Thursday, May 31, 2007


I received word that my novella (a novella is a short novel or work of fiction) in Kiss the Bride (my novella is titled "Angel Food") has finaled in the 2007 Inspirational Readers Choice Contest! What an honor. I'm thrilled and pleased to be in the running in the novella category with two wonderful authors, Robin Lee Hatcher and DiAnn Mills.
The 2007 Inspirational Readers Choice Contest is sponsored by FHL (Faith, Hope, & Love), which is the inspirational chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America). Part of FHL's purpose is: "to promote excellence in romantic and women's fiction that glorifies God and promotes biblical principles."
I'm proud to participate in this prestigious contest that's judged by readers across America.
The winners will be announced and given awards in July in Dallas. But all are winners, in my opinion.
There are seven categories. Great authors and great books!

2007 Inspirational Reader's Choice Contest Finalists
Angel Food - Kristy Dykes (Barbour)
A Carol for Christmas - Robin Lee Hatcher (Zondervan)
The Peacemaker - DiAnn Mills (Barbour)
Long Contemporary
The Guy I'm Not Dating-Trish Perry (Harvest House)
Allah's Fire-Gayle Roper (Multnomah)
Reclaiming Nick-Susan May Warren (Tyndale)
Short Contemporary
A Family Forever-Brenda Coulter (Steeple Hill)
When Dreams Come True-Margaret Daley (Steeple Hill)
Merely Players-Kathleen Kovach (Barbour)
Long Historical (Four finalists due to a tie.)
Measure of a Lady-Deanne Gist (Bethany House)
The Bachelor's Bargain-Catherine Palmer (Tyndale)
Ten Thousand Charms-Allison Pittman (Multnomah)
The Redemption-M. L. Tyndall (Barbour)
Short Historical
Yellow Rose Bride-Lori Copeland (Steeple Hill)
Copper Sunrise-Carol Cox (Barbour)
The Prisoner's Wife-Susan Davis (Barbour)
Women's Fiction
Finding Faith-Denise Hunter (Howard)
Found-Karen Kingsbury (Tyndale)
Abide With Me-Delia Parr (Steeple Hill)
Romantic Suspense
The Witness-Dee Henderson (Tyndale)
Tangled Memories-Marta Perry (Steeple Hill)
Expect the Sunrise-Susan May Warren (Tyndale)

Monday, May 14, 2007


Worry is one of life’s biggest downers. It debilitates and hinders people from achieving and enjoying God’s best. Jesus taught us specifically in the Sermon on the Mount that it is not His will, and it is unprofitable to worry. Worry leads to all manner of sickness and disease—heart, blood pressure, rheumatism, digestion problems, colds and flu, thyroid, diabetic issues, and on the list goes. Worry keeps us from functioning at our highest level. It simply does not accomplish a thing.

Now I suppose you are asking, “Preacher, so tell me, have you ever worried?” Regrettably I have worried more than I want to confess. However, I am learning daily that it is better to give my burdens and questions about tomorrow to God. He has promised He would take care of us, so we do well to give Him our needs.

How do you break the worry habit before it breaks you? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Keep busy to crowd worry out of you mind.
2. Don’t let the little things—the trifles or mere termites ruin your happiness.
3. Use the law of averages to outlaw your worries. Ask yourself: “What are the odds of this thing happening at all?"

If the circumstance is beyond your power to change or revise, don’t be frustrated or worry over it. Cooperate with the inevitable. Move on to what you can actually do about it.

Put a “stop loss" order on your worries. Decide how much the anxiety is worth and refuse to give it any more. Some things just aren't worth it.

Let the past bury its dead. Don’t saw sawdust.

Most of all, pray and give it to God. Why worry when you can pray?

Jesus gave the cure for worry in Matthew 6:25-34. I encourage you to read it today. Seek His Kingdom and all of your needs will be met. He has promised it.

Friday, May 04, 2007



More moon pies. Vanilla and chocolate. Some sweet people made a trip to Tennessee and brought us back some from the original company. These were "double"--double-stacked moon pies. Yum yum.

I put them on my mantle...because it's Fun Friday!


Remember my post a couple of days ago, about laughter clubs springing up all over the U.S.? And at the meetings, the members start saying, "Ho, ho, ha, ha," and then, after awhile genuine laughter takes over? The other night we were going somewhere, and we were having a "serious" discussion. For some reason, Milton started saying, "Ho, ho, ha, ha," and we both got tickled. I got so tickled, my eyeliner started running. We laughed and laughed.

Feeling serious? Feeling blue? Feeling stressed? Try it. Laughter is called internal jogging. It's very healthy. The Bible says, "A merry heart does good like a medicine."

May you have a merry weekend.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


What are you feeding your man? Or, if you as the man are the cook, what are you feeding your woman?
It's fresh veggies season. Everything looks so good in the produce department. We've been eating corn on the cob like it's going out of style. Six ears for two bucks is pretty good, and it tastes so good. Beefsteak tomatoes, fresh asparagus, squash, avocado, they're all luscious tasting. And so healthy.
Add some sauteed chicken breasts or lean meatloaf, and then toss in baked or smashed potoatoes, and you've got a good meal.
Now, if we could just lay off all those desserts church women are so famous for at all those church eating meetings we go to!
Or, the peanut-butter-on-Ritz-crackers late at night coupled with a glass of milk.
What are you eating these days? Anybody want to give us some ideas?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


According to an article in the newspaper Monday, there's what is called the Chicago Live Life Laughing Club. It's designed to help people laugh, and the reason is to reduce stress. These laughing clubs are springing up all over the country in meeting halls, recreation centers, and church basements.
Called "sanctuaries of sillness" in the article, they're where "the burdened go to forget what brought them there."
"There are no jokes or wacky props to illicit laughter," the article states.
Members of the group simply act out funny situations, sort of like a game of charades, and other members of the group force out laughter: "Ho, ho, ha-ha-ha." "They fake over-the-top cartoonish laughs designed to prompt a real one."
"In short, you fake it until you make it," says Doug Dvork, who founded the Palatine, Illinois club last year.
What are these clubs doing for their members? They're relieving them of stress of life and downer-type feelings, a suffocation "by the weight of the world."
This goes along with the scripture that says, "A merry heart does good like a medicine."
My aunt and uncle used to sit in the evenings and read joke books aloud to each other. I think this is a great thing to do. Laughter is sooooo beneficial.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Milton used to do his studying for sermon preparation on his study day on our lanai (back porch), pictured here. I called it his prayer room. He'd glide in the glider or rock in the swivel rocker, a cup of coffee nearby, enjoying birdsong and the Bible, Somewhere, Over the Rainbow wafting through the surround-sound speakers from FM radio, or, How Great Thou Art and praise choruses from CDs.

But recently, he took up the hobby of gardening, and now, he likes to hang out under the great big Florida sky. He's made our 20 x 20 deck and backyard a showplace, profuse with flowers. He's filled rectangle planters with flowers and placed them atop our fence; he's planted flowers in new stone-bordered flower beds he's created in several places; he's resodded with St. Augustine Floratam sod; he's even sanded and repainted the wrought iron deck furniture. Soon, he tells me, he's going to restain the deck.

Yippeeyiyippeeyayyippeeyo. It is so pretty out here, his garden sanctuary.

Yesterday, I asked him why his sudden interest in flowers? (He's always done the yard and hedge trimming and weed eating and edging.)

"Remember that tour of homes we went on in December?"

One of our hobbies is going on tours of homes. Okay, it started out as my hobby, and he finally joined in. Now, we love to see other people's homes, million-dollar condos on the river, historic homes, even historic churches. In December, we went in about 8 or 10 homes, and our eyes went ga-ga at the pretty sights, both indoors and out.

"When we went in all those homes," he said, "I saw how some did their backyards. It gave me some ideas."

We sure are enjoying the fruit of his labors. With this gorgeous Florida weather, we've been having cookouts on the deck, or just carrying our supper (Southern for dinner) out there and enjoying nature. Okay, everything except that whipporwill who keeps whip-whip-whip-or-willing at odd hours.


Now, if I can just get him interesting in cooking...


What about if we signed up for some cooking classes...