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Monday, December 24, 2007

Keep These Things

Here is my second poem. Merry Christmas everyone!!Photobucket

The gifts were many, each a treasure
Some of wealth, more of the heart.

The greetings robust, yet hushed
And filled with awe.

The star shimmered still, even
As morning neared.

Her body drained, Mary sighed, breathing in scents
Of pungent hay, and sheep, and donkey.
Her pulse quickened again at the wonder—
Her new son, her Jesus, who would be Lord.

She knew the Scriptures and held them dear.

Her stomach clenched, overwhelmed at being chosen.
Her, a common girl, not worthy, not ready.

The baby fussed, and Mary hugged Him to her chest. A breeze
Tickled the hairs on her arm, and she smiled.
She thought of the Angel’s words, the shepherd’s words.
The voices lifted in praise.

Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.
She held them dear.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Christmas Candle

I wrote two poems for our church Advent Devotional project, which I haven't seen yet, but thought I'd post one here now and the other on Christmas Eve.

The Christmas Candle


A single flame flickers, alone in the silence
Wax drips like lace down all sides
No one watches, but like the greatest star
Which ever rose, it is a
Flicker of light, flicker of hope.

Those in darkness have seen great light,
The flame leaps with joy, and sways silently,
no sound in the night, and like the greatest star
which ever rose, it is a
Flicker of light, flicker of hope.

The children clutch white candles,
Casting pinpricks of light like stardust
In the land, sprinkled on all men from the greatest star
Which ever rose.
Flickers of light, flickers of hope.

Across the globe the candles shine
Their flames bow and praise the Great News.
They light the sky, they light the sanctuaries as they wait
And watch for the greatest start which ever rose.
Flickering with light, flickering with hope.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Fiction

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Distant Heart
(Avon Inspire January 2, 2008)

Tracey Bateman

In the second book in the Westward Hearts trilogy, will the promise of a new life out west heal the scars of Toni's past?

This series tells the stories of three strong women as they struggle to survive on the rough wagon train and lose their hearts to unlikely heroes along the way/ Thin Little House on the Prairie meets Francine river's Redeeming Love and you begin to get a sense of the riveting historical series that Tracey Bateman has created.

In this second installment, we follow Toni Rodden, a former prostitute who sought to escape her past and build a new life, and a new reputation, when she joined the wagon train. Despite much resentment and distrust from the other women, Toni has finally earned a place on the wagon train and found a surrogate family in Fannie Caldwell and her two siblings. For the first time in her life, Toni actually feels free.

But while Toni once harbored dreams that her new life might include a husband and family, she soon realizes the stigma that comes with her past is difficult to see beyond and that she'll never be truly loved or seen as worthy. As the trip out west begins to teach her to survive on her own, she resolves to make her own living as a seamstress when the train finally reaches Oregon.

But despite Toni's conviction that no man will be able to see beyond her marred past, Sam Two-feathers, the wagon scout and acting preacher for the train seems to know of a love that forgives sins and values much more than outward appearances. Will Sam have the confidence to declare his love? Will Toni be able to trust in a God that can forgive even the darkest past? Faith, love, and courage will be put to the test in Distant Heart.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

No Failure With God

This is an excerpt from's Daily Devotional. Like many of Bill Keller's devotionals, this one really spoke to me as a reminder to keep writing--regardless of how I am feeling about it at the moment. Regardless of how many books I sell. There is no failure unless you don't try.

As a child of God, we have all been commanded, not asked, to serve Him. It
is part of the responsibility of being in the family of God to serve. One of
the issues that I get hundreds of emails about each day is people who are
serving the Lord and because things didn't work out exactly as they planned,
feel like they have failed. There is a word I want to impart into your life
today that I don't want you to EVER forget. THERE IS NO FAILURE WITH GOD!


Let me share something with you. When you are serving the Lord, NOTHING ever
always works out the way YOU planned, but it ALWAYS works out the way God
planned! Please, let me repeat that one more time to insure you get this.
When you are serving the Lord, NOTHING ever always works out the way YOU
planned, but it ALWAYS works out the way God planned. You see, when you are
truly serving God, it is God, not you, who is in control. You are the clay,
not the potter! Does the clay tell the potter what to do?

The key to serving the Lord is two things, our obedience and our
faithfulness. Those are the two things that we have 100% control over. We
can obey and we can be faithful. When God has an obedient and faithful
servant, He has a servant He can truly use and work through. Again, that is
what we are, God's servants. When it is us, when we are doing it, it is
simply a work of flesh and blood and the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit is
missing. When it is God and we are yielded to Him, the supernatural power of
His Spirit can move and incredible things happen.

The problem we have in serving the Lord is getting caught up in how the
world defines success. The world says a church of 5,000 is a huge success
and a church of 50 is a failure. The world says the pastor of the church of
5,000 is doing great things and the man who pastors the church of 50
obviously doesn't know what he is doing. However, God says that if the
church of 5,000 is simply a Christian country club where people are coming
to be entertained for an hour a week, having their ears tickled, never
hearing the power of the Gospel but simply being coddled, yet in the church
of 50 the people are being fed the Truth of the Word, equipped to serve,
challenged to holy living, using their lives to serve God, it is the church
of 5,000 that is not measuring up to God's standards and the church of 50 is
the one He is proud of.

The world says that if you have huge palatial buildings, brand new private
jets, live like the ruler of a small nation, and are famous the world over,
you are a great success. Likewise, the world says that if you have no
building, drive an older model car with 120,000 miles on it, live modestly,
and nobody knows your name, you are a failure. However, God says that if the
person experiencing great financial success is simply using the Gospel as a
business and is being served, and the person with very little materially is
using the Gospel to minister to the lost and is serving others, the one
being served is getting his rewards now and the one serving others will
enjoy the crowns and rewards in Glory for all eternity.

That is what this really boils down to my friend, service. We are called to
serve the Lord and when we answer that call there is no such thing as
failure despite what the world says. Part of being a servant is having the
faith in the One you serve to go where He says go and do what He says do,
and not worry about the outcome. Of course, when you walk by faith you have
to take the first step. That is why you spend time in prayer, get wise
counsel before you start. But once you start taking that walk of faith, God
will open and close doors along the way to guide you so that you are exactly
where He wants you to be and doing exactly what He wants you to be doing.

For those who serve the Lord, that is why it is so critical that you stay in
that close, intimate relationship with the Lord each and every day. That is
why it is critical that you be yielded at all times to the Holy Sprit so
that it is His will and not your will you are seeking. Trust me, God will
guide you each step of the way. When you get a bit off course, He will guide
you back. When it is time to be doing other things, God will close doors and
open new ones. Life is made up of seasons. Some seasons are longer than
others. We are always serving God until the moment we take our last breath,
but we usually will serve Him in many different ways along our journey
through life.

Let me give you some counsel today on being a true servant of the most high
God. First, remember it is ALWAYS Him and never you. Second, always be
obedient and faithful. Third, give your very best to the Lord every second
of every day. Fourth, follow the motto of the great revival preacher from
the 1800s Charles Finney who said, "I do all I can like it all depends on
me, then I pray like it all depends on God!" Fifth, you are to be a servant
to others, not served by others. Sixth, never forget that there is never any
failure with God. Seventh and last, let your only goal in serving the Lord
be to hear those words when you stand before God, "Well done thou good and
faithful SERVANT!!!"

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Fiction

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

What Lies Within

Multnomah Fiction (November 20, 2007)


Karen Ball

Nothing’s going to stop Kyla…

until the ground crumbles beneath her feet.

Kyla Justice has arrived. Her company, Justice Construction, is one of the most critically acclaimed, commercially successful companies in the Pacific Northwest. And yet, something is missing. Not until she’s called on to build a center for inner-city kids does she realize what it is: her sense of purpose. Now nothing can stop her, not the low budget, not supply problems, not gang opposition, not her boyfriend’s suggestion that she sell her business and marry him–and most especially not that disagreeable Rafael Murphy.

Rafe Murphy understands battle. Wounded in action, this Force Recon Marine carries the scars–and the nightmares–to prove it. Though he can’t fight overseas any longer, he’s found his place as a warrior in the civilian world. So he soldiers on, trusting that one of these days, God will reveal to him why Rafe survived the ambush in Iraq. That day has arrived.

Kyla and Rafe both discover that determination alone won’t carry them through danger and challenges. When gang violence threatens their very foundations, there’s only one way to survive: rely on each other, be real–and surrender to God. In other words, risk everything…

Friday, December 07, 2007

Prayer Request

Last week I mentioned fellow writer Kristy Dykes, who was in need of prayer. Well she came through the surgery and now is asking for prayer during her first radiation session on Monday, December 10 at 3:30 EST.

A message from Kristy's husband Milton, on her blog--

A Miracle on Monday

Would you join with us at 3:30 E.S.T., this Monday, Dec. 10, 2007, in prayer at the time of her first radiation treatment? Thousands are praying around the world for Kristy.

It just seemed to dawn on me that while the concentrated radiation was being shot into her brain that focused prayer of thousands of believers around the world praying at this same time would also have powerful impact. Do you agree? Will you set this time aside to pray for her? Surely God would hear our combined, united prayer for her healing.

If you have a blog site I humbly ask you to put this Miracle on Monday request on your blog site to request prayer, this would mean so much to us.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

What You ~Won't~ Do in 2008

Thanks to Paperback Writer for the great goal-setting idea. Here's a taste, stop over at her blog for more, and for the link to where she got the idea to begin with.

Over the years I've become a less is more person, especially in regard to my profession. I've trimmed down what I am willing to do as an author to: writing my novels, maintaining PBW, and doing the occasional favor for a reader, colleague, editor or book buyer. Aside from what I do around here, which is infrequent and clumsy at best, I'd say that I'm pretty much through with self-promotion.

And look -- lightning didn't strike me as I typed that. Incredible.

In 2008, I'd like to be the writer who just writes books. If my novels go on to be bestsellers, great. If they don't, that's the way it goes. Maybe the self-promotion advocates are right, and you have to get out there and pimp yourself or you won't get anywhere in this business. But if I ever get "there" I'd like it to be on the strength of the work, not how often or loudly I clamored for everyone to buy it.

For me personally, I plan to *not* worry about the market and write a story that I want to write.

What won't you do in '08???

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Apples of Gold

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." Proverbs 25:11

This is one of my favorite verses, and I've found a site that showcases it. Site owner Peggy is taking devotional submissions here.