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NOTE: Commentary is made as a private citizen and not as Regional Coordinator for Silent No More or Leader of Rachel's Hope, unless otherwise stated.

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

WELCOME GUEST BLOGGER KAREN LANGE!


                                              


 Hockey and Writing?

"You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take."


Wayne Gretzky


I’ll admit it; I'm a hockey fan. My sons are to blame - they played hockey and got me hooked. So it’s no surprise that this quote by Mr. Gretzky, aka hockey’s The Great One, caught my eye while at the bank.

Our bank posts inspirational quotes on a message board in the lobby. As a writer, these mind joggers provide food for thought. One seldom sees quotes from hockey players too, so it was a nice surprise. I chuckled as I left the bank and continued to mull over these words of hockey wisdom.

Mr. Gretzky’s words make sense; if you don’t shoot, you won’t score. If you don’t score, you won’t have a shot at winning the game, right?

So, I thought - how does this apply to life? If we don’t try, we can’t fail. But, if we don’t try, we don’t learn. And if we don’t try, we can’t succeed.

I wondered, how many shots am I missing because I fail to make an effort? How many writing opportunities do I pass by because I think I don’t have enough experience? What part of my calling isn’t fulfilled yet because I am afraid to step out, or invest the necessary time to grow?

Life has its challenges and surprises, hills and valleys, and days where we don’t want to take shots at anything. I don’t want to miss the benefits of the journey by not taking shots. Do you?

What do you think of Mr. Gretzky's advice? What writing shots are you taking this week?


Happy writing,

Karen Lange






Karen Lange is the author of Homeschool Co-Ops 101.  SEE IT HERE.  She and her family were active in co-ops during their sixteen-year homeschool journey. Her three children have since graduated, and she is now a freelance writer and online writing instructor for adults and homeschooled teens. Connect on Karen’s  BLOG,  TWITTER and FACEBOOK.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Morning Prayers

I try to start each day with six prayers:  The Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Fatima Prayer,Serenity Prayer, and the following which is called the Third Step Prayer. 



The temptation of depending on self-will rather than being open to God's will is strong, especially for those in early sobriety.  This prayer saved me in those days, in fact, it still does. That same temptation still rears its ugly head which is why
 include this prayer in my morning routine.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I'm pleased to announce I have a guest blogger tomorrow, Karen Lange, who has an interesting take on hockey and writing.  Check it out!


HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

BLESSED




Enjoy this beautiful song by Rachel Lampa !






HAVE A BLESSED DAY
AND
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!


And in this corner....



I was on the G-Zone blogspot radio show yesterday which was quite the experience. I had never been interviewed on a show before so I was obviously nervous. Giovanni was a gracious host.  He brought a feeling of familiarity which made me comfortable and less anxious.  I don't think I did too bad for a rookie, but for those out there who heard it, please feel free to provide feedback.  Don't worry, I can take it...!

Which brings me to the point of this post.  The last question was if there was a question I would have liked him to ask.  I answered accordingly; however, after going through the interview in my mind, I wish I would have chosen, "Being newly published, how do you feel about being in the ring with so many accomplished authors?" This would have been my answer:  

"One of the reasons I did not actively pursue getting my works published sooner was my perception of the writing world. I envisioned all publishers keeping newcomers at arm's length and authors putting on the gloves fighting tooth and nail to prevent anyone else from succeeding.  Was I ever wrong!  All I have seen and experienced thus far has been a never-ending source of encouragement, support and advice ... not just from my publisher, but their authors and others I have met through their social media circle. There's a camaraderie I would have never imagined. If only my fantasy football players would be so accommodating!"

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of you who are in my corner of the "ring" and know I am in yours as well.


Let each of you look not only to his own interests,
but also to the interests of others."
Philippians 2:4

HAVE A BLESSED DAY











Tuesday, November 26, 2013

GRATITUDE AND FORGIVENESS


Thursday we will be expressing our gratitude for all of God's blessings, but how can we sincerely express gratitude if we are carrying resentments towards someone?  We can't.  So before the festivities begin, let's put ourselves in a quiet place with God and be freed from the negativity that is suppressing our thanksgiving by praying:

Father God, I choose, as an act of my will, to forgive (person's name) for (specific offense.) Father, I ask that you forgive (person's name) as well; and not hold these charges against him/her on my account.

Father God, if there are any more stored up negative feelings in me toward (person's name), I ask that 
you cleanse me. I will be open to replace these negative emotions with 
the fruit of your Holy Spirit.

Father, Your Holy Word tells us that we overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, and the word of our testimony. I now plead the blood of Jesus over this offense and over my unforgiveness. Lord, do not allow Satan to interfere with my testimony.

Heavenly Father, I ask that you help me regain the ground that I gave up when I held onto these offenses. I ask that you take back this ground and no longer allow Satan to operate there. Give me wisdom to deal with this situation in the future.

Father, I ask that you heal now the wounded places in my soul. Heal my memory of those offenses so that I can look back on them realistically, knowing that You have healed me. Now Father, I ask that you bless (person's name) with Your abundant mercy.

Prosper him/her in every way: body, soul, and spirit. AMEN.


HAVE A BLESSED DAY!




(Prayer written by Mark Hargrave www.markhargrave.com/forgiveness)

Monday, November 25, 2013

BRING THE LIGHT

It happens to all of us. We wake up with a dark cloud hovering over us. We shrug it off, crawl out of bed and begin our day.  Unfortunately that cloud stalks us every second, minute and hour. No matter what we do we can't seem to shake it. Pressure is building up behind the weakening dam in our eyes that is threatening to rupture, releasing torrents of tears.

I'm not a theologian by any means, but I believe days like this emerge because we've
neglected our prayer life.  Jesus misses us.

Next time we wake up with that dark cloud
hovering, let us pray:

Good morning most merciful Jesus,
Let your light shine through this threatening darkness.
Forgive me my neglect.
I've missed you too.

Amen!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Welcome Guest Blogger Anne Baxter Campbell


Anne's blog post gives us valuable food for thought....



PARABLE OF THE LOST COIN

"Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.'" Luke 15:8-9

The word used in the Greek for "silver coin" was "drachma," which amounted to a day's wages for a typical worker. When a Jewish maiden married, her husband would pay a bride price, usually several silver drachmas (or the Jewish equivalent, a half-shekel coin). The woman would string them and wear them across her forehead.

These coins were sort of her insurance policy. If her husband divorced her or died, these would have to support her until she could find another means of income. Since women didn't usually work outside the home, a means of support would be hard to come by. The coins were all that stood between her and starvation.

You can understand, then, how precious each coin was. The woman would have been overjoyed at finding that one lost coin. That's just a fraction of how jubilant Jesus is each time one person goes from lost to found. Could that person be you?


Prayer: Lord God, thank You for sending Jesus to search for each lost person, each one who has lost his or her way to You. Thank You, Lord, for that day when You sought for and found me. I didn't know how much I needed You until that day, and I will never forget.  


Anne lives on a ranch in the small farming community
of Willows, CA.
She just released a new book, The Roman's Quest,
which launches a new series "The Truth Trilogy".
Visit Anne at her blog:   BLOG LINK








Click to see this wonderful
book at Amazon.
CLICK HERE!
















                                             
HAVE A BLESSED DAY! 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

ACCEPTING GRACE

I am a big fan of Max Lucado's writing and this one is definitely thought-provoking.


It happened too fast. One minute Barabbas was in his cell on death row playing tic-tac-toe on the dirt walls, and the next he was outside squinting his eyes at the bright sun. "You're free to go." Barabbas scratches his beard. "What?"  "You're free. They took the Nazarene instead of you."

Barabbas has often been compared to humanity, and rightly so. In many ways he stands for us: a prisoner 
who was freed because someone he had never seen 
took his place. As far as we know, he took his sudden freedom for what it was, an undeserved gift. Someone tossed him a life preserver and he grabbed it, no questions asked. You couldn't imagine him pulling some of our stunts.

We take our free gift and try to earn it or diagnose it or pay for it instead of simply saying "thank you" and accepting it. Why do we do that? The only reason I can figure is pride. To accept grace means to accept its necessity, and most folks don't like to do that. To accept grace also means that one realizes his despair, and most people aren't too keen on doing that either.

Barabbas, though, knew better. Maybe he didn't understand mercy and surely he didn't deserve it, but he wasn't about to refuse it. We might do well to realize that our plight isn't too different than that of Barabbas's. We, too, are prisoners with no chance for appeal.

But why some prefer to stay in prison while the cell door has been unlocked is a mystery worth pondering.







HAVE A BLESSED DAY!!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I HAVE A SPECIAL GUEST BLOGGER TODAY!

This is a blog post written by Amber Schamel, a fellow author.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


HOW VEGGIE TALES INSPIRED A BIBLICAL NOVELLA  

It was a summer evening, I was in the kitchen making dinner while my little siblings (for some odd reason) were watching The Toy That Saved Christmas, a Veggie-Tales movie. My publisher had asked me to write a Christmas story and I was deep in thought wondering what I should write when I suddenly tuned in to what was playing on the screen.

Grandpa George was reading a scripture to Bob, Larry and Buzz-saw Louie. "And she brought forth her first born son and wrapped him in baby clothes and laid him in a manger."  Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute, the passage didn't say baby clothes. In the King James it says swaddling clothes. That got me to thinking, what exactly are swaddling clothes? Are they just baby clothes? Or is there another meaning to them?  I looked up the passage in Luke chapter two and noted that it was mentioned not only once, but twice that Mary wrapped her first-born son in swaddling clothes

So I began my research. I found out that swaddling clothes did not necessarily mean that Mary and Joseph were poor or destitute. Swaddling clothes were used by people of all classes to wrap a newborn in hopes that it would help their limbs grow straight, as well as calm the babe. But if swaddling clothes were so common during that era, why was it specifically mentioned as a sign to the shepherds of who the Messiah would be? So I searched some more.

Another source said that in the eastern countries they would use a cloth to put between the yoke of an ox, and the ox's shoulders. When Mary and Joseph were in the barn, they had nothing else to use, so they used this ox's cloth that was translated as swaddling cloth to wrap the Messiah that would carry the yoke of our sin and bondage.

Many hours and websites later, I emerged armed with a ton of information, four different theories, and a story forming inside my head. So, I guess you could say that my new book The Swaddling Clothes was inspired by a Veggie Tales movie.

The things that inspire people, or give them an idea is very interesting to me.  What are some odd things that have given you an idea or inspiration?

Coloradan Amber Schamel is a lover of history, 
culture, reading and music
and authors Christ-honoring stories.
Visit Amber's website  (Click Here!)
and check out her books:
The Foolish Princess and Days of Messiah Series - Volume I


Thanks Amber for sharing your insight
and inspiration!
















DON'T FORGET THIRSTY THURSDAY
TONIGHT - 5 PST


HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

We Are Disciples

This is another excerpt from my newly released devotional, "Embrace the Morning".

Mark 16:19: So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God.

Jesus' ascension represents His earthly work was done; however, the work of His disciples was just beginning … to share the word of God and bring others to His mercy. And so it is with us. We too are His disciples and are blessed with the task of continuing His work.

Dear Jesus, you earned your heavenly reward by spreading the word of God and for sacrificing your life for our sins. With your loving help, may I become your faithful and loyal disciple and at life's end, be welcomed into your kingdom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WE ARE DISCIPLES 
What an exhilarating feeling knowing Jesus puts that much trust in each and every one of us!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My spinning mind....

My mind is like a merry-go-round.  Ideas for devotionals and other projects are constantly spinning around. When an idea jumps off the ride, I'm off and running with it.  Sometimes that merry-go-round slows down for more than one to jump off at a time, which is what happened this past month.  Now I have three outlines, about a gazillion (okay, so I exaggerate) bible verses and graphics for book covers.  

One would think pressure would be mounting to complete these books but curiously, it's not.  It's nice to go back and forth, one subject to the other, then the other...but the best part of the whole process ...the bible verses.  I love researching and determining the best ones to use in each book that will provide comfort and joy. The verses go the full spectrum depending on the subject matter. 

So even though it sounds like I'm a loon for tackling three books at a time...it's a way for me to spend time with God and focus on all His messages.



Fellow authors - a question:  How many projects do you work on at a time? 



Thursday I will be welcoming Amber Schamel - my guest blogger....
You'll enjoy her insight and inspiration!!!!

HAVE A BLESSED DAY!!!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Easier Said Than Done



Being an author of Christian devotionals it would appear my spiritual house is in order and I walk the walk.  Well, I have a confession to make - recently it wasn't and I didn't.

Not too long ago we were informed my eighty-six year old mom has cancer. Upon hearing the diagnosis I found myself distancing myself from her because she wanted to talk about "it". I ran errands, wrote or (heaven forbid) cleaned and organized the house - anything to avoid sitting down with that sweet, frightened, wonderful woman and talking to her.  I knew she needed encouragement, comfort, to share memories, and show me items she wants others to have when she's gone ... but I was afraid, afraid I'd break down in front of her - afraid I'd say something stupid - but most of all afraid of accepting the fact I was losing her.  

There was a great deal of guilt due to my actions(or lack thereof)and it wasn't until a couple of days later, in the shower (I do my best praying and most crying there), that a feeling of peace surrounded me. God gently reminded me of the words I wrote in one of my devotionals and everything became clear.


    "The progression of illness and/or imminent death can strip away our resolve to be positive, calm and supportive. In times of weakness we need to remember Jesus in the garden. We need to turn to God for strength, ask for healing but remain steadfast in accepting His will, not ours.
    Jesus, when discouragement, fear and anxiety surface, give me the resolve to stand with you as the earthbound source of comfort to my loved one. Provide me with the peace of knowing Thy will, not mine, be done."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I do pray the prayers I write, but for those few days I was lost ... suffocated with denial,fear and unacceptable self-pity; all at the expense of my mom and the valuable time she has left. We were told this past Friday the cancer is advancing rapidly and she only has around two months. I thank God for putting me in my place before it was too late. 

Her loss will create a huge void in my life as she has been such a loving, important and influential part of it...but she's here today and I am going to cherish every moment.


HAVE A BLESSED DAY


Saturday, November 16, 2013

A LITTLE STORY WITH A BIG MESSAGE

I heard this story awhile back and I carry it's message in my heart......I know you will too.


THE PEARL NECKLACE

A cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please!"

Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'llthink of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself.  Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from grandma."

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her piggy bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere--Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had abubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?" "Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess-- the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favorite." "That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.

About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?" " Daddy, you know I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper." "That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek. "What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And, when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy. It's for you."

With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of beautiful genuine pearls. He had had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her a genuine treasure.     (Author Unknown)

We all carry dime-store pearl necklaces...each pearl carrying something we're not willing to turn over to God.  Let's give our Father the cheap necklace so He can give us the genuine treasure...a life filled with hope, love and serenity.

HAVE A BLESSED DAY!


Friday, November 15, 2013

A Son's Story

I was going through some boxes and found an Anthology of Student Writing from my son's elementary school.  I went directly to a dog-eared page and this is what I found:

THE LONG ROAD HOME
(A True Story)
Bobby Cleghorn
Grade 6

Up until I was 7 I remember that I lived in a truck and under a roller coaster and in motel rooms. When I was 7 my Mom left my sister Bonnie and I in a motel room to go bail my dad out of jail and she never came back. The principal of my school found out that we were left alone and called the police. We were taken to a shelter home. We lived there for a year. Then we went to a foster home with Debi as a foster mom. We stayed there for a year  then Debi and my sister moved to Connecticut. I moved to a group home. I was there for a year till Debi moved back and I went to live with her and my sister again. When I moved back in we both went to a new school. It was a small school. My teacher was really great and the school secretary started taking me to her house on weekends. I also spent Spring Break with her and Don. It was a “test-drive” to see if I would like living in Aguanga with them but I didn't know it.

One day, Debi took Bonnie and me out for ice cream. She wanted to tell us that there were people who wanted to adopt us. Bonnie's teacher in Connecticut wanted her and I guessed many names until Debi said Patti and Don wanted to adopt me. I was really happy about that!

We had to go to court and the judge said that Bonnie could move to Connecticut and I could move in with Patti and Don. I  lived with them a year and we went to court again. The judge said the adoption was final and I was Patti and Don's son forever. After court that day my new mom and dad had a surprise adoption party for me at Stadium Pizza. All the people from my school were there and so were my grandparents and my social worker. I was really surprised! I got really nice gifts and had a fun time.

I talk to my sister on the phone almost every week and we see each other in the summers. We share stories of our new families.

I am now in the sixth grade and still go to the same school. My new teacher is great!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What a blessing to have found that gem! Robert (I still call him Bobby, much to his dismay) is now 33 and the father of two beautiful daughters.  Even though he's a grown man, I still see that little boy that walked into my office and into my heart so many years ago.






HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM HELPING HANDS PRESS





A WORD FROM HELPING HANDS PRESS, THE PUBLISHERS OF Amazon Top 100 AUTHORS SARAH PRICE AND WHOOPIE PIE PAM JARRELL’S #1 BEST-SELLING STORY- “The Divine Sisterhood of the Whoopie Pie Sisters Trilogy”.

Hi,

We would like to thank all of the wonderful readers that have purchased, read and reviewed Book I and Book II of the #1 Best–Selling Trilogy “The Divine Sisterhood of The Whoopee Pie Sisters” by Amazon Top 100 authors Sarah Price and Whoopie Pie Pam Jarrell.

Good news about the Trilogy!

The price of Book II was originally $1.99 but has just been lowered to $.99.

Clink on the Amazon Kindle link:   Link to Trilogy

Anyone that has purchased Book II at the $1.99 price is welcome to come to the Helping Hands Press Facebook page, message us there, and we will be happy to send you some amazing stories to compensate you for the price reduction.

Click on the Helping Hands Press Facebook Page link: Helping Hands Press Link


Remember: there is only one dynamic author duo named Sarah Price and Whoopie Pie Pam Jarrell and there is only one original series named “The Divine Sisterhood of The Whoopie Pie Sisters”. Except no imitations!  


HAVE A BLESSED DAY!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Responding with Love


The following is an excerpt from my devotional "Embrace the Morning", which was just released. 
II. The Scourging at the Pillar

John 19:1: Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.

Although Jesus suffered excruciating pain, He never once let go of His love for us or His persecutors. Our hearts break for the pain He endured but conversely we should rejoice in His abundance of love. We need to follow His example by loving one another, despite any transgression against us.
Jesus, no amount of pain stopped you from loving me. 
When I am faced with pain or cruelty from others, may I not lash out in anger, but respond with love.
     My Precious Savior, guide me to follow Your word in my thoughts, words and deeds.  At day's end may I count my blessings with love and gratitude.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please keep all the people suffering in the Philippines in your prayers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

HAVE A BLESSED DAY!




Go Seahawks and Gridiron Granny!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

GOD WAS AT MY KEYBOARD

We just found out my mom has cancer throughout her body.  I know, especially during this time, I need to trust that God will sustain us while providing whatever is necessary to keep her encouraged, comfortable and free from pain.  I need to trust He will also sustain me while being a source of solace and strength for my father.

This is a prayer I wrote a few weeks back, before knowing my mom's condition. I believe God was at my keyboard that night as His way to prepare me.



HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

Friday, November 8, 2013

5,483 Days = 140,160 Hours = 8,409,600 Minutes = 504,576,000 Seconds ... and Counting



The following is an excerpt from my soon-to-be released autobiography, And God Still Loves Me - A Journey from the Dark Abyss of Sin to God's Mercy:  

"The morning of November 7, 1997, I called in sick to work, which was not unusual, and started in on a six-pack of beer. I had gotten into the habit of calling in if there was still beer in the fridge from the night before. If there wasn't beer, NyQuil or vanilla sufficed. The more I drank, the deeper I sank into despair. The whole world fell down around me. I realized I was in a loveless marriage; I was a failure as a wife, mother and daughter, and I was alone. I felt empty inside, and hopeless. The emotional pain was excruciating and I wanted it gone. I wanted to die."

That dark morning was my first experience with Divine Intervention.  Although I didn't know it then ... it is clear now ... God had other plans for me.  I had a bottle full of pills in one hand, intent on ending it all, but was oddly compelled to pick up the phone with the other.  I was connected to people that knew what to do and was taken to a psychiatric hospital.  After a thorough evaluation, I was diagnosed with suicidal tendencies due to alcohol induced depression and immediately admitted.  It seems funny now, but through all the humiliation I experienced during the admissions process,what bothered me the most was the confiscation of my shoelaces. For some reason having to walk around in loose shoes made me realize how sick I really was.  Once detoxed and stabilized my shoelaces were returned and I was transferred to the rehab unit to start the challenging process of recovery.

Today I am celebrating 5,483 days of sobriety.  I am astonished as I didn't think I was strong enough to make it for one day, let alone sixteen years.  Alcoholics Anonymous showed me a new way of life through the twelve steps but most importantly reintroduced me to God. I fight temptation every day but I know as long as I leave my life in His hands, work the steps and maintain a healthy respect for my shoelaces, I will make it to 5,484.





If you think you have a problem with alcohol call the local AA hotline or visit the website:  Alcoholics Anonymous



HAVE A BLESSED DAY!
(I know I will!)









Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Patron Saint of Authors


I was listening to Catholic radio yesterday while driving to San Diego and there was a discussion of patron saints.  That got me to thinking .... Who is the Patron Saint of Authors?  I decided to find out.

AN ABBREVIATED BIO


Saint Francis de Sales'  father had his future all mapped out.  He was to become an attorney and eventually marry a local heiress.Through several religious experiences Francis began leaning more and more towards the priesthood. The experience I found most interesting was while riding a horse, the sword he was carrying fell to the ground and crossed another sword, making the sign of a cross. He saw this as a true sign for his calling.  He tried meeting his fathers' expectations by attending college and studying law; however, the desire to serve God grew stronger.  After graduating, much to his father's dismay, he accepted God's calling and  became a priest.  

During his early priesthood he set out to bring Protestants back to the Catholic faith.  His attempts to preach were not successful, and doors were shut in his face.  He resorted to writing sermons, copying them by hand and slipping them under doors. Through his efforts he was credited with converting thousands back to Catholicism.

That evangelization technique as well as his writing of books, pamphlets and letters in later life, as a Bishop, resulted in his being proclaimed the patron saint of  authors, journalists and writers. He is also considered the patron saint of the deaf for developing a form of sign language to teach a deaf man about God.


Prayer for St. Francis de Sales' Intercession

" O Glorious St. Francis, model of the interior life, and full of zeal for the salvation of souls! Obtain for me the grace to employ all my faculties, not for my own sanctification alone, but for that of my neighbor also; that continually spreading abroad the sweet odor of Jesus Christ by my words and works, I may attain with thee the blessedness promised to the merciful: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy;" and that I may one day have a share in the glory which thou dost enjoy in paradise with the angels and saints, where those who edify and instruct to justice shall shine as stars for all eternity."


Favorite Quotes of St. Francis de Sales

“The person who possesses Christian meekness is affectionate and tender towards everyone: he is disposed to forgive and excuse the frailties of others; the goodness of his heart appears in a sweet affability that influences his words and actions, presents every object to his view in the most charitable and pleasing light.”


"Each Christian needs half an hour of prayer each day, except when we are busy; then we need an hour."


HAVE A BLESSED DAY!





Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Keep the creative juices flowing.....

Life brings us subject matter for future writing projects every day...a long lost memory, a profound statement, an event, a random thought or even a dream. I don't know about you, but my memory is no longer the steel trap I had in my youth...and as quickly as an idea comes to me, it disappears into the Bermuda Triangle of my brain.....never to be seen or heard from again.

I now accept the fact I'm "memory challenged", and am doing something about it. I now have a notepad that goes with me everywhere.  No matter where I am ... the grocery store, a parking lot, a restaurant ... my new best friend is there.  I do get funny looks at church when I jot down a verse or something the priest says, and my husband gets a tad bit annoyed when I wake up in the middle of the night from a dream, and turn on the light to document the epiphany ... interrupting his slumber...but it's worth it.  My days of lost inspiration are over...as long as I remember the pencil!


HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

Oh, by the way ~ Gridiron Granny's winning streak continues...and my Seahawks (albeit a nailbiter) were victorious as well!

Monday, November 4, 2013

I got lost in a book tonight!

I had planned on doing a little writing tonight after the household quieted down but God had other plans.  I just finished "A Doctor's Christmas Quilt", by fellow author Kathi Macias. When Kathi discovered we not only shared a love of writing, but shared like views, she thought I would like this particular book. She was right...it  pulled me in at the very beginning and I found myself so immersed in the story, I lost track of time. To avoid revealing too much, I'll just say God spoke through Kathi and she conveyed His message in a compelling way.  The following quote says it all...WE LOSE OURSELVES IN BOOKS, WE FIND OURSELVES THERE TOO!  



HAVE A BLESSED DAY!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

CLEANING HOUSE

I don't know about you, but when I'm looking for something in my house I find myself having to rummage through multitudes of clutter that fills every nook and cranny.  I don't consider myself a hoarder but to be honest, it looks that way....and it prevents me from moving forward with the task at hand.

Our senior community is having a neighborhood garage sale next weekend which couldn't have come at a better time..I now have the opportunity to be free of the clutter that takes up space and hides what I need to move forward.

It reminds me of the sacrament of reconciliation.  We go through every nook and cranny of our conscience to identify the clutter of sin that hides the light of God's love we so desperately need. Once we  confess and do penance, we are free ... able to move forward in our faith journey.




The video below is from All Saints Day - the beautiful and talented bell choir at our parish.  I couldn't get a clear view of the choir so focused my cell phone on the mass program.






HAVE A BLESSED DAY

and of course.......

Go Seahawks!!!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

On the Road to Sainthood

The Litany of the Saints, the Beatitudes, the Incense, the Bell Choir. That was my Friday night ... nothing could be better than that, right?  I didn't think so.  My heart was so full of joy knowing I had so many intercessors in Heaven ... but then as part of his homily, Father Mike read a speech Pope Benedict gave to a group of students in England, inviting them (as well as all of us) to become saints.  I was so touched by those words I decided to find it on the internet...to share his inspiring words:


"Perhaps some of you have never thought about this before. Perhaps some of you think being a saint is not for you. Let me explain what I mean. When we are young, we can usually think of people that we look up to, people we admire, people we want to be like. It could be someone we meet in our daily lives that we hold in great esteem. Or it could be someone famous. We live in a celebrity culture, and young people are often encouraged to model themselves on figures from the world of sport or entertainment. My question for you is this: what are the qualities you see in others that you would most like to have yourselves? What kind of person would you really like to be?

When I invite you to become saints, I am asking you not to be content with second best. I am asking you not to pursue one limited goal and ignore all the others. Having money makes it possible to be generous and to do good in the world, but on its own, it is not enough to make us happy. Being highly skilled in some activity or profession is good, but it will not satisfy us unless we aim for something greater still. It might make us famous, but it will not make us happy. Happiness is something we all want, but one of the great tragedies in this world is that so many people never find it, because they look for it in the wrong places. (MY FAVORITE PART IS THIS STATEMENT) The key to it is very simple – true happiness is to be found in God. We need to have the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in our relationships with others, but in God. Only he can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts.

Not only does God love us with a depth and an intensity that we can scarcely begin to comprehend, but he invites us to respond to that love. You all know what it is like when you meet someone interesting and attractive, and you want to be that person’s friend. You always hope they will find you interesting and attractive, and want to be your friend. God wants your friendship. And once you enter into friendship with God, everything in your life begins to change. As you come to know him better, you find you want to reflect something of his infinite goodness in your own life. You are attracted to the practice of virtue. You begin to see greed and selfishness and all the other sins for what they really are, destructive and dangerous tendencies that cause deep suffering and do great damage, and you want to avoid falling into that trap yourselves. You begin to feel compassion for people in difficulties and you are eager to do something to help them. You want to come to the aid of the poor and the hungry, you want to comfort the sorrowful, you want to be kind and generous. And once these things begin to matter to you, you are well on the way to becoming saints".

Thanks Father Mike for sharing ~ it was perfect for All Saints Day and applicable for every day!



HAVE A BLESSED DAY!