Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Encounter God

Recently I read about a ministry and church that works toward creating a place where those who come will be prompted to do more than simply watch what happens there. They hope people will encounter God. In the description of their goals, the word encounter stood out to me.

It could have caught my attention because I work at a ministry for at-risk youth that has used encounter as part of its name for almost forty years.

Mostly I stopped on that word because it prodded me, in a gentle, inviting sort of way, to begin to intentionally watch for opportunities where an encounter with God can happen. How often do I sit and watch a service or listen to someone teach a Bible lesson and passively take it in? God is nudging me to be not merely an observer as if he is far away and something to be casually considered or dabbled with. Rather he is Someone to be personally encountered and known.

It's not that this is entirely new to me (and it's in the Bible!), but I saw it a little clearer this time around.

God shows up wherever I go. Will I notice more? Will I participate? Will I dare to go deeper and encounter him?

So I considered ways to intentionally go beyond observation toward that encounter:

Pray and ask God for openness to him, for discernment and wisdom, for a willingness to be transformed.

In church, small group, or mid-week gatherings, while listening to a sermon or study, ask questions of myself and of God.

When in a discussion type of atmosphere or conversation, share my thoughts and questions. Humbly watch for ways to know God more deeply and to grow.

Practice thinking about God more throughout my typical day, naturally conversing with him even while doing the ordinary tasks.

Care about others. Prayerfully watch for ways to move out of my comfort zone to reach out to fill a need. Smile at someone who is frowning. Offer a word of kindness.

Look for natural ways to move beyond the usual comfort-zone conversations—about music, TV shows, movies, for instance—toward what’s happening personally with those I'm talking with, what matters at the core of who they are and what God might be hoping for them.


That's a start anyway.

Enjoy your day. Expect an encounter.

Jan
author of the Live Free series, Standard Publishing

true stories, true hope

for teens, young adults,
and those who care about them.

    Monday, April 27, 2009

    Book giveaway - SO NOT HAPPENING by Jenny B. Jones

    Camy here, giving away another book! (No, not mine)

    The winner of
    The Fruit of My Lipstick
    by
    Shelley Adina
    is
    ahorsenut4u
    Congratulations!

    To enter to win today’s book, leave a comment on this blog post, giving your name and saying you want to enter. International readers are welcome to enter!

    Please leave an email address or website where I can contact you (please use this format--you [at] yourmail.com--or something like that to prevent spammers from trolling for your email address). It is the winner’s responsibility to check to see if you won and to email me if you haven’t yet heard from me.

    I always email the winner and give them a week to reply, but if I don’t receive an answer, I will pull another person to win the book. I am not responsible for a lost opportunity if you leave an email address you don’t check frequently.

    Only one entry per person. The winner can expect their free book in 4-6 weeks.

    You have a week to comment--I'll pick a name out of a hat on May 14th. (BTW, you can post a comment and NOT enter, too.)

    Today I’m giving away:

    So Not Happening
    by
    Jenny B. Jones


    New York’s social darling Isabella Kirkwood just woke up in a nightmare: Oklahoma.

    Isabella Kirkwood had it all: popularity at a prestigious private school in Manhattan, the latest fashions, and a life of privilege and luxury. Then her father, a plastic surgeon to the stars, decided to trade her mother in for a newer model.

    When her mother starts over with her new husband, Bella is forced to pack up and leave all she knows to live with her new family in Oklahoma. Before her mother can even say "I do," Bella’s life becomes a major "don’t."

    Can Bella survive her crazy new family? Will the school survive Bella? How can a girl go on when her charmed life is gone and God gives her the total smackdown?

    Excerpt of chapter one:

    One year ago my mom got traded in for a newer model.



    And that’s when my life fell apart.



    “Do you, Jillian Leigh Kirkwood . . .”



    Standing by my mother’s side as she marries the man who is so not my dad, I suppress a sigh and try to wiggle my toes in these hideous shoes. The hideous shoes that match my hideous maid-of honor dress. I like to look at things on the bright side, but the only



    positive thing about this frock is that I’ll never have to wear it again.



    “. . . take Jacob Ralph Finley . . .”



    Ralph? My new stepdad’s middle name is Ralph? Okay, do we need one more red flag here? My mom is marrying this guy, and I didn’t even know his middle name. Did she? I check her face for signs of revulsion, signs of doubt. Signs of “Hey, what am I thinking? I don’t want Jacob Ralph Finley to be my daughter’s new stepdad.”



    I see none of these things twinkling in my mom’s crystal blue eyes. Only joy. Disgusting, unstoppable joy.



    “Does anyone have an objection?” The pastor smiles and scans the small crowd in the Tulsa Fellowship Church. “Let him speak now or forever hold his peace.”



    Oh my gosh. I totally object! I look to my right and lock eyes with Logan, the older of my two soon-to-be stepbrothers. In the six hours that I have been in Oklahoma preparing for this “blessed” event, Logan and I have not said five words to one another. Like we’ve mutually agreed to be enemies.



    I stare him down.



    His eyes laser into mine.



    Do we dare?



    He gives a slight nod, and my heart triples in beat.



    “Then by the powers vested in me before God and the family and friends of—”



    “No!”



    The church gasps.



    I throw my hands over my mouth, wishing the floor would swallow me.



    I, Bella Kirkwood, just stopped my own mother’s wedding.



    And I have no idea where to go from here. It’s not like I do this every day, okay? Can’t say I’ve stopped a lot of weddings in my sixteen years.



    My mom swivels around, her big white dress making crunchy noises. She takes a step closer to me, still flashing her pearly veneers at the small crowd.



    “What,” she hisses near my ear, “are you doing?”



    I glance at Logan, whose red locks hang like a shade over his eyes. He nods again.



    “Um . . . um . . . Mom, I haven’t had a chance to talk to you at all this week . . .” My voice is a tiny whisper. Sweat beads on my forehead.



    “Honey, now is not exactly the best time to share our feelings and catch up.”



    My eyes dart across the sanctuary, where one hundred and fifty people are perched on the edge of their seats. And it’s not because they’re anxious for the chicken platters coming their way after the ceremony.



    “Mom, the dude’s middle name is Ralph.”



    She leans in, and we’re nose to nose. “You just stopped my wedding and that’s what you wanted to tell me?”



    Faint—that’s what I’ll do next time I need to halt a wedding.



    “How well do you know Jake? You only met six months ago.”



    Some of the heat leaves her expression. “I’ve known him long enough to know that I love him, Bella. I knew it immediately.”



    “But what if you’re wrong?” I rush on, “I mean, I’ve only been around him a few times, and I’m not so sure. He could be a serial killer for all we know.” I can count on one hand the times I’ve been around Jake. My mom usually visited him when I was at my dad’s.



    Her voice is low and hurried. “I understand this isn’t easy for you. But our lives have changed. It’s going to be an adventure, Bel.”



    Adventure? You call meeting a man on the Internet and forcing me to move across the country to live with his family an adventure? An adventure is swimming with dolphins in the Caribbean. An adventure is touring the pyramids in Egypt. Or shopping at the Saks after-Thanksgiving sale with Dad’s credit card. This, I do believe, qualifies as a nightmare!



    “You know I’ve prayed about this. Jake and I both have. We know this is God’s will for us. I need you to trust me, because I’ve never been more sure about anything in my life.”



    A single tear glides down Mom’s cheek, and I feel my heart constrict. This time last year my life was so normal. So happy. Can I just hit the reverse button and go back?



    Slowly I nod. “Okay, Mom.” It’s kind of hard to argue with “God says this is right.” (Though I happen to think He’s wrong.)



    The preacher clears his throat and lifts a bushy black brow.



    “You can continue,” I say, knowing I’ve lost the battle. “She had something in her teeth.” Yes, that’s the best I've got.



    I. Am. An. Idiot.



    “And now, by the powers vested in me, I now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Finley. You may kiss your bride.”



    Nope. Can’t watch.



    I turn my head as the “Wedding March” starts. Logan walks to my side, and I link my arm in his. Though we’re both going to be juniors, he’s a head taller than me. It’s like we’re steptwins. He grabs his six-year-old brother, Robbie, with his other hand, and off we go



    in time to the music. Robbie throws rose petals all around us, giggling with glee, oblivious to the fact that we just witnessed a ceremony marking the end of life as we know it.



    “Good job stopping the wedding.” Logan smirks. “Very successful.”



    I jab my elbow into his side. “At least I tried! You did nothing!”



    “I just wanted to see if you had it in you. And you don’t.”



    I snarl in his direction as the camera flashes, capturing this day for all eternity.



    Last week I was living in Manhattan in a two-story apartment between Sarah Jessica Parker and Katie Couric. I could hop a train to Macy’s and Bloomie’s. My friends and I could eat dinner at Tao and see who could count the most celebs. I had Broadway in my backyard



    and Daddy’s MasterCard in my wallet.



    Then my mom got married.



    And I got a new life.



    I should’ve paid that six-year-old to pull the fire alarm.



    Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Her novel Single Sashimi is out now, and she runs the Story Sensei critique service. In her spare time, she is a staff worker for her church youth group, and she leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every Monday and Thursday, and she ponders frivolous things. Sign up for her newsletter YahooGroup for monthly giveways!

    Thursday, April 23, 2009

    Rain Boots & Rainy Days



    So, I know the saying goes “April showers brings May flowers”, but for some reason the distant hope of a pretty flower in May, isn’t enough for me to appreciate the rain in April.

    Recently, here in central VA, it has felt more like what I imagine Seattle to be like. The problem is not the rain in and of itself, since I’m sure we really need it, it’s more about how it drastically affects my mood! Can anyone relate? When it’s dreary and gloomy outside, I feel dreary and gloomy inside! One week in particular it rained for 4 days in a row; it was at this point that I decided that I needed to come up with an anti-bad-mood-because-it-rained-for- 4-days-straight- solution!!!

    I began to try to look on the bright side. Determined that if only I could change my perspective about the rain, I could somehow alter the experience into something I could enjoy and look forward to. It was then that it hit me- RAIN BOOTS!

    My thought was if I bought myself some very cute rain boots, I would have something to get excited about the next time I saw dark clouds approaching! And honestly, it worked!! I found some adorable boots at target.com; they have not only been the ideal fun accessory to add to my wardrobe, but also the perfect solution for my rainy day blues!

    Perhaps you can relate? How about looking for the rain boots in a situation that gets you down?


    Monday, April 20, 2009

    The Hannah Montana Movie

    Anyone catch this one yet? If you haven't, you may want to give it a try. Great movie, great themes and lots to talk about.

    I was totally impressed.

    It's tough to find movies that you can just enjoy and this one was a pleasant surprise. I will confess that I like the TV show, but I wasn't sure about a two-hour movie. They took a great slant with the storyline and made it fun to watch.

    And there is some seriously good music in there as well. Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift both made an appearance. Miley's "Butterfly" song totally made me cry.

    Anyhow, share your thoughts:-) Any other great movies recently?

    Saturday, April 18, 2009

    Free Beauty Book

    Do you always feel beautiful?
    Do you look in the mirror and think " I am a masterpiece created by God?"
    Me neither. Well not always anyway. There are lots of days where I feel like God missed a stroke (or two) when He was creating me.

    But God's Truth is that he created each of us with fearful and wonderful precision (Psalm 139), that He treasures uniqueness more than cookie cutter beauty (Song of Solomon 6:8-9), and that He is enthralled by our beauty (Psalm 45:11).

    And there's more. The Bible is full of affirmations of your beauty and worth. Letting those Truths marinate in your heart can lead us to embrace who we are and what we look like. It's liberating!

    I should know. I struggled with my own beauty and worth for years. But God has graciously used the Truth found in His Word to teach me that beauty doesn't have to be such an ugly subject.

    I'd love to help you discover those same truths about your own beauty and worth. That's why I'm giving away three copies of my book "Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves."

    Simply leave a comment stating that you'd like to win. I will choose three winners at random and announce them the next time I post on May 4th.

    I am thrilled to have the opportunity to take this journey with you!

    Erin

    Friday, April 17, 2009

    Who are you?


    I used to want to be like other people. As I child, I thought it would be so cool to be left-handed. I believed if I tried hard enough, I could change over to being left-handed like my best friend and my mother. So, for a few days, I pretended to be. It was much more trouble that it was worth.

    I'd always wanted to have a pretty voice but when I sang loudly, people gave me strange looks. I'm not sure if you can become a good singer if you have no talent, but I sure tried.

    Growing up, I hated being redheaded because I was different. I wanted to blend in with everybody else. Not stand out. Plus, being redheaded means you get sunburned. My friends and I would go to the pool and I'd try to be just like them--I'd use baby oil instead of sunscreen. Tanning never worked for me.

    Does anybody ever feel this way? Want to change how God made you?

    After turning 25, I began to appreciate my red hair. I stopped trying to tan and began to sing quietly with my lips and loudly in my heart. As I'm growing up (it takes a while for some of us)I'm amazed about something. When I sit with a group of people, or am with my friends, each of us is good at totally different things.

    Like Monday. Someone asked me to write something. I sat down at my computer and my heart was all over it. I played with the words--put thoughts together, took them apart, rearranged them--until I felt pleased. But if this person had asked me to sing a solo, or paint a picture, or make a centerpiece--no way!

    Another friend, Robin, is fantastic with decorating a room, a space, a shelf--anything her hands touch, she makes beautiful. She has an eye for color, organization, and knows how to make you feel at welcome in her home. Here's her blog www.robinrane.wordpress.com

    Leigh Anne can sit down in a group of people, strum her guitar, and sing with the sweetest voice you've ever heard.

    One of my daughters is a nanny. She loves children. She doesn't panic when they pitch fits. She also knows how to make them smile with simple things--like making 'smores.

    My other daughter doesn't really like little kids. She's a probation officer. She knows how to be tough.

    It's okay to be different!

    As I think about my peeps, I see their strengths, gifts, talents. I'm beginning to understand this is part of God's plan. We can't be good at everything. We need each other.

    Learning to accept myself was a process. Now I can say with a smile, "I'm a right-handed redheaded nerd who enjoys writing."

    Who are you?

    Julie

    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    Simon Says

    Video seems to be a trend. Before I read Sarah's post from yesterday, I had already decided to use this YouTube entry for today's blog. The reason? Simon, who I do not like to watch on American Idol, says more positive things on Britain's Got Talent. And what he says after this remarkable dance troupe's performance is significant. I'd thought you'd enjoy watching these young men perform and succeed.




    I realized that after I tried to embed the video, youtube has  blocked the ability to embed the dance act. So if you click on the link, you'll see a great treat.

    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    Some fun

    I try to not watch all those random things that people forward - I'm a bit distractible at times! But there were two videos that I found I just loved, so I'm going to share them with you:-)

    Happy tax day!




    And this one totally made my day!



    Hope that brightened your day! It's wet and dreary here again, but the sun is supposed to come back tomorrow:-)

    Sarah Anne Sumpolec

    Monday, April 13, 2009

    Book giveaway - THE FRUIT OF MY LIPSTICK by Shelley Adina

    Camy here, giving away another book! (No, not mine)

    The winner of
    Angel of Wrath
    by
    Bill Myers
    is
    Liane66
    Congratulations!

    To enter to win today’s book, leave a comment on this blog post, giving your name and saying you want to enter. International readers are welcome to enter!

    Please leave an email address or website where I can contact you (please use this format--you [at] yourmail.com--or something like that to prevent spammers from trolling for your email address). It is the winner’s responsibility to check to see if you won and to email me if you haven’t yet heard from me.

    I always email the winner and give them a week to reply, but if I don’t receive an answer, I will pull another person to win the book. I am not responsible for a lost opportunity if you leave an email address you don’t check frequently.

    Only one entry per person. The winner can expect their free book in 4-6 weeks.

    You have a week to comment--I'll pick a name out of a hat on April 27th. (BTW, you can post a comment and NOT enter, too.)

    Today I’m giving away:

    The Fruit of My Lipstick
    by
    Shelley Adina

    (this copy of the book is gently used)

    New Yorker Gillian Chang starts her second term at posh SpencerAcademy boarding school in San Francisco prepared to focus on her studies, her faith, and her friends. She plays a dozen musical instruments and can recite the periodic table of the elements backward. She's totally prepared for everything--except love!

    She's falling hard for Lucas Hayes, who isn't even a senior yet and is already aiming at a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford. The problem is, she never seems to be able to measure up and be the girlfriend he wants. He's under a lot of pressure from his parents to achieve--maybe that's why he's short-tempered sometimes. But even a thick-skinned girl like Gillian can only take so much.

    With her heart on the line, Gillian conceals more and more from her friends. So when she's accused of selling exam answer sheets, even her girlfriends, Lissa Mansfield and Carly Aragon, wonder if it can be true. Gillian will need the power of honesty--with herself and with Lucas--to show what she's really made of.

    Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Her novel Single Sashimi is out now, and she runs the Story Sensei critique service. In her spare time, she is a staff worker for her church youth group, and she leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every Monday and Thursday, and she ponders frivolous things. Sign up for her newsletter YahooGroup for monthly giveways!

    Saturday, April 11, 2009

    Pray it Forward


    Almost thirteen years ago our son Jacob nearly drowned and lay in ICU in a coma. Doctors didn't think he would live, and if he did live, they said he'd never wake up. He was fifteen.

    I felt like someone had taken a meat tenderizer and pounded my heart, leaving me with a lump of raw pain feebly beating in my chest.

    But God's people prayed. And, as the word spread, the small band of pray-ers grew into a huge chorus of voices rising before the throne of grace. I felt them, holding me up, shielding me, embracing me, keeping my feet planted on the rock. I sensed them flooding the space around Jacob's hospital bed, loosing God's great power to heal and restore.

    It was a beautiful, humbling experience. And I wanted with all my heart to do something in return for the thousands who were praying. But what could I do? I didn't even know who they all were, much less where they lived. Then I remembered--I didn't know, but God did. So I simply asked Him to repay them. I prayed that anyone who entered His presence on behalf of my son and family would meet God face to face, that their own needs would be abundantly met, and that they would come away having experienced a deeper communion with Him than ever before.

    It gave me great joy to pray that way, because I believed God heard. And in time He even allowed me to hear some stories of the ways He answered.

    This Easter weekend I've been thinking about the body of Christ--the mystical but very real connection believers have with each other and Jesus. I think one of the best ways Satan works against us is by getting us to focus on petty, silly conflicts instead of loving each other, praying for (not against) each other, truly desiring God's best for our fellow Christians instead of competing with them.

    As you celebrate the resurrection of Jesus tomorrow, I encourage you to think of the people who've invested time, love, and spiritual wisdom in your life, and pray it forward. By faith, get on your knees and usher them into God's glorious presence. If we all do this, we just may see some stones rolled away, some wounded souls revived, and some relationships restored. Who knows? God could move in such amazing ways, we'd even be as surprised as those disciples were on Easter morning.

    He is risen, my friends. He is risen indeed!

    Thursday, April 09, 2009

    'Good' Friday

    Good Friday. It isn't called that everywhere. Those in Germany call it Karfreitag, meaning Mourning Friday. Not surprising. God's hand was raised against the darkness of sin that day long ago when Jesus was led to the cross.

    It was a grievious day of loss for those who loved their friend and servant-master and did not yet understand this act of love as Immanuel--God in the flesh giving his life for us.

    But that's also when it becomes “good” Friday as we realize that torturuous death was love's redemption. We who were created in God's image, created to be in relationship with him, could know the restoration of deep connection and intimacy with him.

    I wrote about that day in Scars that Wound, Scars That Heal--A Journey Out of Self-Injury:

    Jesus had come to earth to put on human skin to live, breathe, feel, and hurt like you and I do. He had crazy expectations thrown at him. He was spat on, misrepresented, and betrayed—sometimes by those he was closest to.

    He then endured humiliation and whippings, a crown of thorns pressed onto his head, a heavy cross placed on his shoulders, and nails hammered into his wrists and feet. So many wounds you couldn’t count them. But each welt, gash, and bruise on Jesus’ body shouts ‘I love you’ and, if accepted, is a gift of freedom and healing.

    Only Jesus, as God come to earth, had the power to bear scars that have the ability to reach deep into the hearts of people and heal the hidden pain they feel inside. That’s why another cut or another burn or another punch to the wall isn’t enough. ‘Another’ is never enough. But the wounds Jesus bore are. As he took his last breath on the cross, he said, ‘It is finished' (John 19:30). Wrapped up in those words is the power of his wounds—Jesus' completion of God’s plan to set right each person’s messed-up relationship with him and to make it possible for them to experience the depth of his love.

    Scars That Wound, Scars That Heal--A Journey Out of Self-Injury, p. 117


    Though you may not self-injure, you may be well acquainted with your own hidden pain. Over the next days, it will be my prayer that you will experience the 'good' of this weekend of celebration, the power of Jesus’ wounds, the depth of his love.

    Jan
    author of the Live Free series, Standard Publishing

    true stories, true hope

    for teens, young adults,
    and those who care about them.

    Monday, April 06, 2009

    Nothing in General

    Ever get so busy doing nothing that at the end of the day you realize you haven't really done anything of substance? For instance...here's a look at my day yesterday:

    7:30 AM: Woke up. Looked at alarm clock. Decided that visiting a church by myself just wasn't going to fly this Sunday. Especially when there was a blizzard outside. Fell back asleep.

    9:30 AM: Woke up again. Peeked out window. Decided I didn't feel like getting out of bed yet. Went back to sleep.

    11:00 AM: Woke up again. Looked at alarm clock. Realized I'd just slept away most of the day. Felt guilty enough to get up and shower.

    12:00 PM: Convinced future husband to pick me up in blizzard conditions so I could be lazy at his house, thus effectively ignoring giant pile o' clothes which need to be washed in closet floor.

    12:30 PM: Arrive at future husband's house. Immediately commandeer remote control and commence watching everything he has on his DVR.

    2:00 PM: Shoot guilty glances at my laptop (named Wallace) because I really should be doing wedding planning homework. Then ignore feeling because there's another episode of "The Dog Whisperer" on the DVR and Argonaut's biting problem is far more interesting than choosing napkins at this moment.

    6:00 PM: Four hours of "The Dog Whisperer" later and I'm still not a good pack leader. Hmm.

    7:00 PM: Go to future husband's family's house while he does his taxes. Lounge around on floor, play with future sis-in-law's puppy. Watch cake competition on the Food Network.

    9:00 PM: Go back to future husband's house to retrieve Wallace. Meander back to my apartment.

    9:45 PM: Decide now is a good time for a bubble bath.

    10:45 PM: Check on my fish. One of them looks like he had a run-in with a wood chipper. I think he had a bad day with the filter. Uh oh.

    10:50 PM: I have to find my dad's birthday card. Like now.

    11:30 PM: Sleepy again. Even though I only got up 12 hours earlier. Must. Go. To. Bed.

    And there you have it. My day of being really busy doing absolutely nothing. I think that's one of Satan's greatest stumbling blocks in my life. I get so busy doing...well, nothing...that I not only end up not doing the things I'm really supposed to get done, but I find myself too busy to do things like...pray. What would happen if I gave up...oh, half an hour of "The Dog Whisperer" to do something as simple as praying? Hmm. We'll see. I'll try to do better with this in the next couple of weeks.

    Do you ever find yourself really busy with nothing? Or do you have a habit you've found particularly hard to break? Leave a comment or email me and let me know! :-) anmblogs@gmail.com

    Sunday, April 05, 2009

    Getting Over it

    I’m writing from a big writer’s conference. It’s one of the highights of my year but can also be overwhelming. I hit a burnout point this evening. I knew it had come when I started talking to someone, thinking he was someone else and almost burst into tears when I discovered my mistake. It wouldn’t have been so bad if this weren’t someone I wanted to make a good impression on. Grrr!!!

    Now that it’s over I see that I actually handled it better than I would have if I’d made the same mistake last year. Instead of escaping to my room and giving into the teary self-pity fest that I really felt I needed, I escaped to place that lifted me up. I hung out in place where I knew I might run into a friend. After talking to a couple of people about anything BUT what happened, I went back to my room and relaxed with my roommates. Okay, I did whine a little with them, but once I talked through my embarrassment and frustrations I got over it and the night ended on a positive note.

    It’s always exciting to look at a tough moment in light of how I would have handled it in the past. It’s an opportunity to thank God for His work and for steps of growth.

    What areas of growth have you seen in your life lately? Thank God for loving you enough to help you mature, even in the way you handle embarrassing moments.

    Friday, April 03, 2009

    List of Qualities for Future Husband




    I'm a list maker. I've also been teaching high school girls in Sunday school for many years. Something I suggest is to make a list of qualities to look for your future husband. It's a great idea to only date guys who meet the standard you set on your list. Pray about what goes on your list. Don't settle for less.

    This is my husband and I playing shuffleboard in Florida. Yes, I know nobody plays shuffleboard anymore, but we're both smiling, so I picked this picture. We've been married thirty years. I love him more today than the day we were married. Waaay more. I keep discovering new things to admire about him.

    What kinds of things might be on your HUSBAND-TO-BE list?

    Ideas......

    1. He loves God more than he loves me.
    2. He's honest.
    3. He has a sense of humor.
    4. He fights for the underdog.
    5. He's generous.
    6. He's cute (definition of cute will be different for everybody).
    7. He's not a worry wart.
    8. He's not lazy.
    9. Bonus--He treats his mama right. Hint: This may be how he'll one day treat you.

    Love to you all this Friday and make those lists!

    Julie

    Thursday, April 02, 2009

    Good Things Happen


    One of my friends was doubly blessed this week. He's a writer I've known for about five years. He's worked had in fine-tuning his talent, improving his craft, and learning the ropes of the publishing business. On April 1st (no-fooling), his first book released. To learn more about Stuart Vaughn Stockton's Starfire go to http://www.marcherlordpress.com/ . 
    But that's not all. The next day, April 2nd, his wife (also a writer, Amber Miller Stockton) gave birth to their first daughter. First book and first daughter. Amazing.
    Sometimes we forget when all this gloom and doom and such is in the news, that God blesses us in small ways and big ways. Count your blessings! The world is a passing thing. Heaven is real and forever.

    Girls, God, and the Good Life

     
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