

I told my roommates my own pigeon story and tied it with Barbara's and we laughed so hard we couldn't breathe. I must say I felt justified about my cutline! I KNEW they were pigeons of peace!

End sidebar

Taking pictures was synonymous with writing. I wrote and snapped photos. But I have photo albums I never pull out. I go to my old diaries more.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped taking pictures. Maybe it's because I ceased to be photogenic. I had a picture of me on a shelf at one of my "pre married" apartments. A friend came over and said, "Who is that?" Emphasis on "who" and more emphasis on "that." I wasn't at all insulted he didn't recognize me. Or that he looked kind of like "Really?" when I told him it was me. Jaw dropping astonishment is always a compliment, right ladies?

Maybe I stopped taking pictures because I stopped putting the photos in albums. I traveled a lot in the first years of my corporate job. I took a lot of pictures. I have a lot of photos in albums. Even more in boxes. Please, no scrap booking recommendations. I've seen that chore. Ain't happening.

I have an iPhone. The "new" Instamatic. I can take pictures anytime. Hubby and I just had three series of house guests. I took not one picture. What's up with that? I thought I should snap one or two. But I never did.

I've made the case to my hubby that I need a new digital SLR. The kind that cost hundreds of dollars. But I'm starting to wonder if I can justify the cost. Anyone have a camera I can buy cheap just to see?

Maybe I don't take pictures any more because I don't like the quality of pictures I get on my "instamatic." Just point and shoot.

I like pictures. They say a thousand words. I love old pictures of my family. But I'm just out of the picture taking mode. I'm less sentimental than I used to be. Could that be part of the reason?

But writing... Oh, such a different story. That expression never left my fascination. It's changed. I don't keep private diaries any longer. I have a book for prayers, dreams, insight from Scripture, but not, "Dear Diary, today I went shopping and...."

I blog. That's what y'all get to read. (Ooo, shouts of joy!) But public blogging had it's limits. And aren't we glad? (snort!)

I used to take a lot of pictures. But now, I form the images in my heart with words. Inadequately. But pictures none the less.

What about you? Do you take pictures? Do you break out old photo albums? Talk to me...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The House is Quiet

It's been busy at the Hauck House. Fun. First Carrie, then Cassie and Sarah, dessert with friends two nights running, good news, sad news, life.

Pause. Before you read farther. I'm in a contemplative mood.

But I won't write what I feel because feelings are not truth. Not always. Having an intuitive nature, I've had to learn to tell the difference between what the Spirit is telling me and what my soul is sensing.

Yeah, the Spirit always wins. Better to listen to Him than me.

I'm pretty okay, more than okay about not having had children. Peace and grace abound. But as I checked family Facebook pages and saw the kid pictures and back to school shout outs, I "felt" it a little bit.

No children. A very permanent state. Nothing to change it.

So, I went to my comfort. He said, "But you can hang out with Me all day. And write."

I wish my human heart could grasp the reality of the living Lord inviting me to hang out with Him all day. To be a place where He can rest. Share His heart as He chooses.

But it's not about busyness, is it? Children or not, we are to be His resting place. Jesus didn't scold Martha for being busy, for not sitting at His feet, He scolded her for being worried, fretting, accusing her sister. Complaining.

It's not externals He's after. It's the internal. The place of belief and rest. Faith.

It has to be enough to sit on the back row with Him and watch the world, resting, being, not letting my heart growing weary or hard.

I love this: Acts 13:52 "... and the disciples were continually filled with joy and the Holy Spirit."

Am I? Are you? JOY! It's the word of the year. The decade. The Lord's joy is my strength.

What's next? I don't know? I have no expectations except He is good. He is faithful.

Hey, what's the line between living a life of a bond-servant, seeking the Lord for direction yet moving forward, doing what we think is right? Taking a leap of faith? Some are praying, waiting and never moving. They feel let down.

Others move forward and succeed.

What's the balance? How do gifting and calling weigh in?

Don't want to waste time, gifting or calling. Don't want to sit idly. Don't want to work in my own strength.


"Here I am, Lord."

The House is Quiet.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Forsaken by Leanna Ellis

Hannah Schmidt,a young Amish woman mourning the mysterious death of her beloved Jacob, must decide between two brothers, between good and evil.

When she learns her first love isnow the vampire Akiva, she must forsake him and cling to a new love, a lastinglove, one that will save her soul.

Amish and vampires? Really? Yes, really. I’m asked a lot how this book came into being.

Forsaken actually began as a joke. I was at a book signing and another author and I made a joke about we should write an Amish/vampire story because those were the two genres that were selling so well.

Well, it really was a joke. I didn’t rush home and start writing the book. But I suppose some seed was planted in my warped little brain and took root. Soon a character was speaking to me abouther story and wanting me to write it. I resisted. But there was a very intriguing element that I couldn’t seem to ignore. To me, this was a Phantom ofthe Opera type story, with a love triangle, and a clear dividing line between good and evil.

So I wrote the prologue and first chapter. Then I set it aside because I was busy meeting other deadlines. Besides what was I to do with an Amish/vampire story? I mentioned it eventually to a couple of writer friends.They laughed but in a good way and encouraged me to write it.

Well, I wasn’t sosure although I was becoming obsessed with the story. I spent a lot of time inprayer over this book, because I don’t want to write something that God doesn’twant me to write. Also, I knew I’d have to leave the Christian market and sellit in the secular market. I wasn’t about to make that move without God’s clear direction. And he began to show me in more ways than one that this was the book He wanted me to write.

More than a year passed, and I was at a writer’s conference minding my own business and not pursuing this story at all. An editor said the perfect submission would be…you guessed it! An Amish/vampire story. So I made an appointment to meet that editor and just talk about the idea.

It almost felt like when an addict first admits she has a problem. I felt like I was teetering on the edge when I said, “I’m a writer and I’ve written an Amish/vampire story.” Well, she requested it. What I love about this story is that it shows the battle of good and evil.

Evil doesn’t always appear with pitchfork and horns. Quite often, evil is appealing and attractive and hooks usin before we realize what has happened. Such is the case with my heroine Hannah. She simply loved a boy. But she opens her heart and her mind too easily and the consequences could be devastating. Even though this story is published in the secular world, it has a powerful spiritual message, a message the world needs to hear.

Read more and an excerpt here.

Order the book from Amazon.

Note: I was with Leanna at the conference where she pitched the idea to an editor. It's fun to see the story come to fruition! Way to go,Le!