Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Bad Day Fishing

Louisiana Morning
(near Natchitoches, LA)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimdollar/600270497/

Rain pours from the sky. The boat’s filling with water. The dog smells like—well, let’s just say, he stinks, and you haven’t had a bite all day. On your soggy lunch or your fishing line. It’s a bad day at the hole.
A soft drizzle now beats at your back. You motor along the edge to look for a new spot to dip your worm. The bow caresses a nearby cypress tree’s drapery of moss, releasing a cascade of butterflies into the air.
You’ve found the spot. Silence descends with the cut of the engine. You nail the small nook with a smooth flick of the wrist and watch the bait sink under the surface. And a shimmer twinkles across the water with the break of the clouds.
The pole settles into the holder, and you find a comfortable position. You close your eyes to enjoy the moment. The gentle slap of water against the hull, birds chirping at the new light, a soft breeze blowing the fresh-washed air . . .
A bad day fishing is still a good day.

In Christ,

Renee


Nah 1:7 (NKJV) “The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.”



photo credit: Jim Dollar via photopin cc

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tea Time at the Corner: The Coffee Corner with Diane Dean White


http://www.flickr.com/photos/halasi_zsolt/7639234910

I’m so excited to host Diane D. White today in the Coffee Corner. Or should we call it Tea Time? Gather ‘round, folks. I’ll pour the cups.

I met Diane when I was a new writer on Scribes, the ACFW critique loop. To this crazy newbie, she’s been a voice of reason and patience. So let the interview begin…

Congratulations on your new release, On a Summer Night. What can you tell us about it?

First, let me thank you, Renee, for inviting me to join you on your site. It’s exciting to have a new book and see the fruits of my labor. On a Summer Night is a story that shows an adventure two girls have, can lead to soul searching and resentment if not given to the Lord. We follow one girl for a number of years after this experience, and the books takes some twists and turns before it ends.

Writing can be quite a trial for some, not as much for others. What were some of your challenges when writing this book?

Since I've written first as a newspaper reporter, and then over 300 short stories, and wrote another book of Christian fiction, this was a work I started before joining ACFW and the loop of Scribes. As you know we critique one another‘s work, and I was clueless as to the new rules. I'd always written short stories which is “telling,” and didn't know POV rules; and nothing about “weasel words.” It took some time to get that right, and I revised a lot of the story to meet those standards. It took me another year to rewrite using those rules, but after I got them down, I was able to continue onto my next book, while waiting to hear about On a Summer Night.

Wow, Diane. I never knew you’ve written so much! Congratulations on such an amazing writing career. I love all kinds of books. I’ll read just about anything. What do you like to read?

I enjoy many genres, but probably contemporary and historic fiction is my favorite. Some suspense and romance is good.

When I’m not reading, I’m writing, or working. But I don’t work all the time (no matter what my family says.) I love to play on the beach and fish when my shoulder lets me. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’d love to go fishing again, or take a beach walk and look for seashells, and in fact one chapter in my book is about the fun my characters have going out into the green Florida Gulf to enjoy a day of fishing.
Renee, due to a back injury I can’t do as much as I'd like, and so I don't go out a lot, but when our daughter and three grand gals come to visit, we always make a point to find a quaint tea room and enjoy that yummy ceremony. I really am grateful that I can look forward to my writing each day. I do believe the Lord gives us the desires of our hearts; I didn't expect it to come in the way of a back injury…but He knows what we can do.

I’m so sorry to hear of your pain. I agree that the Lord does give us the desires of our hearts, along with His strength to see us through whatever we may face in this life. And He knows the best possible time we can handle those blessings in our lives.

Speaking of time, it’s quite the commodity around my house. Do you have any advice for a new writer in that regard?

Make time. Like anything else that’s important, it’s a job. Treat it as such. Make definite hours and stick to them. I enjoy early mornings and can work for several hours before a pause. I usually proof in the evenings and try to critique my partners work when not proofing my own. If there’s a writers group, get involved. ACFW has a number of them in each state and various cities. It’s good to have others to share with in this field. And excellent to belong to a critique group to help you learn and be accountable to your craft and goals.

Thank you for the advice. I really wish I had a Christian Writers Group in my city. Traveling is so hard for me. But I do have a critique group. ;)

Would you mind sharing a piece of On a Summer Night with us?


A fusion of past thoughts with fragrances and salty air played in the recesses of Kate’s mind. More seagulls flew in formation against the blue sky that now showed gray clouds, with splashes of pink. She took her husband’s strong hand, full of love and warmth. Nestled, she sat next to his broad frame as he drove into the village. Memories flooded her soul. She'd been eighteen, and with youth, wrong decisions often led to grave consequences. There was no erasing the past.
It had been years ago when she and her best friend, Vanessa, made this journey. What a special time their two-week trip after high school graduation had been. She'd never shared with her husband what had happened on that summer night. Kate wasn't sure she should. Did it really matter? She knew the answer…they shared everything. Maybe it was time to tell him her story.


Sounds interesting! I can’t wait to read it. So, what’s next on the calendar? Any conferences or new books headed your way?

I'd love to attend a conference and do book-signings all over. Again, I'm unable to do so because of back pain. I do have another book that is a sequel to On a Summer Night...following one character into rural Georgia. It's been fun to create this story plot...it's much different from my present story and with a good Christian message, too. It's called This Side of Heaven, and the second book in my White Dove series.

I’m sure your new book will be awesome. Thanks for stopping by the Corner today, Diane. You are truly a delight and good friend.


About the Book:



300 pages
A nightmare witnessed between two young women, and one couldn't forget or forgive. Kate had never told her husband about the experience that changed their lives forever in southern Florida. Maybe it was time to tell him her story.
Publisher: CrossLink Publishing, September 2013

Trailer

About the Author:
Diane started her writing at an early age, but it wasn’t until her husband’s work took them to a small southern town she wrote her first column, “Yankee Viewpoint’s” in a local newspaper. Returning to her home-state of Michigan, she did stringer work over the years, ancestral history, and donor appeal letters for non-profit organizations. Diane self-published two books in the early 2000’s, and she became a columnist for a weekly magazine, for four years. She is the author of over three-hundred short stories, and her book On a Summer Night was released in October. She and hubby, Stephen, have been married for forty-one years, and they are the parents of three grown children and three grand-gals.
Visit Diane on her website at www.DianeDeanWhite.com

And friend request her on Facebook at, https://www.facebook.com/diane.d.white.75?ref=tn_tnmn


Lead photo credit: HalasiZsolt via photopin cc

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Guest: Teresa Pollard - Standing Against the Crowd





“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28





My mom was an alcoholic.
She wasn’t very good at everyday life. The odd thing was that in a crisis situation, she was the one person you most wanted to have around. She almost seemed to have been born for those moments, because when others around her seemed to be losing their heads, that’s when she seemed to find hers. I can remember several instances in my childhood when this was true, but one incident will always stand out in my mind.
I was about seven years old, and my older brother, younger sister and I were swimming at a local lake. Mom sat on the shore with our next-door neighbor watching us. Suddenly my mom jumped up and ran out into the water. This was unusual in itself because my mom didn’t swim. Moments later, we realized she had a small bloody child in her arms. In coming down the slide, his pinkie had been caught in a razor sharp edge where the metal slide didn’t quite attach to the side. The finger had been completely severed and had fallen into the water. The child’s mother was hysterical, and the lake owners wanted the whole incident hushed up as quickly as possible. But Mom took control. She quickly organized several of us kids to look for the missing finger, while she took the woman and child to the hospital The lake owners were irate. Other adults at the lake seemed indifferent as long as their own children didn’t get back on the slide. They didn’t understand why Mom would want all those kids looking for a severed finger, but she had seen a newscast the night before saying that doctors were having great success reattaching limbs. Unfortunately, we never did find the finger, but I did learn a lesson that day. Doing what’s right is never a wasted effort. That little boy and his mother both knew that someone cared enough to try. And this daughter never forgot her mom’s courage in standing against the crowd.
Crowds are fickle. One day they were shouting “Hosanna, blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord” (John 12:13) and a few days later, “Crucify him!” (Matthew 27:22). Truth and Right never change, no matter how much the world would like to believe they do, because God is Truth and Right, and He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever!


♥♥♥♥♥♥ GIVEAWAY ♥♥♥♥♥♥




The winner receives a copy of her book, Tokens of Promise. Would you like a Kindle copy? What about a paperback? It's winner's choice. Leave a comment about the blog with your email address. In a week, I'll draw for the lucky winner.

The winner: Diane Dean White 

Congratulations!


About the Book:

“Tokens of Promise”, June 2013.

Inspired by The Bible, Genesis 38, “Tokens of Promise” is an imagination of the love story of Judah and Tamar.
Judah is sure he was bewitched by the beautiful Tamar. She is all he can think about. But no, it must not be. He will not break his vow to Yah. He already has a wife, and he will have only one. Tamar must marry Er.
Rescued from disgrace by the handsome Judah, Tamar is already in love with the kind stranger. She eagerly followed Emi’s advice on how to win him. It almost worked. He’d promised. If only his servant hadn’t come at that moment, she’d be his wife now instead of going home with him to be his daughter-in-law. Why had her father agreed to this? Surely he could see her destiny was with Judah?

About the Author:

Teresa Pollard is from Richmond, Virginia, and was saved at a young age. She has a Masters degree in English and Creative Writing from Hollins College, and has served as a Sunday School teacher and children’s worker for most of the last forty years. Married for forty years, she was devastated by divorce and the death of her youngest daughter, but God has blessed her with a new home and another grandson, and she now resides in Dacula, Georgia. Her website is TeresaPollardWrites.com
flekotech via photopin cc

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The High Road: the Highway of Holiness

Route 66 (picture by Renee Blare)

Isaiah 35:4 “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.”

God promised. He delivered. He’s done his part, it’s your turn.

Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH."

You’ve done it, you’re a Christian. Like an eagle soaring across the sky, you feel free. But you notice the things of this world don’t fit anymore. Kind of like when you grew out of old clothes when you’re young. Things are the wrong style, or a little too tight. Whatever the case may be, you’re uncomfortable. You need to change but can’t figure out exactly how. Where do you find the answers? Which way is the right direction?

Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Your answers rest in the Word, the Bible. Read it. He’ll answer your questions. Study it, meditate on it, and memorize it. Let the Lord reveal His will through the pages. If you haven’t already done so, find a study or discipleship group. Get to know Him. Learn how to talk to Him and pray. After all, He wants a relationship. He loves you.

It’s amazing what propels the journey. In the beginning, excitement fills the day with the enlightening energy of discovery.

Psalm 37:39 “But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble.”

As a Christian matures and his relationship with God progresses, hardships come. Crossroads are approached. Weaknesses get challenged, and temptations tested. With the strength of the Lord, all can be conquered.

So, what’s the goal? I mean, the purpose of any trip is to reach a destination right? In this case, Jesus has already paid the ultimate price for us. What should the objective for the Christian walk even be? Be good? Don’t sin? Why should we even bother?

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Being a Christian isn’t only a decision. It’s so much more.

Take a journey on the high road and live the Life. Experience the joy of the Lord, the peace of His nature, and the strength of His mighty Hand. Learn to dwell in His Spirit even during the turbulent, rocky times. Above all, spread the Word. Give someone in this world a fighting chance. 

Isaiah 35:8 “A highway shall be there, and a road, And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, But it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, Shall not go astray.”

Are you on the Highway? If so, share a piece of your journey. If not, just remember. He’s waiting for you.

In Christ,


Renee