Wednesday, December 31, 2014

HOLDING MYSELF ACCOUNTABLE - 2015



Instead of "New Year Resolutions", I'm going to use the term "Bucket List".  Maybe I'll be a tad bit more successful.  I know, it sounds silly, but for some reason, Bucket List sounds friendlier and doable.  Also, I've summoned up the courage  to hold myself accountable by posting the list for all to see.  (Yikes!)  Hopefully my husband won't read this post??!!!

Okay ... here goes:

 
 
First and foremost - QUIT SMOKING!  I have attempted this several times but have always failed.  You would think that after being successful at staying sober for seventeen years, not smoking would be a breeze, but noooooo!  If anyone has any suggestions (short of locking myself in a padded room for a month), I would welcome them.
 



Participate in more parish activities, including Thursday adoration.
Be diligent in praying the rosary every day.

Facilitate at least three Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing retreats and three "The Healing Continues". 




Publicly share my testimony of God's mercy at more venues.  Promote Silent No More Awareness and its mission of educating the public on the disastrous physical, psychological and spiritual consequences of abortion and providing resources for healing.





Try two new dinner recipes each month.  (Watch out!)





Take four road trips with my family, budget permitting:  The Pacific Northwest, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and one "spur of the moment - destination unknown".



Finish my volume of "The San Francisco Wedding Planner, come up with a suitable climax for my "Grave Obsessions" series, write four more devotionals and spotlight more authors on my blog.  Reach out to fellow authors and my publisher for critiques and be more aggressive in promotions.



That's it - I tried to be realistic and hope you will all pray for my success.  I'll pray for yours as well!




Monday, December 29, 2014

WELCOME PEGGY ELLIOTT TO "AN AUTHOR SPEAKS"!

Dr. Peggy Elliott has overcome a childhood of physical, emotional and sexual abuse to become an anointed woman of God, who ministers wholeness as she brings forth the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In 1984, she began Peggy Elliott Ministries, Inc. (formerly The Balm of Gilead), a ministry of prayer, healing and deliverance.  As a native of St. Paul, MN,she is well known for holding spirit-filled healing conferences and being used by God to set the captives free.  Elliott is a much sough-after conference speaker, and revivalist. 

Her primary gifting is being used by God as an equipper, coming alongside pastors to train church teams in deliverance ministry and altar worker training.  Elliott ministers on topics such as: Understanding and Breaking Free From Generational Curses, Spiritual Gifts In Action, Manifestation Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Altar Worker Training and Being Set Free from the After Affects of Abortion.

She preaches, teaches and equips out of a heart with great compassion, and with profound discernment and boldness, coming against the Enemy, in the name of Jesus Christ.  Dr. Elliott currently resides in Wichita, Kansas, where she has organized monthly citywide prayer meetings and pro-life/anti-abortion conferences, twice bringing in Dr. Alveda King, niece of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as keynote speaker.

What five words describe you?

Minister, equipper and author, specializing in healing/deliverance and pro-life ministry with a special outreach to African Americans.

What are you working on at the minute? What is it about?

I am currently working on putting all of my ministry training courses online, as well as marketing my newest book, Understanding and Breaking Free From Generational Curses: Healing Through Deliverance Ministry. This book is for family members who are tired of seeing their family struggle with the same sin generation after generation and for Pastors/Ministers who counsel individuals, yet without seeing them delivered from their spiritual, financial and emotional problems. The book outlines, what deliverance ministry is, how to be set free and how to walk out your deliverance.

When I complete these projects, I will begin a project titled, 'De-Constructing the Mind Set of an Ex-Offender and one titled, Forgiven:  Healing From Having Had an Abortion.  I usually work on two projects at the same time.  It keeps me interested in writing.
 
 Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

I would like to see Erica of the Mary Mary fame play the lead character if this book became a movie.

 If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have
been and why?

If I could have been the author of any book, it would have been any book of the Bible.  I wish I could have been one of those chosen by God to write one of His gospels.

 What is the hardest thing about writing?

The hardest thing about writing for me is becoming disciplined in doing so, never to miss a day writing something until the project is complete.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

One tip I have to get through the writer’s block is to carry a miniature size cassette recorder or recorder on your phone.  Whenever the spirit hits you to write, you will have access to a way to record and not lose your thoughts.

 Where would your dream location be for writing?

I believe each individual must find the place that works best for them.  I have three locations that work for me:  Across my king-size bed, in the powder room and in a restaurant called Panera. I need some kind of stimulation. Where I write depends on my mood, the climate and how much gas I have in my car.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

As of yet, I have not received any reviews.  I would respond if and when I receive them. The negative ones are as important as the others, if they are written from the heart, and are not written just to be mean.  I can tell the difference from the two.

What would you tell your younger self that would have helped you in
your writing career?

Advice to my younger self would be not to procrastinate.  Get moving on whatever project you have once the window of opportunity opens.  If you do not walk through it then, someone else will.

Where can we buy your books?

I have 6 books that can be purchased on my website www.drpeggylelliott.com and two are on Amazon, the Freemasonry book and How to Heal the Broken Hearts of African Americans.

How can we keep up with you? Blog, Facebook, etc......
 
 
You can keep up with me by liking my FB page, https://www.facebook.com/elliottministries, by signing up for my weekly newsletter on my website, www.drpeggylelliott.com, which includes my blog, Chat with Peggy.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A YEAR IN REVIEW

 



The road of life is full of peaks and valleys.  2014 was, by far, the most tempestuous for me, as well as the most illuminating in the three most significant parts of my life … faith, family and friendships.

FAITH
 
Do not fear:  I am with you; do not be anxious:  I am your God.  I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10).

I am a devoted Christian but sometimes fail when it comes to trusting Him.  This year proved to be one that required a great deal of “turning it over”, which brought resistance.  Lesson learned:  If you reclaim the stones of struggle left at the foot of the cross, they become heavier.

 FAMILY
 
 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away. (Revelation 2:14)
  
My beautiful mother passed away in February after suffering from dementia and cancer.  God blessed me with the opportunity to be a caregiver for her last two years and be with her as she took her last breath.  Although she is no longer here physically, I feel her presence every day.  Lesson learned:  The love between a mother and daughter is something that stays in the heart and cannot be erased by death. 

…bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. (Colossians 3:13)
 
No one is immune to family dysfunction and having family members who, for reasons unknown, cause upheaval through dishonest and spiteful actions.  There are also times when we are the ones causing the upheaval.  Lesson (s) learned:  (1) You have no control over the actions of others, only yourself.  (2) Take responsibility for your failings, ask for forgiveness. (3) Forgive others and leave judgment of their actions to God.

 FRIENDSHIP

If the one falls, the other will help the fallen one. But woe to the solitary person! If that one should fall, there is no other to help.  (Ecclesiastes 4:10)

They say you’ll realize who your friends are when you are down, and this year was an eye-opener.  Sadly, in a few instances I was disappointed; however, for the most part, I felt truly blessed.  Although I have lost a few friends, new ones have entered my life. Lesson(s) learned: (1) God know who you need in your life and who needs you.  (2) Do not stress over those who let go … cherish those who held on.  
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Through the ups and downs of 2014, I realized I'm stronger than I thought, I once again had to accept the fact I'm not perfect (progress not perfection) and even though it doesn't seem like it, blessings far outweighed the struggles.

The biggest blessing this year:  Not only did I receive God's unconditional love, comfort and forgiveness, I received it from my husband as well.  Michael is not only the love of my life but my rock. 

I was also blessed with encouragement from my publisher and author-friends and healing moments with my Rachel's Hope family and Silent No More sisters and brothers.

Prayer for 2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Agony in Defeat



The end of Fantasy Football Season has finally arrived and I am thrilled it's over.  WHAT????!!!!  I know --  you're probably crying out, "Say it ain't so, Gridiron Granny, you should be bemoaning the end and beginning fantasy withdrawal!" Well folks, I'm sorry, but it's true ... in fact, I actually wanted the season to end a couple of months ago! 

In seasons past, I wrote several posts on my fantasy team but this year was agonizing to say the least.  I had such high expectations ... the draft gifted me with some extraordinary players.  I trash-talked my opponents (including my husband) and gloated over my destiny of becoming a three-time champion in the league.  How was I to know one player was going to be suspended for three games due to drug use?  How was I to know two players were going to be arrested and suspended for the season? And let's not forget about poor Danny Woodhead who broke his leg!  These four players were the cream of the crop and my ticket to victory ... and they let me down.  How dare they?  I know they did it on purpose, just to humiliate me.  It's bad enough I hovered in 12th Place (out of 12 teams) for weeks on end, but losing two games to my husband was the most excruciating experience of all.  If there was ever time for marriage counseling ...  Fortunately, I was able to save a little pride by winning a couple of games and move up to 10th place (whoopee). 

God uses all means, including fantasy football, to address something in life that needs fine-tuning ... and looking back at the beginning of the season, I know exactly what it was in my case. 

No need to explain - it's all in Philippians 2:1-10
    
          "... Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others..."

It's time to pull up my big girl panties, move forward and remember to enter the next season with humility ... unless I get an awesome team ... it IS football after all!   (Just kidding?)


2014 FANTASY SEASON
 
 
 

Friday, December 26, 2014

WELCOME CAROLE BROWN TO "AN AUTHOR SPEAKS"!



Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?  




What are five words that describe you? 
 
Caring, loyal, friendly, determined, encourager 
 
What are you working on at the minute? What’s it about? 
 
A second cozy mystery called Bat Crazy (first one: Hog Insane--introducing the characters Denton and Alex Davies).  Short blurb: When Denton and Alex hit the road again headed west, they accidentally overhear a conversation that sends them straight to the nearest, ill-kept new cavern where the rumor has it, vampire bats are after blood! 
 
But I always work on more than one at a time. I have second books in series I’m writing, including the second book after With Music in their Hearts, my WWII romantic suspense that releases November 1, 2014. The second book will be called, A Flute in the Willows, with a prospective release date of late 2015. A historical set in the late 1800s,  
Several others percolating while I’m gathering thoughts about how to develop them. 
 
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been, and why? 
 
Other than the Bible? (Now, wouldn’t that be great to have your name included? Perhaps C.S. Lewis’ Narnia. I haven’t written fantasy--yet--but it would be great to have a work of art like that attributed to my name. Or Jane Austen (in my own style, of course), Jan Karon (again, in my own style!), and I love the writing of Louis L’mour or for more intense, suspenseful writing: Dean Koontz, James Patterson, John Grisham. 
 
What is the hardest thing about writing? 
 
Pushing through to the end. I’m easily distracted and have to focus completely on my writing. I hate being interrupted when I’m in the muse to write.  
 
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block? 
 
The best thing that works for me is talking it through with one or two of my writing friends or my husband. Hearing their thoughts on how it should go--whether I take their suggestion or not--clears my head and gets me rolling again. Best writing medicine in the world for me.  
  
 Where would your dream location be for writing? 
 
Actually, I can write anywhere as long as I’m not distracted. Ocean, lake, woods, city. I love having periods of time to write, share with my hubby and get his feedback, and seeing the progress I can make then. 
 
When creating characters, are they based on people in your life? 
 
Well . . . Not entirely, but some. I realize I take traits or actions and mannerisms from others, even myself. My likes and interests come into play quite often, even things I would love to do find their way into my novels.  But basically, all the characters are products of my imagination. 
 
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good and bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad? 
 
Yes, I read my reviews.  No, I don’t respond although I’d love to sometimes. Not that I want to start an argument, but that I’d love to explain or correct the misunderstanding or assumption. Of course, I know it’s better not to. 
 
Dealing with the bad? If you can be objective (and that can be hard! (After all, that’s one of your babies out there being criticized!), then see if there’s any bit that you can use for good. Doesn’t matter what: make you a better writer, help you to not make the same mistake again, be clearer in your book description, whatever. If you can do this, YOU have wrung something good from “bad.” You’ve set yourself to be in charge. Otherwise, ignore and move on. One or a thousand bad reviews won’t make you a non-writer. Just make sure you do the best you can in all aspects of your endeavor! 
 
If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be? 
 
I’ve always loved photography and think it would be neat to capture images and people in stunning pictures. Now, I might get one-three good ones out of ten shots. I’d think my average would be much better if I had more training. If that didn’t pan out, I’d consider landscaping (with laborers to help with the heavy stuff). I’ve always enjoyed puttering with flowers. 
 
What would you tell your younger self that would help with your writing? 
 
*Start sooner.  
*Be serious about it.  
*Don’t be afraid of failure.  
 
Where can we buy your books? 
 
The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman (women’s fiction with strong elements of romance & suspense): 
Amazon Kindle:  http://amzn.to/17gf97c 
Amazon Print: http://amzn.to/1btCwrg 
Amazon audio: http://amzn.to/1pKKLZz 
Deeper Shopping:  bit.ly/1mkS1XS 
BooksaMillion: http://bit.ly/1dUlVzS 
Barnes and Noble:  bit.ly/1qt76u8 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hog Insane (a cozy mystery): 
Amazon print:  http://bit.ly/1fd3cCQ 
Amazon kindle:  http://amzn.to/1eDC39t 
Books a Million:  http://bit.ly/1fd3cCQ Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1dvNA6z 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
With Music in Their Hearts: 
Releases November 1, 2014 and will be available from Amazon and other online stores. You can also check on my blog and facebook 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
How can we keep up with you? 
 
 
I also am part of several other blogs:  
Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/