Get out your favorite version of the Holy Scriptures and turn to 2 Chronicles 7:14

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My Final Post

Dear Followers, (If I have any left) I owe you a sincere apology.

I've tried over the last few years, again and again, to be dependable in my posting to this blog. If not every day, at least once a week  It usually lasts a couple of weeks . . . and I'm behind again.

My excuse has always been the same - I've just got too much to do. Well, that is true. I DO  have too much to do, but I should have dealt with it a long time ago, and not made you check back again and again to see if anything new has been posted. My bad. Forgive me, please.

I am a Christian, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, pet owner, wild-life rehabber, housewife, chief cook and bottle washer, Christian fiction author, editor, social-network participant and blogger. Admittedly, someone younger than I may be able to handle all that with one hand tied behind her back. Me? Not.

Every job on that list, excepting the last three, is non-negotiable. I must do them to the best of my ability every day - 24/7. You might think the job of Christian fiction author should be among the negotiable, but it's not. I was assigned that job by God about 11 years ago. He made it easy on me by promising to always give me the plot and subject matter. If I don't have a plot brewing in my head and heart, I can know He's is giving me a little vacation.

I have, once, tried to get ahead of Him by coming up with my own plot and plunging forward with it. It was a train-wreck. I tried to rewrite it to His satisfaction. Nothing worked. I asked my husband what to do with it, because no amount of re-writing brought it up to God's standards. He suggested - painful though it might be - to pray about it, and if no answer came . . . delete it with no further adieux. That's precisely what I did. Seventy-thousand words . . . gone . . . just like that.  You know what? It felt good. It wasn't long before He planted His plot in my heart and head to replace the deleted one.

But I want to talk to you about 11 years ago. What did I do then, before I felt called by God to write Christian fiction? Well, I wasn't a great-grandmother or an editor yet, but I was a pastor's wife. Had been for over twenty-five years. It was those 25 years that gave me the insight into the battle that we, as Christians, fight daily. And it was those same 25 years that God refreshes in my mind, from time to time, to give me scenes and situations to be used in my novels that could only come from first-hand experience. Fictionalized enough, of course, to not infringe on anyone's privacy.

So, imagine my surprise when potential publishers told me I needed a "platform." Wasn't 25 years in the ministry and thousands of former congregants - who would surely recognize my name  - enough of a platform? Apparently not. It took the better part of five years to procure a publisher, even though I got rave review from numerous people - including the publisher's own staff. And even then I only got a contract on the condition I "build my platform" by joining Face Book and Twitter, and establishing a blog. It was strongly suggested that I check my accounts in the morning and again in the evening before I hit the sack.

Up to that point, my association with the internet was quite limited. I only used it to contact publishers, agents, editors, and the like. I'd always steered clear of Face Book's predecessor "My Page" because I was (and am) a very private person by nature. But I joined Face Book because it was required.  I have to admit I joined Twitter, but never used it. And I joined LinkedIn and Pintrest . . . and anything else that came down the pike - to build my platform. I also built and opened my own author webpage.

Suddenly, my time was no longer my own. Nor my husband's, nor my family's. Not even God's! Because I had to cut down on either my writing or my housekeeping (or sleeping, as was sometimes the case) to allow time for all my internet "responsibilities."  

When I broke my hip last February and had to spend a month in rehab, I had no internet access. It was either put it out of my mind . . . or lose my mind. So I decided to put it out of my mind until I got home. Arg! What a mess I had waiting for me when I was once again able to access internet. It took another month to get caught up.

As soon as I accomplished that, I decided to do something about it. My first step was to thin out my Face Book friends. I'd accumulated around 1,600 . . . most of whom I didn't know at all. Sadly, for all the months and years I'd "cultivated" relationships on social network I can't reasonably credit even one book sale to the effort. None of those people want to buy my books. For goodness sake, we were all authors. Who could afford to buy a couple thousand books to appease all your author friends in hopes they will return the favor? I thinned my friends to 72 people with whom I am either related, real-life friends, or truly connected cyber-friends.

I tried to figure out how to get off LinkedIn, and in the process inadvertently sent out invitations to a hundred or so email contacts. (Duh.)

But even with those changes, I'm still chained to my computer desk for the majority of the day.


I began thinking about my life eleven years ago. We lived on a mountain in Oklahoma. I spent a good part of my day on my four-wheeler, nurturing animals, building fences, and killing scorpions. (Don't miss that one.) That was the period in my life when the Lord spoke to me about writing for Him. And that's when I began.

He didn't call me to write a blog, or edit, or join Face Book, or any of these other things that have been demanded of me. Simply to write novels . . . and enjoy the process. He would see to it  the right people read my books. (Somehow along the way, I forgot that part.)

It wasn't until we moved back to Texas and I had my husband build me a fine office, that I began taking my orders from publishers instead of from God. And my life changed. Four books later, I'm spending less and less time outside in the sunshine. (To the point that I became vitamin D deficient), less time with my family and friends . . . less time with my animals. More time behind the computer. More time preparing frozen dinners . . .

Well, I won't belabor it any longer. I'm sure you've gotten the point.

Starting today - I'm making a BIG change in my lifestyle. I can't go back to the mountains, but we are once again in the country. The Piney Woods of East Texas. The change will begin with no blog,  no Pinterest, no LinkedIn, very little FaceBook (friends and family only), more time in the prayer room, editing only when it pleases me (and when I'm not working on a God-inspired book.)

And outdoors, here I  come!

My books will continue to be available. Hopefully at the rate of one new novel each year. (That's sort of what God and I had settled on.)

If anyone wants to talk with me, buy a book,  complain (I hope not too often), or just check up on me . . . I'll always be available (until the Lord calls me home) at my website or my email

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your faithfulness!



Friday, October 23, 2015

One Glad Day

One day not long ago, I was perusing the paper and a picture of a beautiful young girl caught my eye as the page turned. Her appearance radiated kindness, youth, energy, and love. Sadly, the picture was announcing her passing. I hoped this was an old, old picture of a mature person who had lived a full life. That, unfortunately wasn't the case.

She was twenty-one years old when she died of a sudden illness. She was full of life, loved by everyone who met her, and always had a smile for everyone. She truly was what her picture portayed her to be. The obituary went on to say she was a dancer. Her life revolved around music and dancing. In my mind's eye I could see this lovely person dancing . . . her long blonde hair floating on the air currents, and I realized I was crying.

For whom? For her? Surely not. She's dancing with the Lord now. What a beautiful sight that must be.

Then my eyes strayed to the picture next to her. It was an old woman. Eighty-eight years old. I've never met, nor seen, an eighty-eight year old woman whose beauty could compare to that of a twenty-one year old girl. At least not outwardly.

The old lady's family extolled her prowess in the kitchen. She could make the best rolls and the best desserts ever to touch your lips. She was a fun-loving wife, mother, and grandmother. And she would be missed very much.

My mind conjured up a picture of the beautiful young girl and the nice old lady approaching the gates of Heaven together. A tall willowy blonde and a short, curly-headed, gray-haired granny. The blonde was twirling on her toes and smiling. The old lady shuffled along carrying a tray of cookies. Who was the most beautiful as they stood before the Lord?

Then I had an "I couldn't had a V-8!" moment.

It's a no-brainer. They both have new bodies. They're both filled with the Holy Spirit. As they stand before the Lord, His beauty is revealed in both of them. Two amazingly beautiful spirits have been added to the citizenry of Glory.

And it dawned on me, it doesn't matter how old, how fat, or how ugly we get . To Jesus, Who sees our hearts and not our earthly bodies, we are beautiful.  

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Rip Van Winkle

Had Rip Van Winkle fallen asleep during my tenure in high school, and awakened last week, he'd be  in full scale denial.

I've believed in a Higher Power for as long as I can remember. Although I didn't begin enjoying a relationship with that Power until middle age.

I've believed every word I've read in the Bible since I owned my first one.

But never in a thousand years did I think I'd be here to see Bible prophesy happening right before our eyes. Because until a few years ago, I wasn't able to see the dark side. There was the world, and there was God. I didn't know the spots of darkness I detected in the world from time to time were actually growing. Like a fungus.

We did "naughty" things in high school. Skipped a class. Stayed out past curfew. Perhaps experimented with a bad word or two. But I, for one, suffered tremendous guilt afterward anytime I broke a rule.

A mere two generations ago . . . 

As a young woman I heard in church that Christians were the light in a dark world. It all sounded rather righteous and unnecessary. The world wasn't all that bad. Then.

But look around us now. The world is that bad. Naughty has grown up. And been replaced by evil. And many people in positions of great influence - add fuel to the flame for the sake of wealth and fame. Greed trumps decency.

Doris Day has been replaced by . . . well, I was going to name a name, but I think I'll pass. It doesn't take too much imagination to insert a name. Innocent love stories as portrayed by Doris Day, June Allison, and other actresses of that era have evolved into sordid tales of sex and sin. Except they're presented as "the norm."

You can't go to a movie, or watch a TV show that doesn't give equal time to "alternate life-styles." The world has grown weary of laboring and, one-by-one, is succumbing to the evil one's desires.

Phillippians 2:15 says " . . .  that you may prove yourselves to be blamesless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst  of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world."

I can turn on the TV, walk down the street, or overhear a conversation . . . and realize I AM in the midst of a perverse generation. We've been told it would be like this. Why are we surprised?  Jesus said we'd be hated because we love Him.  Just never thought I'd see the day when Christian were hated. It's kind of sneaked up on us, hasn't it?

Satan is alive and well, and growing stronger. It's up to us to shine a bright light on his deeds. (2 Corinthians 2:11 "in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his scemes.")

The town where I attended high school . . . innocent and safe . . . is now a hotbed of crime and drugs. But for the grace of God, I would be a part of this perverse generation. But as His children, we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.

When you were in high school, wouldn't it have thrilled you out of your gourd if the captain of the football team (or cheerleading team) told you he/she liked you?" Well, try this on for size . . . The God of all creation, King of kings, Lord or lords, the Lion of Judah, the Prince of Peace loves you!

Monday, October 5, 2015


Time to get back to Mother and Daddy.

Last post I did on them was to share a little about Mother's early days.

We already know they got married on March 14, 1926 - my father's 21st birthday. What I don't know - and I wish I did - is when they met. I don't know if they'd been going together for a long time, or if they had a whirlwind romance. You'd think I'd have asked Mother about that. But I know from pictures that they sure did have a lot of fun.

Daddy had a motorcycle. And Mother had a poodle dog named Patsy. And I imagine Daddy was quite the daredevil. Patsy would ride on the motor and lean in the curves. And Mother would sit behind Daddy with both arms wrapped tightly around him. They made quite the beautiful couple.

Mother had long brunette hair when they met. But everyone knows that flapper girls wore their hair in a short bob. So when Mother began wearing those cute little outfits, she decided to get her hair cut in a bob. Daddy about came unglued.

And he laid down the law. "You cut your hair, and we're through." he told her. Never one to be told what she could or couldn't do, Mother had her hair cut the very next day. When he saw it, he didn't say a word. But he later admitted to her that he just wanted to see if she'd "obey" him . . . and he had no intention of leaving her. Since I didn't come along for many years, I have no way of knowing . . but I think they had a very special relationship.

I have pictures of them going on picnics in the park. Usually with their best friends, Mary and Russ. Mary had been Mother's friend for a long time. Daddy and Russ became friends when Russ and Mary started dating. I can remember as a small child going on vacations with Mary and Russ and their children. That memory just emerged. Hadn't thought about those days for a long time.

Well, it's past my bedtime.

If you find all this stuff about my parents less than riveting - I'm sorry. It's really quite therapeutic for me. You see, my mother died 42 year ago tomorrow. And not a day has passed that I haven't missed her.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing her again in Heaven.

Hope to see you there, too.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Sixty-thousand words . . .

Time flies.

I took a few days off without even realizing the time was passing. Sorry. It's been a traumatic week in a way. And a wonderful week in another way.

You see, I was working on novel #4. It's been written for some time.(Finished before I broke my hip in February) After I got home from rehab, I had a very difficult time getting my act together. Didn't feel like doing anything. When I did finally come around, I realized if I was to keep my goal of a novel a year, I'd better get in high gear rewriting and editing my novel, because 2015 is quickly coming to an end.

I struggled. Man, how I struggled. The novel, which seemed so ingenious while I was writing it, had turned on me. The one thing I must achieve with every novel I write . . . it must be God-honoring. While I wasn't looking . . .  this novel became dark. Try as I may to rewrite scenes, and hone character's personalities - I couldn't get past the darkness.

I prayed about it. At length. And I asked my husband to pray.

We both heard the same thing. If it was not totally God-honoring, and apparently no amount of effort was going to make it so, "Trash it." the Lord said. "Start from scratch."

It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I mean, I'd put many hours into that novel. But I have a commitment to God. He expects me to give Him all the glory in every novel I write.

So . . . I deleted 60,000 words with one flick of the wrist.

It's only three months until the end of the year, and I have no novel for 2015. Not even 100 words, You know what? I'm not going to fret about it. I might write two in 2016. Or not!

One thing I'm not going to do, and that's let Satan steal my joy. Because I'm following God's orders.

The battle is real!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Parents, Episode #2

I gave you a little background on my daddy on Monday. Now for a little background on Mother.

My mother was a flapper girl!

I've always known that and never knew any reason to be ashamed of it. However, it would seem there are some who are under the impression that flapper girls were "bad" girls. Not so. I read a book recently in which the author made some references to "flappers" as though they were ladies of the night. BTW, when I got to that part of the book, I quit reading. Because that author obviously didn't know much about nuttin'.

Were you to look up "lady" in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of my mother. She didn't drink, smoke, or chew. She was kind to all people and animals, and had the integrity of a saint. What she did like to do, though, was have fun. Dress in really cute little outfits and dance, dance, dance.

Mother's school years were sad. Her family was so poor she wore hand-me-downs. But they were from her big brother. Children, being what they often are, made her young life miserable.

Her father (my maternal grandfather) died in the flu epidemic of 1918. when Mother was 14 years old. He left my grandmother with 5 children to raise alone, during the great depression. Mother quit school to go to work in a shoe factory. And gave every penny she earned to her mother.

As her siblings grew, she was finally able to keep part of her pay. She made a lot of her own clothes, and dressed in all the latest styles. And went dancing every chance she got. She could do the Charleston like she was born doing it. And that's how she met Daddy.

He went to the dances to meet the girls. He wasn't really big on dancing. But he sure was good-looking.

And he fell for Mother really hard!

More later!

God bless!

Monday, September 14, 2015

My Parents

I got to thinking about my parents last night - not that I don't think about them every day. But last night my thoughts went deep . . . and way back.

They married in 1926 on March 14 - my Daddy's 21st birthday.

He had not been allowed to marry before that day. Yes, you heard right . . . his father wouldn't allow him to marry until he was 21. My grandfather was a very small man. I imagine he didn't weigh more than 140 pounds soaking wet. My daddy, on the other hand, was large and muscular. Not large in height . . . but he had biceps like a prize fighter from years of working in the coal mines. He'd had to quit school in the fifth grade to go to work and help support the family.

But oh, did Daddy love his night life. While living under his parents roof, he found it next to impossible to make it home by curfew. Even though he knew his father would be waiting with the paddle. Yep . . . the paddle. This tough, muscle-bound young man would obediently allow his pint-sized father to whip him with a paddle when he got home late.

That's the kind of respect our ancestors showed for their parents. Whether raised in a Christian home or not . . . "Honor thy father and thy mother" was deeply ingrained in their spirit.

He told me - years later when I was an adult - "Oh how I hated those whippings. I made up my mind the day I turned 21 your mother and I would marry and get our own place."  I asked him if it had ever occurred to him to come in by curfew . . .  and he just grinned.

Tune in Wednesday for the next episode.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Today I finished a new back for a clock my son Billy's repairing. (He's a clocksmith)  The back had been damaged in shipment.

Matched the stain to a "T". Stained and polyurethaned it to perfection. And then I looked down at the open can of polyurethane and my stained hands. And said to myself "Why not?"

Four window facings, one gift "love" box, and a quilt stand later I looked down at the almost empty can and my really, really stained-up hands. And said to myself. "Ah yes, now I remember why not. I have a very important appointment tomorrow, and my fingernails look like I just overhauled a tractor engine.

I'm going to spend the rest of the day soaking my hands in Dawn and raiding my bag of Dove.

Hardly a day passes that God doesn't put a song or a Scripture on my heart. Today was no exception. He gave me one of my favorites.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Lean not to your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.
Do not be wise in your own eyes.
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will mean health to your flesh and strength to your bones.

Every line (and I do stop to absorb each line) applies to me at one time or another.

I do forget sometimes to trust in Him and Him alone.
Because I do often lean on my own understanding. (Or that of someone else.)
I sometimes forget to acknowledge Him in all things.
And God knows, at times I think I know it all.
Well, I DO fear Him (reverential awe) but I'm not always as innocent as I might be.

God help me to live Your word, because if I remember to do all those things, You have promised me health and strength. Hallelujah!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

It Began With a Prayer

Son Billy and I went to the Ted Cruz Rally in Tyler, Texas today.

For those who may not know, Ted Cruz is a U.S. Senator from Texas. And  candidate for the Republican Presidential nominee in 2016.

Such a blessing to attend a political rally and have it begin with prayer. It's not politically correct, of course, but some of our representatives don't observe that nonsense. Ted Cruz is one of them  His speech was uplifting and gave me, as it did others, hope in the fact that there are still men and women in places of governmental responsibility who actually care about their constituents. And more importantly, they care about God. And our continued freedom to worship Him.

I'm not using my blog to recommend any one candidate. We have several hopefuls who are God-fearing, praying individuals. As Christians, that should be the main criteria in our decision of whom to vote for in the primaries.

My prayer is now, and will be for more than a year, that every Christian will get out and vote in 2016. Did you know that less than 50% of eligible evangelicals are registered to vote, and in the 2012 election an even smaller percentage of those who were registered actually got out and voted? That's terrible, folks. It's no wonder Satan has such a foothold in America today.

Talk to your Christian friends. Make sure they realize that our entire future depends on all of us standing up for what is right and what is Godly. And we can't do it without their vote.

The battle is real!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sometimes repetition is necessary.

It's only been a few days since I last wrote on 2 Chronicles 7:14. But more has happened. Much more.

There seems to be a movement starting. I don't know if it originated in Tyler, Texas or not. But that's where we first heard of it.

To do a little back-tracking on my recent post., I'd like to reiterate that the Scripture is written not to a nation - but to the people in that nation who call themselves by the name of God.

It apparently makes no difference to God whether they be in the majority or the minority. He's not expecting them to change anyone else. Just themselves.  "If the people who call themselves by My name" will humble themselves . . .

That realization puts the whole new light on things. I'm only required to turn from my wicked ways, and you from yours. And we are required to pray. God has promised to handle the rest. But it has to be more than just you and me.  "My people" - all of us need to unite in prayer and repentance.

This brings me to the movement I spoke of earlier. The time 7:14 comes  twice a day. We as Christians are being asked to stop what we are doing at least once a day at 7:14 to pray for our nation. If you can manage the morning and the evening "shift" all the better.

Not just a token prayer. But a heartfelt prayer from deep within your spirit, asking God to heal our nation. God loves corporate prayer. He loves to hear all of His people beseeching Him as a family. And He listens to His family and He will answer

God does not lie. So the ball is in our court. If we keep our end of the bargain, He will keep His. So spread this word to every Christian you know. We need to spend less time putting down the "other side" and more time lifting God. Take is seriously, and convince others to take it seriously. Pray expecting, not just hoping.

The future of our nation depends on us. The family of God.