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Sunday, June 24, 2012


Talia my cat is stretched out on the couch, resting comfortably in the same point my friend sat, soaking up the residual warmth and her smell. A simple, ordinary activity. But precious. . .

You see, Talia had disappeared last week. As far as I can guess, she escaped while my aide was hanging laundry on the clothesline. It wasn't the first time. Before too long, she appears at the door, meowing until she got my attention.

But this time, one day went by . . . then two . . . soon a week had passed. I didn't know if someone had taken her in or . . .if she had been in an accident. I thought I had lost my nine-year companion for good.

Every cry of a cat. . .every sighting of a gray cat. . .had my friend chasing to see if it could be Talia. No sign of her.

Then Thursday night, we heard cries from the front porch. Talia! She dashed in, checked her food and water bowls. She appeared unharmed.

She did spend the night telling me her story. Unfortunately, I'm not fluent in Cat and so I still don't know what happened during her Grand Adventure.

Talia is my own personal sparrow, sent from God to remind me that if He watches over fallen birds and stray cats, He certainly will take care of me.

P.S. God also has a heart for orphans, the central theme  my proposal titled Surviving Winter. In choosing the eastern Colorado setting for the story, what better place than Huerfano County?! (Huerfano means orphan). Another one of God's happy coincidences! The thought gives me courage in submitting this new Christmas proposal.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I am listening to Joel Olsteen this morning. Now, I'm not overly fond of some of his style. And on another, this sermon might have struck me as "prosperity gospel"--if only my faith is strong enough, then I will receive whatever I want.

But today he is saying "wait with expectancy." And my mind jumps to Hebrews 11. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hmm. If I define faith the same way the author of Hebrews does, then "wait expectantly" fits pretty well.

You see, this past week I reached the breaking point, financially. My credit card is maxed out and my bank account has less than $100 in it. (and before you say it, yes, I've applied for all kinds of aid.) As I have watched this day approaching, I kept saying, "God, what next? Do You want me in a long term care? Are you going to supply the resources to pay for care so I can stay at home? Something needs to change. Is it me? Or do You just want me to wait on You to act?"

On Friday, the health care agency yanked my daily aide because my money has run out. A church friend is helping me temporarily but it's not a long term solution.

I am still waiting--expectantly--with a big dose of  "God, I know You work at the perfect time, but from where I sit, I need to make decisions. Now."

A measure of ostrich syndrome has kept me from aggressively seeking other options. But it was also a measure of faith. I planted the seeds of applying for aid. I watered the garden of my physical well-being through weeks of painful physical therapy.  And I've watered the garden of my work by submitting more book proposals and writing each day.

When will I harvest?

And what will the harvest look like?

Please pray for open heart, safety and wisdom.

Wait expectantly with me.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I recently joined a brand new group on Facebook for "Transformational Fiction Authors." We hammered a definition that describes it as "Transformational Fiction is fiction that deals with tough issues. It seeks to show how God's Truth transforms characters on their journey. And it invites the reader to journey with them." "Transformational" thus deals both with both content and intention.

The dictionary defines "transform" as: to change something dramatically: to change somebody or something completely, especially improving their appearance or usefulness; to undergo total change: to change completely for the better. "Transformation" is a marked change, as in appearance or character, usually for the better.

For any readers of my books, you will know that many, though not all, of my books fall into this category. Consider teen pregnancy, drunk driving and death, in A String of Murders. Teen pregnancy shows up again in First Christmas (Christmas at Barncastle Inn); alcoholism appears in Love's Raid. Lynching and other racially-driven violence is a theme in both my Texas Trails titles (Lone Star Trail and A Ranger's Trail.) I won't bother you by mentioning any more.

If you have any interest in reading or writing this kind of fiction, check out the Transformational Fiction Fans page as well as the Transformational Fiction Authors page for thoughts and titles that highlight this important area of Christian fiction. You can find both pages on Facebook.

With this discussion of Transformational Fiction (or TF, as we call it), my offer this week goes for a copy of Christmas at Barncastle Inn. Again, five people must leave comments for a book giveaway, Also, please leave your email address for me to contact you.

P.S. I just enjoyed a transformational afternoon with son and granddaughter over for a visit. Always transforms my spirits!

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Years have passed since I first realized God's purpose for becoming man in Jesus Christ had as much to do with the emotional fallout of our sin as with the salvation of our souls.

Jesus Himself quoted Isaiah. "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me..."

  • to bind up the brokenhearted
  • to comfort all who mourn
  • a crown of beauty instead of ashes
  • the oil of joy instead of mourning
  • a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair
How awesome!  Our craving need for comfort, healing, joy, praise--all promised in our Savior. I have clung to these words over and over.

Jesus stopped his quotation mid-way through the passage, just shy of  "the day of vengeance of our God." Pastors said that Jesus first coming to the earth didn't involve the day of vengeance; that's coming later. Praise the Lord and amen!

Reading Isaiah again recently, I noticed something new. All those beautiful verses about comfort? They come after the day of vengeance.

Hmm. Whether I consider the verses in a literal, eschatalogical sense; or in a logical progression from one thought to the next; doesn't that imply that the work of comfort, beauty, joy, praise won't be complete until after the day of vengeance? 

The Teacher in Ecclesiastes 3 describes it "a time to mourn and a time to dance." Perhaps my blog reflections on the anniversaries of my daughter's and mother's deaths embodies more truth than I realized at the time: Dancing with Grief. This idea fits right in with the thought I shared last week that so often God is doing amazing, marvelous things in my life at the same time I face the greatest trials.

Until our Savior returns and restores all nature to its original purpose, mourning and dancing will always be intertwined.

Maranatha. Amen, Come Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)

P.S. Jennifer Slattery, please give me your email addy so you may receive your free book. :)

P.P.S. A time for dancing--back to the timeless beauty of dance as seen in So You Think You Can Dance!