Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Resolution For 2010

I have greatly enjoyed the year of posting daily devotions on my Garment of Praise blog. I have read the Bible from cover to cover and learned a lot.

The discipline of daily writing has been good for me. Heretofore I've been a "when the muse strikes" sort of writer unless I had a specific deadline. That will be changing - has been changing.

This daily deadline has been good exercise. It forced me to do a specific thing every day. Every day! It got me in the habit of writing without self-editing at every turn, making the writing as good as possible on the first pass. It taught me to edit in a single - or maybe double - pass after the thing was written. It taught me reference and search on the fly. It was a good discipline.

The trick will be to take it to the next level.

Next year, I will be posting only weekly on Garment of Praise. I will be writing other things in those hours - and hopefully I will have a home for them.

It is still my goal to be a published author. I'm a couple of rungs further up that ladder at the moment. It may really happen - and fairly soon. We'll just have to wait and see.

Never pray for patience. The Lord simply gives you an opportunity to exercise your patience muscle.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Today is Saturday, October 17,1009. Friend-husband and I are in Branson, Missouri, attending a reunion of his army basic training unit from the Korean conflict.

It's always good to see this group. The consist of the original company was generally from Missouri, Kansas, and Minnesota. We're probably about as far west in Kansas as any of them, so we don't get to socialize much.

Visiting, catching up on events in people's lives, reminiscing, eating, laughing, and generally enjoying each other's company fill these days. We saw a show, The Hughes Brothers, and are taking the Ozark Train Ride today. But the best entertainment is just being together.

It's all about the people. God created man as a social being. Relationships are an important part of who we are. I thank Him for those people in my life whom I love, even if I rarely - or never - see them in person.

For my long-distance friends, I am grateful for email. It lets me be a part of your lives, even if we're hundreds or thousands of miles apart.

Most of the ladies in my CW40 group live in England and Canada as well as the US. CWGI has given me friends in the US, England, South Africa, and Australia. LinkedIn has connected me with people from all over the world. This electronic medium is a wonder on many levels.

May we always use it wisely.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The More Things Change

Well, it happened. My laptop, my one and only computer, died this weekend. I don't think the drive went out, but the screen went blank, then came up a lovely shade of aqua with three colored stripes running vertically, a gold one about two inches from the left and a dark blue followed closely by green about three inches from the right of the monitor.

This necessitated a fast run to Office Max to pick up a laptop on sale. This one has the added advantage of the numeric keypad to the right of the keyboard. That has always been a sore spot with me, having to use the numbers above the keyboard like on a typewriter. Does anyone remember typewriters?

Then I made a trip to WalMart to pick up a new modem. My wireless router is security enabled, but I no longer have the key, so I wouldn't have been able to connect to the internet with the new laptop. Inadvertently, however, I picked up an ethernet modem. It wasn't what I had intended because it requires that I be wired and in the office to work. However, that is a bit of enforced discipline for me. I will no longer be in the living room, subject to traffic and the TV.

Perhaps this wasn't so much an error as a coincidence. Definition: Coincidence is a small miracle where God chooses to remain anonymous, so if you don't want to see Him you don't have to. But if you are looking, there He is!

Keep looking!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A New Thing

Today I decided to test an alternate blog host.

If you're following this, you may want to check out www.ephemeracaptured.wordpress.com.

Thanks for putting up with me.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I'm preparing to attend Marlene Bagnull's Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference in August. It's an exciting prospect.

But even more exciting, I have a friend from South Africa who will be attending the Florida Christian Writers Conference in March. Since my eldest daughter lives in Orlando, and the site of the conference is less than an hour's drive from her house, I'd like to go there, too.

Anticipating is almost more fun than doing. Looking forward stirs the hope within us. Hope makes the mundane of life survivable.

There are, of course, details to be worked out. Arranging for time from work, budgeting, figuring out what one wants from the conference, all these details fuel the anticipation. And if the details cannot be worked out, at least I've had the fun of anticipating.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Sometime ago, I registered with Facebook -- and left it alone. I didn't have time to take on the learning curve and wasn't sure how I'd use it, so I just didn't do anything.

Then earlier this week, a co-worker friended me, so I had to go into it to answer her. I had forgotten my password, so I had to ask for a new one. And I acknowledged the friendship to Facebook.

Then a writing friend found me and we were off. She has shepherded me though the system, so now my blogs are also on Facebook. And I have email notification of Facebook activity in my inbox each day.

So if you're on Facebook, check me out.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Beyond Me

My friend, Kathi Macias, was interviewed on Time for Hope in connection with her book, Beyond Me: Living a You First Life in a Me First World.

You can see it here:

> http://www.timeforhope.com/player.html

I think you will find it time well spent.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy Are You

During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encouraged his listeners with what we now call The Beatitudes.
Matthew 5:10: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

You might find the juxtaposition of these two pictures informative.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Perfect Gift

I have just read a book I wish had been around when I graduated high school. Unfortunately, the author wasn't yet born. But Andy Stanley's book The Principle of the Path should be required reading for every high school senior.

That said, the book is valuable for people on every stage of life – even those of us past retirement age. As long as we are living, we are walking a path – and we can make choices yet to turn that path in a different direction.

His easy and comfortable writing style reminded me of conversation with a friend over coffee and donuts. But don't be deceived. He expounds a principle of eternal value. While his words are easy and comfortable, his thoughts are deep and worthy of extended study.

With specific examples drawn from his own experience, he illuminates the path to a successful and rewarding future. He talks about distractions, intentions, attractions and various tangents that can deter or detour our steps. And he gives us help to keep from being drawn away from our chosen path.

You can skim this book in a couple of days. You will be better advised to make it a serious study. Much of value is embedded in the simple words of truth Andy writes.

Reading this book can be an enormously productive investment of time and attention.

The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley, published by Thomas Nelson 2008.

Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Another blog I follow led me to the website of Nate Phelps. Nate is the son of the infamous Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka.

Nate delivered a speech at the national atheists convention. What disturbs me greatly is the number and tone of the comments people have left after reading this speech.

A huge number of people have been hurt and turned away from God simply because religious people misinterpreted scripture or manipulated it to suit their own ends.

My heart yearns to comfort those who have been hurt by a poisonous religious spirit. I long to introduce them to the God I know, who graciously sent his own son to pay for my offenses. I pray that the Holy Spirit may lovingly woo them to the God they never knew despite their "religious" upbringing.

How many people do we know who have been similarly wounded? How can we reach them with the light of God's love?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Not So Fleeting Thought

This has been the best weekend!

I attended a writers' mentoring retreat just outside of Kansas City, Missouri. It was a small affair, probably forty people or so.

It was not a conference packed with activities, so that you come away overwhelmed and unsure just were to start. It provided small group discussions, individual time with mentors, and most importantly, time to write and apply what you had just learned.

Special thanks go to Mark and Jeanette Littleton of the Heart of America Christian Writers' Network for all their work and a wonderful time.

A big, BIG thank you for my personal mentor, Nick Harrison, for his encouragement and advice and his servant heart.

Hugs and gratitude go to the other six members of my group, Bob and Steve, Carey, Tonya, Marilyn and Vivian, for their feedback, encouragement and prayers. While we write different genres, both fiction and non-fiction, we are all readers and the critique session provided much helpful feedback on already written portions of our work.

Most of all, I'd like to thank God for bringing us all together and knitting us as a family of writers.
What a blessing!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Pastor with GUTS!

I do not ordinarily participate in forwarded emails. I haven't the time to read and dislike the censorship choosing entails, so I simply tell people that I don't read and/or forward them.

But we have this injunction from the Lord.

2Chronicles:7:14: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Therefore, I'm posting the following:

Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people.

When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance.
We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done.
We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.


The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest.

In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India , Africa and Korea.

Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, 'The Rest of the Story,' and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.

With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called 'one nation under God.'

If possible, please pass this prayer on to your friends. 'If you don't stand for something,you will fall for everything.'

This pastor had guts!

Feel free to share with anyone you choose.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Plans and Deadlines

Work is progressing on my current work in progress, Properly CLAD: How To Wear A Garment Of Praise When Your Life Is Rags And Tatters. But it is slow and laborious.

I have a deadline of having the proposal ready and several chapters completed by April 15. I'll be attending a mentoring workshop just after the middle of April where I'll be working with a mentor to help me polish the proposal and give me feedback on the chapters.

If anyone has time for a spare prayer, I'd really appreciate your saying one for this project and for me. It is, after all, God's book, I'm just the pen.

Thanks for stopping by.

Grace and peace be with you all.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What Time?

Today is the day we leap ahead to accommodate Daylight Saving Time. I've never understood the rationale behind DST. The sun rises and sets at its appointed time whether we call it 7:00 am or 8:00 am.

My old body gets jet lag at this season. Breakfast has to be an hour earlier, supper an hour earlier, and bedtime an hour earlier. Bosh!

My farmer-husband does his work by the daylight, not by the clock. The cattle walk to the water at the same time by the sun, not by daylight saving time. The dog gets up and wants out at the same time each twenty-four hour period whether we call it 4:30 or 5:30 am.

Why should we jangle our nerves and upset our routines by changing an artificial measurement of time? Answers, anyone?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Freelancing Still

Just signed up for an account with another project search site: Jobvana.

The sign up was free, so I'm not sure how valuable it will be in finding project by project work for a freelance writer. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I'm not totally convinced of the value of these internet job boards. They seem to be multiplying like rabbits. And whether the produce results will depend upon the number of employers looking to find freelancers.

Sometimes the categorizations are inappropriate. For example, I write and edit. Do I go into creative writing and editing? Or should I use the professional category with a marketing specialty?

Since my passion is assisting new and aspiring writers, I signed up in the creative section. But they have no jobs listed in that category.

And they segregate jobs by state, so this limits your functionality unnaturally in this computer age.

We'll see how this goes. Check back for updates.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sibilant Silence

In reading the Chronological Bible, the readings for February 22 deal with the offerings for sin. The offerings are for those who sin out of ignorance or heedlessness. Then there is a detailed list of the sins.

And the first sin is if a person does not speak up when he hears a public charge to testify to something he has heard or knows about. That person is responsible.

We have sat silently by as our country has sunk lower and lower into the depths of degradation and shame with regard to moral behavior. We tolerate behavior that God calls abomination and murder because we like to avoid confrontation.

I hear the satisfied hiss of a serpent in our silence.

An Example to Follow

A little child shall lead them. If you don't believe it, just stroll on over to this video.


This girl has a heart for God and speaks from the heart of God. Would that we all were so close to hearing His voice and speaking for him.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Shame, Shame, Shame!

This week's issue of Charisma Magazine carries an article about an aborted baby born live and then thrown, alive, into the trash in a sealed bio-hazard bag. She died, evidently, of suffocation.

You may read the entire story here.

I am appalled. Not only at the story itself, but that members of the Florida legislature would write this letter.

It is unthinkable that they can condone the abortion that would end this child's life, and then, because she took a few breaths, condemn the abortion clinic workers who treated this life so callously. Where is the logic? If it is legal to end this life before she breathes air, what is to keep it from being legal to end this life after she breathes air?

We have entered a very slippery slope. When we deny the fact that all life comes from God and that it is His prerogative to say when it begins and ends, we have arrogated to ourselves the privileges of God. This is a very dangerous practice!

We have, in fact, by so doing, set ourselves above God. We have made our selfish wishes the graven idol which supplants the Lord God. And we, as a nation, will reap the fruits thereof.

If we are to learn the lessons of the Exodus of Israel from Egypt, we will know that we cannot flout God and remain unscathed. He will use the pagan nations to discipline us, just as He used the unbelieving nations to discipline Israel.

Let us pray for revival in the USA. "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will heal their land."

We, as Christians, are called to intercede for our land. Let us turn and pray.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Special Dates

Today is the birthday of two of my children. No, they are not twins. He was born on her fourth birthday.

At the time, she wasn't thrilled. After all, he spoiled her birthday party. Her birthday happened to fall on Sunday, so we were having relatives from out of town for a special party. By that age, she was able to understand party.

Happily, things have warmed between them. As adults, they are best of friends. And they are of an age where a large party is no longer THE thing to do.

Coincidentally, it is also my grandparents' wedding anniversary. Both of them are long gone, but each year when this day comes I remember.

Occasions and remembrances.

This is the year to make them special for your family and friends. Sunday we will have our annual mountain oyster fry. The house will be full of friends and family. No one will say or do anything spectacular. But we will all feel the joy and the love of a large circle of support.

May your year be filled with joyful occasions. Good times to remember.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Running Hard

Well, we're into the year, and I'm behind already. I've fallen short of some of my goals and will need the weekend to play catch up.

Is it because I over-extended my plans, or because I still haven't mastered the inclination to procrastinate?

To my horror, I believe it's probably the latter. But this time I had a good excuse -- excuse, not reason. I took some time off to read The Shack by Wm. Paul Young.

I found it a fascinating explanation of the way one moves from tragedy to acceptance to forgiveness. I've been there and know first hand.

None of the book was new to me. I'd lived most of its contents except my loss was not a daughter, but grandchildren. And the murderer was not a stranger but a beloved member of the family.

But this isn't about our tragedies. It's about the nature of God. Except, we have a huge problem in understanding the nature of God. We are finite; He is infinite. We will never be able to wrap our finite minds all the way around the wonder and awesomeness of our infinite God.

I love the personification of Sarayu.

In 1997 I wrote the following:

You who draw near,
You who walk beside,
Come to comfort,
Come to strengthen,
Come to shine the Light of the
Word on the Darkness of my heart.
Help me to align with you, Oh Holy Spirit.
Help me to bring my thoughts
Captive to the will of Christ,
Captive to the Word of God,
Captive to obedience,
Instantaneous and unquestioning,
To Your promptings.
Help me to study to show myself approved,
Unashamed to sit in the Council of your saints.
Help me to see the will of the Father in everyday situations.
Help me to respond in love to the Lord.
Help me to respond with Love to all His hurting creation.
Keep me dead-on, sighted with tunnel vision,
Single-minded on the goal of
Total obedience as a channel of His love.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Beginnings

We are now four days into 2009. We've had time to make our New Years Resolutions -- and break them at least once.

So where do we go from here? Perhaps it's not so much time for resolutions as for goal setting and plan making. I have a couple of large want to do's on my list for this year. But they've been on my list for several years now, and I'm not much closer to getting them accomplished than I was last year and the year before that.

To begin with, I need to set some priorities. My Garment of Praise blog is a daily priority now. I've had a couple of blogs that died a-borning in years past. I am determined that will not happen to either of these two blogs.

The goal for this blog is to post at least once a week - or better yet, twice. But once a week is minimum.

Then there are two larger writing works in progress. In order to focus on one at a time, I've decided to put the non-fiction book as priority A. This means that I must complete at least one chapter every 10 days. At this rate, I will have completed 12 chapter drafts by day 124 of this year or May 4, 2009.

By making my goals measurable and specific, I intend to hold myself accountable to complete them.