Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Touchdown Tuesday: Put Me In Coach

In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had: Philippians 2:5 NIV

Living in the South I happen to be a big college football fan. When I sit down today to write this post I wasn't sure where the Lord would take me. Well He led me to football. You may be wondering how is football related to Christianity? 

Here's the game plan:

God is the head coach
Jesus is the quarterback
We are the players, the cheerleaders and spectators. Which are you?

The spectators watch all the action from the bleachers. Spectators love to watch the game. It's exciting, but they don't really want any of the action. Well, let me tell you spectator up in the stands God is the head coach and it's time to come down from the bleachers and get into the game of life. Your purpose is to be part of the game. It's not just a spectator sport. Your position is wherever God(the coach)places you , but your main job is to protect the quarterback.

 The cheerleaders get all excited when the players score, but aren't really part of the action. Don't get me wrong it's OK to be a cheerleader for your team, but the coach expects more than a few cheers from the sidelines. Your main cheer should be "Way to go Jesus! Beat Satan!"

The players are involved in most of the action, but the quarterback is the key player and the team members are suppose to protect Him. You have to focus on the opposing team(Satan) and provide the extra protection your team captain needs. In order to win the game of Christianity you have to be able to work together as a team and if your mind isn't focused you will lose. God doesn't want you to lose. It's His job to make sure His entire team is focused on the plays. The defense protects. The offense directs.
Protect Jesus by providing the winning plays. You will need to wear your battle gear. Faith above all things can win the victory. 
Direct your teammates to Jesus. Make sure they are running in the right direction toward the winning goal. You want them to score for your team. Christianity will come out the victor if you are a team player.

Don't sit in the bleachers, don't cheer from the sidelines....BE A TEAM PLAYER!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Manna Monday: The Five W's of Charity

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part  But when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 KJV

The "Love" verse has to be my favorite bible verse. It was read at my wedding, as it is at many weddings. I've never really thought about the verse on terms of charity. The KJV is the only bible to mention charity in place of love, but is it really?

I can remember my grandmother always told me "charity begins at home". I never thought about love and charity in the same thought. To me charity is giving to someone less deserving than myself, I didn't realize charity is actually a great act of love and kindness.

Yes, charity does begin at home, but it also begins with you!

I want to look at what I call the 5 W's of charity.

Who: Who does charity begin with? It begins with you. As a Christian you know your heart should be charitable. You know you should love everyone and be Christ-like. There should never be any doubt or deception in your heart. I Timothy 1:5-6 should be a verse you should carry with you daily. It is one of the most important verses you will need in order to be charitable. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk..I Timothy 1:5-6 KJV.  Remember to have a pure heart, a good conscience and sincere faith and only then will you be able to give charity to those less deserving without reservation or question. Be of a charitable nature.

What: What is charity? Charity is love in its purest form. As a Christian you are to give it freely to those in need. Charity is one of the greatest gifts you were given. It is the bond of perfectness. You are to strive to be Christ-like,but you cannot if you do not share charity with those who are broken or lost. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. Colossians 3:14 KJV. When you go out of your way to give charity you will receive charity. Be of a charitable spirit.

When: When do you give charity? This can be a difficult question to answer. Sometimes I find I am not always in a charitable mood. Of course it's not the Christian way, but I am human as we all are and some days being charitable is the last thing on our list. I know I don't always show the love to others as I should. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. II Peter 1:7 KJV. This verse speaks volumes. It is the heart of your charity. It should speak to your heart when you don't feel very charitable or feel like "why should I even bother?" then turn to II Peter 1:7 for the answer. Be of a charitable kind.

Where: Where do you give charity? The answer is simple. EVERYWHERE! Wherever you go be of a charitable nature. Show goodwill toward your fellow man. Show your Christian faith. Show that you can be Christ-like. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience...2 Timothy 3:10 KJV. You know as a Christian charity should be your manner of life. It is your main purpose. Charity is part of your faith. Jesus suffered for our sins, but God loved us so much He gave us His son. He was being charitable and expects no less from us. Be of a charitable manner.

Why: Why should you be charitable? I Peter 4:8 is your answer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Charity(love) covers it all. When Jesus died for our sins He had the most fervent charity as should we among our fellow mankind. Our sins were erased by the charity Jesus showed us. We need to show that same charity throughout our lives. Love is the greatest eraser of any sin. The why of charity is the most important w. It is the reason we are here today. It is our purpose. We must fulfill that purpose by showing the same charity. Be of a charitable conscience.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sermon Sunday:To Tithe or Not to Tithe? This is the Question

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Malachi 3:10 KJV

To tithe or not to tithe? That is the question many faithful, but struggling Christians are asking themselves in the current economical confusion.

For some 10% takes a big chunk from their income. For others their is nothing left to give. How can or do you justify giving ten percent of your "barely-can-make-ends-meet" income?

Three things happen when you tithe:

You increase in faith:
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6 KJV

Without faith in the Lord you cannot fulfill what is asked of you. When the Lord commands you to tithe you cannot do so with a unwilling spirit. You must give in faith. Trust in the Lord with the faith of the mustard seed. With faith nothing is impossible. See Matthew 17:20 KJV.

You increase in blessings:
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:  2 Corinthians 9:8 KJV

When you tithe as required the Lord will bless you in all you do. All His grace will abound toward you. You will have sufficiency in all things, whether great or small. Blessings come in many forms and when you tithe you will reap the harvest of what you have (put in) given to the Lord. See Galatians 6:9 KJV.

You increase in thanksgiving:
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV

You may ask yourself how you can increase in thanksgiving by tithing when you can barely make ends meet? This question leads back to the topic question: to tithe or not to tithe? When you live 'hand to mouth' it can be a very difficult and trying decision to give up 10% of your only means of support. I know I struggle with the aspect of "giving" even 10% because of my family's financial situation, but I know also the Lord commands I do so. I also know by tithing I will increase in my thanksgiving. In every circumstance I must be thankful. In every circumstance I must tithe because it is what is expected as a child of God. See II Corinthians 9:11 KJV

Three things to remember about tithing:
  1. God commands it: Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. I Corinthians 16:2 KJV
  2. God expects it:  Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 KJV
  3. God requires it: And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: I Kings 2:3 KJV

God has given you specific instructions about tithing. All you have to do is pick up the bible and read the verses I've mentioned. If you doubt you should tithe, then ask the Lord. He has the answer to the question 'to tithe or not to tithe?'

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mama Liked the Roses

After a few week's on hiatus I am back for the Indie Ink weekly challenge. For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Mary Terrani challenged me with "Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead."Oscar Wilde and I challenged Daily Shorts with "More than minds comprehend".

Here is my challenge answer:

Mama Likes the Roses

My mama love two things in her life; Elvis Presley and roses. Every time I hear the song 'Mama Likes the Roses' by Elvis Presley my mind wanders to my childhood and my deep Southern roots.

I can still hear my mothers voice float through the brambles of her rose garden. "Darlin', keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead."

I didn't understand what my mother meant until she was gone. I inherited her sense of beauty, but not her green thumb. Her beautiful rose garden stands barren and isolated. I haven't stepped inside the garden gates since she died. It's been too painful. Her beautiful roses have wilted and withered away like love in the winter.

When she died, her roses died. Love also died.

I no longer had love in my heart. It has withered like her beautiful roses. My heart is like a stone garden. It cannot be penetrated. My flowers are now dead. There is no more beauty within my garden walls. I am a sunless garden.

Darlin, keep love in your heart.... 

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Top Ten Reasons I Don't Finish NaNoWriMo

Every year I sign up for NaNo and every year I never finish. It's not that I don't want to write a novel. I  have three unfinished WIP's sitting collecting dust.

I have a top ten list why I never finish and collect my winner's badge:

10. I procrastinate.
9. Fear.
8. I always stop to edit.
7. I get bored with the current project.
6. My mind goes blank.
5. Life.
4. Laziness.
3. Doubt.
2.  Consistency.


I have to admit I'm my number one downfall when it comes to sticking with a writing goal. It's not that I don't want to write, it's I find excuses not to write. I have been writing something daily, but not on my WIP. I'm not sure why I sabotage myself? Is it a deep-seated proclivity? Probably. I suffer from fear of failure and fear of success.

My fear of failure stems from the many rejections I've received throughout my writing career. I realize rejection is part of the publishing game,  but I can never wrap my senses around the fact I fail at something I love to do.

I also have a fear of success. I know, who doesn't want to be successful? I do, but then some days I don't. I guess it's part of my fear of failure. I freeze up when I start to talk about my publishing credits or I don't even talk about them at all. My family gives me more accolade's than I give myself.

My fears are real and tend to get worse every NaNo season. Will I ever complete the task? I don't know. I am too far behind in the race to catch up. I might finish my WIP, but not full speed ahead.

Look for me again next NaNoWriMo for I am a glutton for punishment!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Take the Hormel Country Crock "Side Dish Challenge" - Review & Giveaway Opportunity

With the holiday's right around the corner preparing a meal for relatives can be hectic and time consuming. When I was contacted by Hormel Country Crock Brand's to participate in the "Take the Hormel Country Crock "Side Dish Challenge" - Review & Giveaway" I jumped at the opportunity. Anything to make cooking less of a chore.

I chose these side dishes:

Hormel Country Crock Side Dish Elbow Macaroni & Cheese.
This delicious side dish is just like homemade. It reminds me of my      mom's mac & cheese. It a family favorite and a winner with my grandson!

Hormel Country Crock Side Dish Cinnamon Apples. This aromatic side dish reminds me homemade apple pie. The smells of cinnamon and apples filled my kitchen with a mouth-watering aroma. This dish is number 1 on my list as the perfect side dish to complement any holiday meal!

Hormel Country Crock Side Dish Cheddar Broccoli Rice. My grandson is not a broccoli eater, but with the delicious taste of cheddar mixed with rice and broccoli he digs in and always ask for seconds!

Hormel Country Crock Side Dish Loaded Mashed Potatoes. Being from the South my family loves homemade mashed potatoes. This side dish is a great way to get that homemade taste. We love these loaded mashed potatoes!

For the main course meat I chose a spiral cut ham. It's one of my family's favorite and Hormel Country Crock Side Dishes complemented the main course just right!

Here's my family enjoying our scrumptious meal Hormel Country Crock provided.

I am also giving one lucky reader a chance to win four (4) $3.50-off Hormel™ Country Crock® side dishes coupons to help make their holiday meals a cinch to prepare – valued at nearly $20!

Just leave a comment on what Hormel Country Crock Side Dish you want to try most or how it would help you make holidays easier. Contest US only. Ends November 30th.

Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation for this review. Hormel provided (4) $3.50 off coupons to purchase my sides and a $25 American Express gift card to purchase the meat of my choice.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Fiction: Change of Plans prologue page 1

This week's FF is hosted over  at Pod Tales

This is the prologue of my WIP

Positive. Zelda starred at the bright pink plus signed etched onto the store-bought pregnancy test. Pregnant. Her mind froze. She couldn't possibly be pregnant. She didn't feel pregnant. Didn't she and Howard always take precautionary measures?
Zelda double-checked the stick again. The pink plus sign was still there. She wrapped the unwanted evidence in tissue and tossed it into the waste basket. Pregnant. The word kept echoing in her confused mind. Zelda had to be sure. She grabbed her cell phone and punched in her gynecologist's number.
“Dr. Warren's office. Connie speaking, how may I help you?”
Connie Peters had always been aloof with Zelda although they had gone to high school together. She would thrive on the possibility Zelda might be pregnant.
“Hi Connie, this is Zelda Zimmerman. I need to schedule an appointment with Dr. Warren as soon as possible, please.”
“O.K. What's the nature of the visit?”
Zelda didn't want the words to escape her thoughts. Once she actually said them to someone else it might be true.
“Ms Zimmerman, are you still there?”
Zelda's mind went blank. She couldn't do it.
The sound of Connie's sweet syrupy voice brought Zelda back to reality.
“Yes, I'm still here Connie. I need to get a pregnancy test.”
Once the words were out of her mouth Zelda couldn't take them back. They were etched in stone. The words stung her tongue.
Connie didn't seem to hesitant on the other end.
“Dr. Warren can squeeze you in this afternoon around three o'clock”
This afternoon at three. What would Howard think if she were pregnant?
That's fine Connie. I'll be there.”

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Friday Fiction- Picture Book: Can You Guess What Animal I Am?

This week's FF is hosted by Sara over at Fiction Fusion

Debra Elliott

I have black and white stripes.

Can you guess what animal I am?

No, I'm not a zebra!

I'm much smaller than a zebra.

My name rhymes with more pillow.

Can you guess what animal I am?

No, I'm not a gorilla!

I'm much tinier than a gorilla.

I smell like rotten eggs.

Can you guess what animal I am?

No, I'm not a skunk!

I smell worse than a skunk.

Here are a few clues for you!

I live in Africa. I love to hide

in the grasslands.

Can you guess what animal I am?

I am a carnivore. I love to eat

mice, frogs, bugs and lizards.

Can you guess what animal I am?

I am the smelliest animal on Earth.

Some people call me a striped polecat.

Can you guess what animal I am?

I am nocturnal. I love to sleep in

the daytime.

Can you guess what animal I am?

Do I have you fooled?

I'm a zorilla.

Nice to meet you

Day 5 NaNoWriMo-Deadlines

Today is day five of NaNoWriMo. I am way behind, so I've out myself on a deadline.

Yesterday I didn't fair so well with my word count. I need to break even today by writing at least 3,208 words by the end of the day. I know there are 24 hours in a day, but my internal clock won't let me write passed a certain time.

So today I am going to forge through all barriers and try to knock out as many words as I can.

I have the prologue finished and working on chapter one. There are 25 days left and I'd love to get a chapter a day under my belt.

Can it be done?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 4 NaNoWriMo

It's day 4 of NaNoWriMo and I find myself behind. It was a busy day for me, so I got behind on writing. My word count today is 5337. I should be at 6668 at least. So tomorrow I need to make up for the difference. Tomorrow I will need to bust my butt, be a typing fool and write almost 3000 words.

Can I do it?

Only tomorrow will tell.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 3: NaNoWriMo

Day three is underway. It's not going too shabby today. Words are flowing quick as I can get them typed out.

Word count today: 533
Total 3 day word count: 3911

My characters are starting to take on a mind of their own. They are leading me in the direction where they think they should go.

Join tomorrow as I chart yet another day of NaNoWriMo

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NaNoWriMo Insecurity

Today is the 1st Wednesday of the month and The Insecure Writer's Support Group blog post.

For today's post I am writing about the insecurity of participating the the NaNoWriMo. This is my third year and I'm not sure how I will fare. The past two I have not finished. I lagged behind and gave up. So far I am on track with my word count(which is a good thing) but I still suffer from the feeling of insecurities with the doubt of can I do it? Can I cross the finish line?

2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 2

For today’s prompt, use an epigraph to kickstart your poem. That is, use a quotation. You can use a favorite of your own, or if you’re having trouble thinking of one, I’ve provided a few below. To format an epigraph poem, a poet places the quotation between the title and the body of the poem, while also giving credit to the source of the quotation.

Here is day two.

My Mind Has a Mind of Its Own

“Don’t believe everything you think.” Maxine

My thoughts are jumbled
in a vat of confusion

I think therefore, I am…

My thoughts are misquoted
in a world of delusion

I think therefore, I am…

My thoughts are imaginary
in a world of illusion

I think therefore, I am…

A writer.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hi Ho, Hi Ho Off to NaNo I Go!

Well, I did it! I signed up for NaNoWriMo before I went back to work PT..but I am still in for the count. I'll only lose about 5 hours of prime writing time, but if I can write 2000 words a day(about a hour)I'll be right on target.

And I'm off and running. It's the 3rd annual running(for me) of NaNoWrMo for me. It's day one and I'm off to a great start. Looks like I may be in second, no wait third place. Will I cross the finish line? Do I have what it takes to compete against the legions who have gone before me and who are running this year?
In twenty-nine days I'll let you know if I crossed the finish line a winner.
 Today I look like the picture above, ready and raring to go!

Today's word count:  1738.

I'm A Guest Blogger Today over at SPD Blogger Network

Today I am a guest blogger. You can find my post here.

2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1

So here are today’s prompts:
Write a procrastination poem, or as I like to call it a “I’ll get to it tomorrow” poem. Or…
Write a proactive poem, or the old “I’ll get to it today” poem.

Here is my poem for 2011 November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Here’s mine on procrastination(something I’m good at).

What Have I Gotten Myself Into

I should have know better
the words my not flow.

I’m a worry-wart and a fretter
the words I may not know

So in the mist of a hasty decision
I may find myself in a quandary of procrastination

My words may need some revision
but I am a writer who suffers from
word fascination.

November 1st is National Author's Day

National Authors’ Day was adopted by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1929. (Note: but apparently the holiday has slipped under their radar, since I could find no mention of it on their Web site.)

In 1949 the US Department of Commerce awarded the observance a place on its list of special days, making it official.

The resolution states: “by celebrating an Authors’ Day as a nation, we would not only show patriotism, loyalty, and appreciation of the men and women who have made American literature possible, but would also encourage and inspire others to give of themselves in making a better America…”

In celebration of National Author's Day how fitting it is to celebrate by starting National Novel Writing Month. I title myself author, but I do not stand with the greats I admire.

In honor of National Author's Day here are a few of my favorite's:
Kahlil Gibran, was a Lebanese American artist, poet, and writer. Born in the town of Bsharri in modern-day Lebanon (then part of the Ottoman Mount Lebanon mutasarrifate), as a young man he emigrated with his family to the United States where he studied art and began his literary career. He is chiefly known in the English speaking world for his 1923 book The Prophet, an early example of inspirational fiction including a series of philosophical essays written in poetic English prose. The book sold well despite a cool critical reception, and became extremely popular in the 1960s counterculture.Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu.

Henry David Thoreau (born David Henry Thoreau; July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) (properly pronounced Thaw-roe)[1] was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.

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