A Little more of This and That!


Hey all! So…this week I finished those pesky edits with a final read-through, then made my changes I’d noted. That part’s not too bad. I really love the iPad kindle app for reading my ms. It feels like such a…a…a book! 

Also, if I said, “I’m feeling a little woozy here.” Would you think of any particular movie? I need to know this in the comments.

I forgot my daughter for the 2nd time last Saturday. Band practice on Saturday is unnatural. It wasn’t a direct result of being consumed by characters upon a cruise ship. Nope. Band on Saturday is unnatural. And that is all.

We bought my son a new TV. Added a DVR box so he can watch and record shows. I’m doing everything I possibly can to keep him in his room. What else can I do? Mini-fridge? Ooooh, tha’ts not bad. Not bad at all.

Tuesday came this week. And I always know it’s Tuesday because I never fail to back right into the trash can by the street. Never. Fail. But hey, it’s better than leaving ruts in my yard. Which I do every time it rains. (Ruts don’t form on dry ground.)

I listened to my BFF vent big time this week (face to face not on text or face time) and when she finished I did what every good friend does. I laughed in her face. Isn’t that terrible??? But I couldn’t help it! Watching her flail her arms around and carry on all red-faced is hilarious. HIGH-LARIOUS. But don’t worry, I followed it up with a “I’m praying for you.” That always makes it better, right? Right? 

Oh, let’s see, hey, when you’re sprinkling laxative into your, or someone else’s drink, do you really pretend like you’re pouring iocaine powder into a drink and either going to kill someone or drink it yourself like the Dread Pirate Roberts a.k.a. Westley (Princess Bride)? No? Just me then. Hmmm…

Well then, that’s all I got!


So tell me a little this or 
that in your life this week!

But Who?

Imagine with me, John the Revelator. Exiled to a
rocky island called Patmos. Imagine him sitting one day, staring off into the
distance and longing for home, for eternity, for Christ. And in an instant he’s
taken up to heaven in a vision…
“I saw a scroll in the right hand of the One
Seated on the Throne. It was written on both sides, fastened with seven seals.
I also saw a powerful Angel, calling out in a voice like thunder, “Is there
anyone who can open the scroll, who can break its seals?”
There was no one—no one in Heaven, no one on
earth, no one from the underworld—able to break open the scroll and read it.
I wept
and wept and wept that no one was found able to open the scroll, able to read
it.” Revelation 5:1-5 MSG
Can’t you feel is his angst as he weeps. Who can
fulfill God’s plan in history? Who is worthy to do it? No one. No one can
accomplish what is written in these scrolls. The utter doom slides 
into your
stomach like an icy ball.
But then…
“One of the Elders said, “Don’t weep. Look—the
Lion from Tribe Judah, the Root of David’s Tree, has conquered. He can open the
scroll, can rip through the seven seals.” Revelation 5:5

A lion!
A conqueror!
John must envision a mighty warrior with a
frightening roar, sharp teeth, a powerful king. 
Aggressive. Coming with force.
Slowly, tears running from his cheeks, he raises
his head to see this Lion.
“So I
looked, and there, surrounded by Throne, The Living Creatures, and Elders, was
a Lamb, slaughtered but standing tall.” Revelation 5:6
Not a lion.
A lamb as though it had been slain.
Without a roar. Without sharp teeth.
He came as sacrificial love. In mercy. In grace.
A lamb! A lamb!
But he is powerful. He is mighty! He is standing tall!
“He came to the One Seated on the Throne and
took the scroll from his right hand. The moment he took the scroll, the Four Living
Creatures, and Twenty-four Elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb.” Revelation
And all sang around the throne!
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain ; To receive
power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” Revelation
“Blessing and honor and glory and power be to
Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” Revelation 5:13




What is just one name you’ve experienced Christ as? 

Photocredit: freedigitalphotos/ponsulak


Little This and That: #TEXTFAIL

Texting. Seriously? They need to put a recall button on there so when you send heinous things on accident you can retrieve them. It would save us all a lot of embarassment but then if you’re like me and rarely get embarrassed, it would kill some laughter we may not have otherwise had that day. And we all know laughter makes a merry heart. Basically, laughing is good for us. It’s a medicine of sorts.
Anyway, point is, a recall button would have saved me from sending the following text to our youth pastor this past week.  
So ever had a #textfail? Let’s fill twitter today with all our #textfails. Send a snapshot or tell us in 140 characters and don’t forget the hashtag #textfail
Feel like getting friends on board? Share the fun on facebook/twitter and other social media sites! How fun could this be!
Do you get embarrassed easily? 


Working for Jesus vs. Ministering to Him

Visit Jeanette! 
Welcome to Wednesday, my favorite people! I am so excited to introduce you to the sweet and hilarious, Jeanette Levellie! Jeanette is…
A spunky pastor’s wife of over thirty
years, Jeanette’s debut humorous inspirational book, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top, released in April of 2012,
and has already become an Amazon bestseller in the humor category.
Jeanette’s bi-weekly
humor/inspirational column, God is Bigger,
has been a popular feature in the Paris Beacon News since 2001. She’s published
stories in Guideposts  and  Love is a Verb with Gary Chapman anthologies;
articles in Vista, God’s World Today, The Christian
Communicator, Birds & Blooms, Country,
and Country Extra magazines; devotionals in The Upper Room, Daily Hope, Light from the Word, & Glimpses of God, greeting card verses
for Celebration Greetings, and poems
for La Leche League International calendars.  

Jeanette, thank you so much for being here. I absolutely loved this! Take it away!
When I became a Christian at age eight, I went to school the
next day and told my friends in a singsong voice, “I’m going to hea-ven and
you’re no-ot!”
I don’t recommend this method of sharing your faith. Although
my heart was right—I wanted to serve the Lord—my methods were a bit primitive. Pre-believers
need more than a taunting song from a freckle-faced kid hanging upside down on
the monkey bars to see their need for a Savior.
Since that early faux paus, I’ve honed my “sharing the
gospel” skills. I’ve also discovered that attitude is everything if I want to not
only please the Lord, but also enjoy my relationship with Him. I made that
discovery when a close friend nearly landed in jail.
Several years ago, our friend, Roger* was arrested and falsely
accused of a crime. After weeks of earnest prayer and Roger’s savings moving
from his savings account to the lawyer’s wallet, the judge lessened the
sentence from jail time to community service. I was so grateful, I wept as I
praised the Lord. Then I thought, 
“I want to do something to show my gratitude.”
I decided to take my lunch break once a week to visit a
nearby nursing home. I brought yarn to one of the patients who crocheted, ice
cream bars to the nurses’ aides, and smiles to those who’d lost theirs.
Although I often grieved when I left, knowing I was returning to my healthy life,
visiting these unfortunate people was a joy. I never associated the word “work”
in relation to these visits. I was ministering to the Lord by loving a few of
His lambs. It was a tangible way I could say “thank you” to Jesus for rescuing
It’s too easy for us to slip into categorizing some of the
things we do—teaching Bible classes, leading worship, sharing our testimony—as
“working for the Lord” rather than “ministering to Jesus.” We tend to label our
activities as “spiritual” or “secular.” But that’s not how the Master thinks.
He says, “If you’ve done something for another human being, you’ve done it for
Me” (Matthew 25).
If we’re interested in making our lives count for Jesus, we’ll
be conscious that every floor we mop, every tip we give a waitress, and every song
we sing, ministers to the Lord. Well, with one exception. That tacky little one
I sang as I hung from the monkey bars is long gone!

Does it help you to
think in terms of ministering to Jesus as opposed to working for Him? Is there
a difference? Why or why not?

God Can…

_________________ fill in the blank.

I loved your comments so much last Monday when you filled in the blank: God is ___________. So encouraging! Hope you take a minute to listen to Seth Condrey’s incredible praise song! 

He really is the God of the impossible! Do you need something done in your life that seems impossible? He can! He is able!

Oh! Tomorrow is one of my most favoritest people in the whole world’s birthday! Happy Birthday, Susan Tuttle! Love you, dear one!

Join me Wednesday for a super special post by a super special lady! Stay tuned!

A Little This and That

So, I’ve been editing a ms for the last few weeks. I’ve felt a little like this…
But mostly, it’s been fun and I still love my characters. 
I’ve been pushing my daughter to get her permit because she has to wait one full year after getting it until she can have a license. Her birthday was in November. I don’t want to drive her to school forever! 
My mom got me an apron for Christmas. And a CD in Hebrew. Wanna know what my sister got? Hand spa lotions and scrubs. Hmm… Did I mention I can’t speak Hebrew or understand it? I need the English spelling when I’m studying. Did I also mention my hands are cracked and scaly from this wintry weather? Yeah. Moving on. *Mom, I love your gifts. Really. I do. Thanks.
I’ve had some long conversations with my BFF that revolve around questions that begin with: Yeah, but like, what if…? Or But could you…? and What kind of a fungus might…? Okay, and some more serious stuff like, If I meet Jesus first, will you be jealous? And, when we’re all living on the New Earth, how are we guaranteed one on one time with Jesus. If he’ll be physical, then like, how can he be with me in a garden and you by a waterfall? So yeah, stuff like that.
I also fell in love with that egg lip loss, no it’s not made from eggs but it looks like it’s an egg. EOS or something? Anyway, I like it.
I bought green post-its. I lost a journal, not really a journal that just sounds cooler. I lost a skinny notebook. I also lost a sock. 
No, that’s not interesting. Okay, that’s all I got. Have a great weekend.

Your turn: Give me a little bit of your this and that. 

How to Prepare Yourself for Service

Consecration. A word that means set apart for a specific
When we think of consecration, we think of the Levitical
priesthood, setting themselves apart/consecrating themselves before ministering
before the LORD. The same is true today.
Set apart for a
specific purpose also means to prepare.
Last week, we talked about Daniel preparing himself for the
vision he received. He fasted three weeks, only eating bland foods. He
abstained from meat, bread, and wine.
It was a physical action he took.
But it came from his heart. Today I want to look at another
instance where Daniel set himself apart.
Imagine coming into Babylon a slave. Being spoken to in a
language you did not understand. 
Taken from everything you knew. No facebook,
google maps, or Travelocity to give you any idea of where you were going.
Daniel was taken, along with his three fiery-furnace
friends, and were to be integrated into society. Taught the language and
customs etc…and to eat meat and wine from the king’s table.
Daniel 1:8 tells us, “But Daniel purposed in his heart that
he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with
the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs
that he might not defile himself.”
In ancient times, meat was sacrificed to false gods, and
wine was like a drink offering to them, so to sit at the table and eat and
drink, meant you were acknowledging, accepting, and even worshipping their
Daniel wasn’t being forced to hard labor. He was about to go
into a prestigious training program. Refusing to follow the rules could be disastrous
at the least and at most deliver a death sentence.
Don’t think Daniel didn’t think of the consequences. But in
the end, he purposed in his heart. 
He made the decision. To set himself apart.
To not compromise.
To be different.  To
be who he was called to be.
It took courage and bravery. 

Consecrating ourselves to God and to His purposes takes
conscious decisions. It will take determining in our hearts.
Whatever the outcome. Whatever the penalty.
The reward is always greater.
If you sit in the middle of the fence, nine times out of
ten, you’ll fall.
Make a choice. Determine in your heart what you will and
will not do.
And trust God with the outcome and rewards.
“So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs
had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,  “Please
test your servants for ten days
, and let them give us vegetables to eat and
water to drink. Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the
appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and
as you see fit, so deal with your servants.”  So he
consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days
.” Daniel
The results:
“And at the end of
ten days their features appeared better
and fatter in flesh than all the
young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies.” Daniel 1:15
“And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which
the king examined them, he found them
ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers
who were in all his
realm.” Daniel 1:20
How many times better were they?
Coincidence? I think not.

What is
something you can set apart/consecrate to the LORD? 

God Is…

answer in the comments 
and take a few minutes to be calmed, filled with peace, renewed with hope, infused with joy.

Draw Near…


Even closer…

Almost there…

Wednesday, we’ll talk about consecration i.e. being set apart for service. I hope you’ll join me!

The sun came up. God is faithful. What He says He will do, He will do!


Weeping Over Fictional Characters


Over the holidays, I had plenty of time to relax and to read. And I did a lot. I still have reviews to post, and I’ll get to it. 

Some of the novels I enjoyed were:

Five Days in Skye by Carla Laureno. Can’t afford to take a trip to Scotland? Just read this book and I promise you’ll be there. 

Crossfire by Jodie Bailey. Need a thrill? Want to lose your breath in a good way and stay on the edge of your seat, or in my case the couch? Jump into this Love Inspired Military romantic/suspense.

The Wedding Game by  Amy Matayo. Love sassy, witty banter and reality TV? Winner! A fun, fun read.

Always the Baker, Never the Bride by Sandra Bricker. I’ve read her other two out of order and I’ll tell you it doesn’t matter, but this one was my favorite. Love laughing, romance, and recipes? All three right here.

A Light In the Window by Julie Lessman. Interested in mysterious and dreamy heroes? Read her Daughters of Boston series? This book began it all. It’s a must-read.

I also read some not inspirational fiction.

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest. Looking for interesting settings, vampires and teenage romance? Granted the back of the book had me wondering as the heroine is kidnapped and forced into a vampire prince’s harem. However…it turned out to be a really clean book. I was pleasantly surprised. This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it was an interesting read and I liked it.

But I want to talk about the last book I read over the holiday. The one that had me boo-hooing.

Gut ripping.

A Fault in Our Stars by John Green

A story about teenagers with cancer. Doesn’t sound light-hearted. It is and it isn’t. There are moments when you get a break from the C-word.

I was utterly sucked into these lives. Especially the witty hero. As a mother, I cried over and over because I can’t even imagine. As a human being, the compassion flowed like rivers.

But what had me snot-nosed weeping was while both of the characters searched for answers to an after-life (one thinking something better was there and the other never believing anything) they never found it. They found love with each other. They grew as people.

I wept into my hands and begged God to reveal himself to them and then it hit me, um…they’re fictional. But my hope-filled heart ached anyway. And I have no idea what the author truly believes. I think the thoughts and discoveries and questions the main characters asked and explored were true to human nature. Faith was never really injected. So, I think it’s safe to say that he wasn’t writing from a faith-based point of view–not even from one character. I don’t think every character needs to be a Christian when writing inspirational fiction. In fact, in my opinion, they shouldn’t be. But that’s a different blog.

I felt a renewed gratefulness, though, that I do write from a faith-based viewpoint (at least one!) And if you write from a faith-based view, you should be jumping up and down. Because we have answers the world doesn’t. I’ve read some wonderful books, including this one, that make me think and wonder and give me information on a viewpoint I’ve never heard before. But I don’t want to simply offer new questions. I want to offer solutions. Hope. Something that will leave a reader with something more than damp and wadded up tissues or the satisfied sigh of a good read (though I do want that too!).

Your view may not be the same and that’s okay. But this is why I write. It’s personal to me. I don’t begrudge anyone who writes for other reasons. This book affected me. In so many ways. I 100% recommend it. Stellar writing. Amazing story. 

But mostly I was hit with what wasn’t written. What wasn’t in between the  lines or even subtly on the pages. 

It reminded once again why I write. Who I write to. And who I write for. 

What did you read over the Christmas holidays? Any recommendations? If you’re a writer, why do you write?