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Wednesday, September 30, 2009
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009
First watch the video above. Then watch the one below. Notice that they chant the words to "Jesus Loves the Little Children," but 'mmm mmm mmm' has been substituted for Jesus' name. (Red and yellow, black and white, all are equal in his sight, mmm mmmm mmm.)
I don't think any further comment is needed.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
This weekend I'm speaking at a women's retreat held at--get this--a spa. :-) Oh, yes, it's a rough life, but someone's got to live it.
Seriously, I'd appreciate your prayers that this would be a blessed time for the 150 women who are supposed to attend.
In the mean time, enjoy these adorable film clips.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
I’ve Been Thinking . . .
. . . about old friends. Yes, still reflecting on the college reunion last weekend. And I’ve gleaned a few treasured realizations.
One thing I realized is that though we’d all changed on the outside (some were heavier, some were thinner, some were grayer, some were brightly colored, some were shiny), no one had changed much on the inside. We were the same exact people we were more than thirty years ago. Same smiles, same caring, same attitudes for the most part, though some of us had passed through life-changing trials. Part of the reason, I think, is Jesus—because the hope within us never dies.
One woman there, Cindy, had just buried her dear husband—but she shared his story with us, accompanied with smiles and tears and rejoicing for the victorious life he’d lived.
These friends are the ones you can meet after a long interval and pick up right where you left off. They’ll still laugh at your jokes, weep over your sorrows, love you for who you are.
Old friends remind us of what is truly important—those small deeds we perform and forget about, but that matter greatly to the ones we took time to serve. One man came up and thanked me for helping him with a school project—I don’t remember it at all. A woman came up and thanked me for taking her “under my wing” and helping her fend off “lecherous men.” LOL! I don’t remember any lecherous men, but okay. I was glad I could help, and amazed she remembered.
What mattered most to those people? Small kindnesses. Investments into the lives of others. Generous words, taking time, sharing wisdom. I found myself wishing I’d done more of that sort of thing. My husband had the same experience, multiplied. Adults who had been middle school students in those days came up to thank him for “being there” during “a rough time” of their lives. Just his being there had made a huge difference.
Another thing that struck me was that the “giants”—the professors and vice presidents and teachers who had been so far “above us” in status—came back, too, and ate with us, sat at our tables, and talked to us like peers. I didn’t feel much like a peer, but I was a little shocked to discover that suddenly I’m nearly as old as they are. ☺
Perhaps the best realization I gained was that our reunion was very much a foretaste of heaven. In eternity we’ll be able to mingle with our past earthly friends, the heroes we admired, the saints we modeled, the writers who penned the gospels. We can ask Daniel about the mysteries he wasn’t able to write. We can talk to Paul about what he saw in the third heaven. We can ask Jesus how he felt when the disciples scattered, and exactly what he meant when he cried out, “Father, why have you forsaken me?”
Best of all, there’ll be no time limit. An eternity to catch up and move forward, to learn and study and know. To worship. To play softball with Paul and chat with the animals and Francis of Assisi.
To make new friends who will soon become as precious as the old.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Before I had mastiffs, I had a pug. I've had a couple of pugs, actually, and they really are a sort of mini-mastiff. Same dark mask, same loyal personality, same tendency to snore, same fierce defense of territory. Actually, I'd have to say that most pugs are more defensive than most mastiffs--mine always seemed like little Napoleons, while my mastiffs are more like slumbering bearskins. :-)
However--the pugs do have that cute little head tilt which makes them seem almost human. That quizzical look, as demonstrated above.
Wallis Simpson, aka "The Duchess" had a penchant for pugs--I think she and the Duke had four or five. They really are collectable. :-)
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Thanks to the blog reader who sent me to this! What a lovely way to use humor to stress an important principle: the government can only give away what it takes from someone else. It does not make money.
I am a little disheartened when I hear well-meaning people say that the government should provide us with health, a standard of living, education, and retirement funds . . . What? No, all we are promised is the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. On GMA the other morning I heard Dr. Tim Johnson say that we couldn't be happy without good health care . . . well, I know a lot of bed-ridden folks, and people who live with chronic pain, who would disagree with that. His statement is only a hair's breadth away from saying that if you can't achieve a certain quality of life, then your life isn't worth living.
We who are Christians are charged with feeding the poor and ministering to the less fortunate. In fact, every religion I know of (except, perhaps, for a couple of odd cults) promotes kindness and generosity as a way of life for its members. To entrust charity, education, and health care to the hands of the government will only insure that our dollars buy less and our hearts grow cold because problems will always be someone else's responsibility.
In truth, my friends, the government CAN'T. It should stick to doing what it has been charged with doing--protecting the national boundaries (i.e., defense) and maintaining law and order.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
My friend Lyn sent me a link to the video above, knowing that all of us who do booksignings are prone to moments like this. Come to think of it, anyone who BREATHES is prone to moments like this.
So take a tip from Tim, and don't just pull any verse out of the air. You may live to regret it. (Though I must admire the way he weaves comedy out of an embarrassing blunder). :-)
Monday, September 21, 2009
I forget who said it . . . but some wise writer once said that writing was easy. You simply sat down and opened a vein. I never really knew what that saying meant until I wrote THE NOVELIST, in which I took a painful situation from my own life and superimposed it onto a story.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
My friend Athol is, quite simply, one of the best writers around in any field. I'm happy to call him my friend and thrilled to tell you about his latest book, Lost Mission. Here's the official information:
“An epic suspense story spanning two centuries and brimming with magical realism.”
Lupe de la Garza, a simple shopkeeper in a mountain village in
You can read the complete first chapter of Lost Mission by clicking here.
I hope you enjoy reading Lost Mission as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you do, please tell your friends!
Doesn't that sound positively fascinating? Order now . . . and you'll be glad you did.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
If you're looking for a great read, boy do I have one for you! This (completely unsolicited) review is coming to you because I picked this book up and could NOT put it down until I had finished it. Fortunately, I was on an airplane at the time. :-)
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Home today from the Youth Aflame reunion in Lynchburg, Virginia. Such a wonderful time revisiting old memories and catching up with old friends. But even more important and inspiring was seeing what God has done through the vision of several people who were committed to training "young champions" (as Jerry Falwell always called LU students) to go into the world with the Gospel.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
It's an old question, and the ONE question that reportedly kept Albert Einstein from becoming a Christian: "If God is good, then why does evil exist?"
Friday, September 11, 2009
So . . . Tuesday my goal was to get the first 5,000 words of THE GRANDMA GENE into the computer. So I got up, did all my morning stuff, and was at my desk by 11:00 a.m. Opened my writing program and stared at the little note cards on the screen. My job was to fill them in with scenes, lots of scenes.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
If this is Thursday, the hubby and I are off on a grand adventure. :-) We're heading to Lynchburg, Virginia, where we met, married, and lived for ten years.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
I've just updated my web page that features books that are "coming soon." And now they are all available for pre-order through Amazon.com.
Monday, September 07, 2009
Thanks to LInda, who sent this to me. How sweet . . . and how true. No wonder I get teary-eyed whenever I hear a good dog story. I think it's because they are the best, most accessible example of God's unconditional love.
BJ Hoff recently wrote to me raving about Dean Koontz's latest book A BIG LITTLE LIFE: A MEMOIR OF A JOYFUL DOG. Mr. Koontz wrote to me after I wrote to him when his dog Trixie died, and I shared my letter with his book club. We all passed it around, each one reading a page, and most of us sobbing through it.
A big little life, indeed. Found in the heart of every dog.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Saturday, September 05, 2009
And you thought JAWS was scary . . .
Friday, September 04, 2009
My summer newsletter just went out, and I experimented with a new format--I sent it as a pdf file. If you're not on my newsletter list (you can sign up from this page), you can read it by clicking on the images below. They should open up in a new window, full size.
Worth watching. And passing on.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Leslie turned me on to this ongoing Sims story online. Fascinating, inventive, and clever! This gal in Britain is playing Sims 3 with two homeless characters (created by placing her characters on a vacant lot and spending their start-up money on dead trees and park benches). Reading through it is like reading a comic book--quite fascinating and heart-rending! I love it when the "Alice" character, who has a trait of "good," gives all her money to charity.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
I've been thinking a lot about the "don't reveal too much personal info on your blog" concept. And though no one wants to admit this, I think I know where some of that idea comes from.