Friday, September 30, 2011

October Featured Author on Writing Raw

My short story When Beauty Meets Morbid is a featured short story for the month of October in the online magazine Writing Raw.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Xenia (Show Some Hospitality Please)

Jenny Matlock

Today is Alphabe-Thursday and the letter today is 


For today's word I've chosen xenia...


Xenia (Greek: ξενία, xenía) is the Greek concept of hospitality, or generosity and courtesy shown to those who are far from home. It is often translated as "guest-friendship" (or "ritualized friendship") because the rituals of hospitality created and expressed a reciprocal relationship between guest and host.

Xenia consists of three basic rules:
1. The respect from host to guest. The host must be hospitable to the guest and provide them with food and drink and a bath, if required. It is not polite to ask questions until the guest has stated their needs.
2. The respect from guest to host. The guest must be courteous to their host and not be a burden.
3. The parting gift (xenion, ξεινήιον) from host to guest. The parting gift is to show the host's honor at receiving the guest.

Xenia what an awesome X word, unfortunately people don't celebrate the art of hospitality as was practiced when I was growing up in the sixties. I can remember sitting on my grandmother's front porch and living in the South you didn't meet a stranger.

You showed kindness to everyone. You practiced xenia. 
Today's society is in a rush, in a big hurry not to slow down. Hospitality is a dying form. With the way the world is today xenia needs to be revived. It needs a transfusion.... 

Even in the South hospitality is a dying breed. What ever happen to the Golden Rule? Did we shove it aside to make room for greed and hate?

Xenia (hospitality) can be revived with help from several scriptures in the bible.

 The Golden Rule: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12

The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."  Mark 12:31 NIV

Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers [in the brotherhood--being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it.  Hebrews 13:12 AMP

 The list goes on, because the bible is filled with verses on hospitality....

When you  start you day think about how you want to be treated and how you should treat others...

Show a lot of xenia





Don't forget to stop by  Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday this week and so some hospitality to all the great bloggers.


Worship Wednesday: Interior Design

Welcome to Worship Wednesday!

Today I want to talk about interior design(not your home), but you!


 Lately my house has been in turmoil and strife...I've found myself at a crossroad and cannot worship the way the Lord wants... I'm in need of a lot of interior design.

 Growing up I've heard the saying 'Say what you mean, mean what you say' a million times. But sometimes in worship we forget to do that and our interior design falters.

 God left us an instruction manual. He left us the bible. The bible gives detailed instruction on how our interior design should be built up.

"In that day I will restore David's fallen shelter – I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins – and will rebuild it as it used to be,"  Amos 9:11 NIV

"The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.  Isaiah 9:10 NIV

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. I Thessalonian  5:11

 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. I Corinthians 3:10

The bible is filled with many interior design plans, all you have to do is open it and read what great plans the Lord has for you.

Today when you open your bible and worship:
'Say what you mean, mean what you say'
  and get a new interior design!
Don't forget to link up your Worship Wednesday post in the comment section!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

W is for Words

Today is
Jenny Matlock

Thursday means it’s time to visit Jenny Matlock at …off on my tangent… for Alphabe-Thursday.

Today's letter is W. There are a lot of words that begin with W. Writing for instance, but I've chosen not to write about writing. Instead, I'm going to write about words. Words are very powerful creatures.

I remember from childhood the ditty "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me."

That's not true. Words are mightier than a stone. They can cut through you in an instant. Words form who you are, what you become. Words change your life....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ruby's Blogger of the Week!

Imagine my surprise when I opened an email from Ruby for Women and found out I was blogger of the week. It's a great honor to be selected. Thanks to all my Ruby friends. Be sure to stop by and check out this wonderful site...

Worship Wednesday

Welcome to Worship Wednesday! Today is the start of a great new blog meme. Each  Wednesday I'll post a scripture based on worship and write a reflection of that scripture. I would love for you to join in. Feel free to post your Worship Wednesday on your blog and then come back here and post your link in the comment section. Thanks. Have a blessed day.

Today's bible verse is John 4:24

"God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."  John 4:24 NIV

 God is spirit.... He is all. God is a reflection of many things. He is love, He is hope, He is salvation and He is truth.

When we worship Him we must do so with our love. Our hearts must be open and filled with overflowing love for the Lord. We can't worship Him if our hearts are full of disdain. We must have a heart of love for the Lord. Worship Him in the spirit of love.

We must worship Him in hope. The Lord gives us hope and we must trust in that. If you lose hope, you cannot fully worship the Lord. Hope is what He provides when you are lost in a sea of doubt. it's what He gives to freely. Hope is your rescuer. Worship the Lord with the spirit of hope.

The Lord is your salvation and the way. Salvation is your light at the end of a dark tunnel. When you worship the Lord, know you are in the cradle of salvation.  He provides the salvation, but you must accept it. Worship the Lord with the spirit of salvation.

Worship in truth. Truth is the most important factor you can bring to your worship. You can't worship the Lord in a web of lies. God IS the only truth you need. Let the words come out of your hear, mind and mout only be true. Worship the Lord with the spirit of truth.

I love the saying WWJD(What Would Jesus Do), but for worship I use the letters for a different meaning...

WWJD 
WORSHIP WITH JESUS DAILY!

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you've been inspired and I look forward to seeing you next week for Worship Wednesday....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In Other Words...John 10:10

Today is In Other Words Tuesday. Today it's hosted by Melissa on her blog, Ingrafted Thoughts. Be sure to stop by and post your In Other Words or just read all the great posts.

“‎ The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John 10 :10

In other words.... Satan comes only to steal, kill and destroy. He worms his way into your mind, heart and soul to rob all you have. He takes you love, he takes your joy, he takes your spirit.

You must guard against the thief. You must guard against Satan. He can't steal from you if you put up a good fight. You must fight, but without the Lord you are fighting a losing battle.

The Lord is your protector, your bodyguard. He yields the weapons of faith, love and hope.

In other words.... Jesus comes to give you back your life. He doesn't steal your joy, He doesn't kill your love, He doesn't destroy your spirit...only Satan(like a thief in the night) can rob what the Lord has given you.

Stand up, be ready to defend against Satan.

In other words....guard your precious gifts with the blood of Jesus and with the love of Jesus.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cast Your Cares Unto the Lord










Today I am participating in Manna Monday hosted by Vonnie over at My Back Door. Be sure to stop by and link up your Manna Monday post or read all the great posts.

Today's Manna Monday is based on "Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you. (I Peter 5:7)

Cast Your Cares Unto the Lord


Casting all your cares upon Him; for He careth for you.

I Peter 5:7



Got the world on your shoulders? Cast your cares unto the Lord!

  It seems like only yesterday I was a child without any cares in the world. I didn’t have to worry about paying the bills, putting food on the table, or raising children. I didn’t fully understand my mothers worries about such exigencies of life until I became a wife and mother many years later.

Responsibility starting calling my name when I had my first child. It’s easy to put adulthood aside when you don’t have responsibilities. However, when my daughter was born; doubt, fear and hopelessness smacked me right in the face!

Those three emotions had a deleterious effect on my life. I couldn’t handle the accountability of day to day aspects in my life. Doubt, fear and hopelessness had become my contentment stealers.

I had let negativity exude into my life. I doubted my parenting skills. I feared I could not provide for my child. I had lost all hope, until I cast my cares unto the Lord.

  Has doubt, fear and hopelessness smacked you in the face? Are doubt, fear and hopelessness your contentment stealer's?

Contentment stealers will rob you of your joy! Doubt, fear and hopelessness will squeeze the life out of you. Take hold of the Lord. He is your contentment restorer!

Doubt! Is doubt always trying to mulct your life? The use of trickery is commonplace with doubt. Doubt tricked me into believing the worse in myself. I let it emanate through the crevices of my mind. I doubted every decision, my purpose in life and if I were good enough to do what was expected of an adult. Doubt became my contentment stealer. I was robbed of joy and happiness.

When we expect too much of ourselves doubt will steal our contentment. We are not perfect!
You are going to make mistakes, but don’t doubt your decisions. There will be days when you question your existence, but don’t doubt you are loved. Today you may feel like you can’t go any further, but don’t doubt you can handle anything. Lean on Him! But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6

Don’t be like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind...

  Fear! Is fear always lurking in the background of your life? Fears purpose is to lie in wait, hiding in your thoughts, trying to destroy your contentment. Fear manipulated me into a life full of qualms and solicitude. It took control of my mind through insidious means. Fear was waiting for a chance to entrap me with uneasy feelings about the rightness of what I was doing. I questioned right from wrong. I feared mistakes, my commitments and if I were doing everything properly. I became anxious and concerned. Fear became my contentment stealer. I was robbed of assurance and confidence.

When we fret over little things in our lives fear will steal our contentment. We are not captives of our situations! You are going to have bad days, but don’t fear your mistakes; learn from them. Commitment is a part of our lives, but don’t fear the circumstance. Today you may feel like you can’t do anything right, but don’t fear your judgment. Give Him your worries. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Don’t be dismayed by fear but upheld with the Lord’s strength...

Hopelessness! Is hopelessness always a quagmire in your life? It can be a constant entrapping position. Hopelessness pulled me into a dark pit of quicksand. It trapped me in mass confusion.

  I became frustrated and readily yielding to the pressures of life. Sorrow and pain interweaves with reality. I gave into doubt and fear. I lost hope in my judgment, my determination and in the fact I couldn’t do anything right. Hope became by contentment stealer. I was robbed of exuberance and comfort.

  When we yield to frustration in our lives hopelessness will steal our contentment. We are not void of emotions! You will give into pressures of life, but don’t give into the hopelessness that might be right around the corner. You may want to give up, but don’t give into the hopelessness nothing is possible. Today you may feel imperfect, but don’t give into the hopelessness that you are worthless. Let Him lead the way. But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Do not grow weary, do not faint, but soar on the wings of an eagle...

When you cast all of your doubt, fear and hopelessness unto the Lord you are able to move on. You can begin to live your life to the fullest and experience the joy God wants for you.

Pray:

Lord, I cast all my doubt, fear and hopelessness unto you. Shower me with your wisdom and

grace so I may live my life to the fullest and experience the contentment you want for my life. Amen 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

SheWrites Blogger Ball #7

This week I'm joining the SheWrites Blogger Ball. It's a great way to meet new bloggers and made new friends. Be sure to stop by and join in the fun, Just click the book shelf above.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

In The Autumn

Jenny Matlock

WRITTEN TO THE MELODY OF: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
WORD COUNT - Up to 32 words INCLUDING THE THREE WORDS OF THE PROMPT
STYLE OF WRITING - Lyrics, rhyming
USE A PICTURE IF YOU LIKE
THE PROMPT THIS WEEK IS: "In the Autumn"

If you've done this 'challenge' correctly, you should be able to sing your 'lyrics' along with the Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star melody!

The regular restrictions apply: PG, no splitting of the prompt, play nicely and visit the other entries, any style or genre of writing you prefer.


"In The Autumn"

Yellow, yellow everywhere
gold and orange in the air...
In the autumn leaves will fall
from the trees in your yard...
Yellow, yellow everywhere
gold and orange in the air. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Voice on the Radio/Red Writing Hood

 
This weeks' Red Writing Hood prompt was: We all remember our first love – and our first heartbreak. Your assignment this week was to write a piece where you explore the first broken heart for your character – or for you.


The deep southern smooth voice blared through the county radio channel. I clenched the steering wheel, until my knuckles turned white. My palms began to sweat.

Twenty years...had been that long?

Johnny Ray Perkins....my first love was now a multi-platinum country music star. I remember the night he announced his big plans, it was also the night he broke my heart forever.

I reached to change the channel, but my fingers wouldn't move. I was drawn to his voice like a deer caught in headlights. He still had that affect. He could turn me into a spineless jelly fish.

My mind drifted back to senior prom and the night Johnny Ray said good-bye.

"Celia, I got a record deal." He said without hesitation. His voice didn't falter.

"You did what?"

"You heard me. I didn't stutter."

No he didn't. He had made himself perfectly clear. He was leaving Oak Grove and moving to Nashville. He was leaving me behind.

"What about us?" I pleaded.

"There is no us anymore Celia."

The tears gushed like a broken levy. Johnny Ray walked away and left me alone. I didn't run after him. I let him go. It was his loss.

I snapped back to reality when the car behind me blew it's horn.

I glanced at the diamond ring on my left hand. Johnny Ray Perkins...oh well, it's still your loss.and changed the radio station to hard rock...

Friday Fiction: Dance Lessons


This week's FF is hosted by Vonnie over @ My Back Door  Stop by and join the fun!
I've been away from FF for several months and it's good to be back. My contribution this week is a short story I am working on for a contest. I'll post parts each Friday.

DANCE LESSONS


I love to dance, but my feet don't. I have two left feet according to my best friend Susan. Susan is the

owner of the new dance studio that opened in our small community of Wilson Alabama. She invited me

for free lessons and since she was my best friend I couldn't refuse.

“Abby, it'll be fun.” She pleaded.

“Well, I don't know,” I pointed to my two left feet.

“Aww I was just kidding. Anyway, I hired a professional dance instructor from New York.”

“A professional? Wow! Alright, I'll come”

She flung her arms around my neck. “You're the best Abby.”

“We'll see,” I said as I pirouetted around my cramped living room.

Susan clapped as I glided across the room. “Bravo, bravo.”

I bowed in her direction and continued to twirl around, until I got dizzy.

“You OK?” Susan rushed over to me.

“Yeah, just a little lightheaded.”

“Come sit down on the sofa.”

“Really, I'm fine.” I brushed off her concern.

“What did the doctor say?”

The lighthearted mood turned somber.

“Dr. Owens said my white count was a little off kilter and I needed more aggressive treatment.”

Susan gasped at my matter-of-fact statement and the tears fell down her face.

“Oh, Abby. I didn't realize the cancer was back.”

“Don't!” I put my hand up to stop her words. “No tears, no feeling sorry for me, deal?”

She looked at me through tear stained eyelashes. “But....”

“No buts, deal?”

“I guess.”

I changed the subject, so Susan wouldn't dwell on my illness.

“So, tell me about this dance instructor from New York.”

She grabbed a couple soda's from the fridge and settled on the sofa next to me.

“His name is Owen Banks. He graduated from the Juilliard School.”

“So how did you snag him?”

“Actually, I didn't. He contacted me. His aunt lives here and told him about the studio.”

“Really. Who's his aunt?”

“Millie Jones.”

“No kidding!”

“I know. Small world. He used to spend his summers here.”

I lived in Wilson all my life and to save my soul couldn't place Owen Banks.

“I didn't even know Millie Jones had a nephew.”

“Me neither, until he phoned me.”

My curiosity was piqued and I wanted to know about Miss Millie's nephew.

“What's his story?”

“Well, it seems he tore ligament's in his knee and can't dance up to par for his dance troupe. Miss

Millie suggested he come stay with her to recuperate.”

“You hired him?”

“No, not formally. He's only helping out until he heals.”

“What's he like?”

“I'm not going to tell you. You'll just have to see for yourself tomorrow.”

I nodded. “I'll be there....with my dancing shoes on.”

Susan hugged me.

“You'll be there?

“Yes.”

“Promise?”

“I'll be there Susan. Anyway, I can't wait to meet your new dance instructor.”

****
 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Unmasked

Life: Unmasked
Be sure to stop by Joy in this Journey to read more great Life:Unmasked stories or join in this incredible meme.

Unmasked....

Behind my facade no one sees the real me, but Jesus does.
He sees my pain, my hurt, my anguish, my anger.

I put on my happy face and the perfect smile, I try to hide, but Jesus
sees. He sees the doubt, the fear, the stress, the depression.

Behind my mask, I am hiding so no one can see the real me,
but Jesus does... 




 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Welcome to our 95th Road Trip Wednesday!




Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

 We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link -- or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments @ YA HIGHWAY

This Week's Topic:
What themes, settings, motifs, scenes, or other elements do you find recurring in your work?


I think because I am from the South my YA characters all tend to be Southern. I form them from deep in my imagination, but somehow they end up modeled after Scout in 'To Kill a Mockingbird.' 

I really don't know why I write them that way, maybe because I love Harper Lee, maybe I am reliving my childhood.

My characters are poor, but strong. They live in out of the way places and out of the ordinary. I want them to be heard, to come alive with a strong Southern voice.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In Other Words: Suffering in Spirit





As some of my friends and blog followers know I have been battling with the fact I have an autoimmune disease and have been in a lot of pain. I had to step back from writing and blogging a few months. Today when I opened my email there set an email from Ruby for Women. The email was a post from Nina. Nina is part of the In Other Words Tuesday meme. I found her words very encouraging and decided I wanted to participate this week with my own In Other Words.


“The righteous cry out,
and the Lord hears them;
He delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and
saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 33:17-18  


 For several months I have been battling pain and depression. It had gotten so bad, that I stopped doing the one thing I love the most. I stopped writing. I gave up and in giving up I stopped honoring God.

My writing was a talent He gave me. It was something I could use to help others heal through the hurt.

Psalm 33:17-18 is a great reminder of His love and how He is close to use when we are brokenhearted ans crushed in spirit.

I had become brokenhearted because my pain caused me to suffer, not only did I let myself suffer, but I let those around me suffer. I forgot the Lord was close and all I needed was to call on Him.
  
My spirit became crushed. I had no will to be the person the Lord wanted me to be. I fell into the trap of self-pity. But the Lord had other plans for me. He saved me. He got me through my dark and depressing days and brought me into the light.

Psalm 33:17-18 is also a wonderful verse to carry with you throughout your day. 

He does deliver us from trouble, He is close to  the brokenhearted and He saves those who are crushed in spirit. I know, because He did it for me! 

If you would like to participate in this weeks meme, stop by and visit Nina @ mamas*little*treasures

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Imagine No People



I have been on hiatus for a few months and decided it was time to jump into the water and get my feet wet by participating in the II challenge this week. 

I challenged Head Ant this week to write a letter to yourself and include the pros and cons on being you. 

This week I was challenged by Wendryn My challenge was to respond to this picture:
So here goes my take on the above picture...


IMAGINE NO PEOPLE

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one 
John Lennon

  It's hard to think of a world without people, imagine if we lived in a world of make believe and imaginary friends. What would this world be like? Would there be no more wars if people were fake?

Is it a stupid gesture to want to live in a pretend world with only imaginary friends where everyone could coexist?

I would love to live in such a world. I would love to turn on the television and not be overwhelmed with bad news  or open the newspaper to read depressing reports on the state of the world.

Maybe adults need more imaginary friends, at least you could control their thoughts and their being. Real people are out of control, we can't get along any longer.

Real people want to fight and argue over who's wrong or who's right.

So, if I could choose to live in a world of imaginary friends maybe I would. Maybe I would be stupid, but is it stupid to want peace, to want a world of real people who can stop(if only for a brief moment) bickering.

 Go ahead, be stupid for a minute, create a world of imaginary friends, litter your mind with peace and harmony...







Template by:

Free Blog Templates