Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Dream, Number One, Christmas Gift




Hubby and I had the annual Christmas talk. The one that starts: "So, honey, what do you want for Christmas?" And continues with, this response: "I don't know."

And so, the games began. Neither one of us wants to confess the dream, number one Christmas gift. 

There are several reasons for this. 
1. The dream gift is uber expensive.
2. The dreamer doesn't trust the purchaser to find and buy the right one.
3. There isn't enough time to arrange/find/get the dream gift.
4. The dreamer feels guilty about asking for that item.

Sigh. 

I have no clue what hubby would like for Christmas.

From our first Christmas celebrated as a married couple, we've chosen to have a birthday party for Jesus. Knowing that the money to buy the gifts came from God, we honored Him with a celebration rightfully belonging to Him.

Hubby and I buy balloons, have a birthday cake, sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, decorate our home with a Christmas tree theme including lights and the birthday gifts that Jesus enabled us to give each other under the tree. The kids joined the fun the year each one was born.

The children were much, MUCH easier to figure out what gift to buy and wrap. 

Much easier than hubby is.

   
Have you told those in your life what you'd like for Christmas? Or are you hoping they can read your mind? Go ahead. Tell them. Give them a chance to feel the spazz-jazz of seeing your face when you open the gift. Admit it, don't you love seeing them open the non tie, new socks gift? Yeah. They feel the same when watching you.

Yah, know, Christmas is the biggest, best, birthday ever-- celebrated all around the world. And the One who's birthday we celebrate has the best gift waiting for those who haven't received it, yet. For you too. 
God loves you so much that he sent His One and only Son to take the punishment for all our sins. To everyone who believes in Jesus, that person will receive the gift of eternal life. The gift is waiting for you.

Speaking of spazz-jazz and sharing a personal Christmas wish, I'd like to share mine with you. Although it is small, my wish is that you'd read my debut Christmas book, Anders' Redemption. A story of redemption. Hope. Mystery. And Joy. 
Did you know Charles Dickens self publish his book, A Christmas Carol, another book that showed us so much about the joy of giving, sharing, and family. 6,000 copies sold in those few days before Christmas.

After reading Anders' Redemption, best selling author, Wayne Thomas Batson said, "This could be the next Christmas classic." Anders' Redemption is on sale now through the holidays. I really think you will like this story. Enjoy these days before Christmas with a good story, family, hope, and most importantly, redemption.


Link for Barnes and Noble:  http://bit.ly/2yZZaxh
Link for Amazon: http://amzn.to/2iRexRU

This post has been brought to you by the one word: StoriesOfRedemption
and GodLovesYou 



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Get A Grip America


NPR has been running a humanity series which included interviews with people who feel they have financial issues. All but one story intrigued me. One stirred me to comment in this post.

The story is about a man who has a supervisory position. He is married and has three children. He makes a little over one hundred thousand annually. 

When he and his wife married and wanted to start a family they discussed the choice between having a two parent income and placing the children in day care or a one parent income and have a stay at home parent.

After much thought they decided the two choices would be a wash financially because of daycare costs and went with the one parent income with a stay at home parent.

Now that the children are older and one is getting ready to enter college, the man said he  is thinking they made the wrong decision. He looks at his neighbors and sees all they have. Had they been a two parent income they could have a lot more money to buy the things they want now too.

So here is my beef. 

He and his wife gave great though to their decision. They had their reasons for making their choice. We were not told what they were. Apparently something tipped the scale that was important to them.

Now, years later, the Joneses game has hit. 

And he feels poor. 

Because he can't go out and buy on a whim like his neighbors.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to buy things. 
To upgrade what is owned. 
To improve quality of life. 
To fit in.

He told the reporter they have plenty of money for all they need. They eat well. They celebrate events. They pay all their bills. They just don't have the extra money to do the extras.

This man is greedy. 

Had the man and his wife chosen to go with a two parent income and day care in the beginning that would be fine. It would have been their decision. The family would have grown and done well either way.

What they aren't doing well is having a dad who expresses his unhappiness about a well thought-through decision between he and his wife years ago. Does he honestly think there wouldn't have been struggles with a 2 paycheck home? Had they made that decision he would be complaining today about how his children didn't have a stay at home parent when they were young. 

Some people can't be pleased.

Now his children and his wife get to hear him on a national radio program whine about not having money to buy the extras he wants.

GET A GRIP AMERICA!

Okay, so it's not all of America. But those who need to get at grip...do it.


This post has been brought to you by the one word: AmericanRant





Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Finding New Ways-Better Than the Internet-To Meet People




Maybe the Internet has taken away the mystery or fear of meeting new people, I'm not sure. But this week, three cases leaped to my attention where new folk met new friends not on the internet. These weren't just superficial hi, howya doin' chance meetings. They had a deeper connection.

Thanksgiving is a great time to talk about this topic.



The first new unexpected friend I'll share happened at the local community college during a Citizens Police Academy class. BTW, this is a great class for everyone and is offered all around the country. My greatest take away was the strategies for driving on ice. Of course, I enjoyed the tour through the jail because of the unplanned riot in the women's wing, and sitting in the jury box for the first time while the judge gave her presentation on the courts. 

The point being is I met classmates. We had a "graduation", a food and chat time during the last class hour. I took a handful of bookmarks with photos and info about my debut book, Anders' Redemption, released this October. Each person asked questions about the book and the role of an author.

I stayed with a few classmates to clean up the food and noticed a lady I hadn't met yet. Now, I am not great at the personal introduction thing. Still, I yanked on some courage and went to her. I handed her a bookmark and told her about my book. She said, "This looks like a really nice book. Do you know what I do for my job?"

"No."

"I am a librarian. Go to the library and ask for Patty. Tell her I sent you there. She will put your book on display for Christmas."

Talk about surprise!

Later in the week, NPR hosted a story about a man who shared a ride in an Uber car. After a great conversation, the other person got out at their destination and the man continued to his destination. Wanting to continue the friendship, but not knowing how to get in contact with the person, he posted flyers around town. He wrote: If you are the person who liked, he listed a few things they talked about, mentioned the uber, and left his phone number. Oddly enough, the new friend called and they connected.

I've heard mocking about the American Hallmark commercialism. My take is: companies are not the only ones who benefit from graduations, holidays, birthdays and other celebrations. We the people of these United States and people around the world benefit from getting together. After all, as the old song goes: "The more we get together the happier we'll be. Cause your friends will become my friends and my friends will become your friends..." 

Internet isn't the only way to meet new people, to keep in touch, or to connect. There's something about a hug, a real smile, hearing a giggle behind a word, and all the body language that comes with personal contact.

I challenge you to make a personal contact with some different than you normally would during this holiday season. Sure it will be difficult. You won't have the safeguard of turning off your computer screen, you may actually have to speak to the person. GASP! I say this because I have the same fears.

Arm in arm, reader. Let's go meet someone.



Brice Anders' has a slightly different problem. He doesn't mind meeting people, but due to an injury, he can't remember names. Talk about awkward when bumping into the same person several times in one week! Want to know what happens next? Anders' Redemption, a Christmas story, is on sale through Amazon and Barnes and Noble, both ebook and paperback.


Amazon Link 

Barnes and Noble paperback link

Barnes and Noble Nook link







This post has been brought to you by the one word-MeetingNewFriends

Do you have a unique meet-someone story? Share it in the comment.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Italy's Gianluigi Buffon A Hero



Monday night's world cup football playoff between Italy and Sweden proved to be an epic game. This was the first time Italy did not earn the right to go to the World Cup football (or as we Americans say, soccer) games in sixty years.

I didn't like the mocking reports against this fine team. And while the Italian fans walked away in silence, I thought there had to be shreds of good hope in this major sports event for them.

I searched on-line stories about the event. 



Then, this morning, tucked in one article, was the rest of a story. The heroic response by Italy's goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon.

As we all heard, Buffon played brilliantly. He prevented any scores by Sweden. The final score was 0-0. He did his job.

There are no overtime minutes to determine the winner. According to the rules, if a game ends in a tie, the previous scores and win/loss records are used to determine the winner. Italy's team knew what was at stake before the match began.

Buffon had planned to retire after the Moscow World Cup games. But, after last night's loss, he chose to retire now, although some reports say he is willing to compete in contracted games for the rest of the season.


Don't get caught up in rumors running around cyber space implying Buffon's decision to retiring early is because he's mad he didn't end with a perfect record. 

Here is why-and this is the stellar part of his story. Better than all his wins. 

Buffon was quoted with saying these words:

"I am proud to have worked with some great champions."

"I am not sorry for myself but for all of Italian football."

"Hugs to everyone, especially those I've shared this journey with."


...And he applauded the Swedish national anthem.


Gianluigi is a true sports hero. One that showed children and adults all around the world how best to respond when things don't go the way we desire.  








Brice Anders from Anders' Redemption is such a hero. After an injury steals a promising career, Brice is faced with an intruder who breaks into his home and takes his designs. 

This intense story is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other booksellers. Available in ebook and paperback.

Currently all 5 stars on Amazon, this is a story I think you will really like.









This post has been brought to you by the one-word: HeroesInTryingTimes

Never Give Up Stories


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

When Panic Strikes




Several years ago I stood in the middle of sagebrush that stretched as far as the eye could see and took this photo. The Rocky Mountains served as the border. Looks amazing right?

Well...

That day, my daughter and I drove away from the city to a Montana ranch for a get-together. We were really excited to see our church friends there. The obscure directions to the ranch house left us wondering several times if we'd stayed on the correct road. On past an Indian reservation and out to nowhere, we made it and had a wonderful time.

At the end of a very fun afternoon, we climbed in the car and headed for home hoping to reverse the directions correctly. 

A mile before I took this photo, the car made a chugging sound. Then and only then did I notice the gas gauge. The word empty was an understatement. As you have probably experienced, an "empty" gauge means there's a bit more gas left in the tank. 

My panic rose to a level 5. Those of you who have been following the Mary Vee adventures know I am very good at getting myself into impossible situations. Not that great at getting myself out of them.

I prayed outloud to a God who was used to my panic cries. I asked, well, maybe it was more like pleaded for the impossible, a gas station. Take another look at the photo above. Always, ALWAYS, tank up before heading "out" in Montana. Yes, I knew this, but, the excitement of the day distracted me from doing what I should.

Not far ahead, God showed me a gas station. These words needed to be in italics because the station had only one pump with a sign taped to it. No building other than a closet size structure. No attendant.  

The sign on the pump said, "Payment with credit card only." 

I reached for my wallet. My bag was not in the car. My daughter and I scoured every inch of the car and didn't find my wallet.

This is when panic rose to a level 8. 

There simply was not enough gas to get us back to civilization. 

There were no cars on the road in either direction. Seriously! Zip. Nada. No houses. No signs of human presence. I would have seen more remnants of life on the moon!

I took out the cell phone. Desperation heightened mostly because my daughter was in the car. I would have ... I don't know... walked the many miles??? 

I didn't have the phone number of the rancher in my phone.

I didn't have Internet connection.

Aren't you glad you don't join me on my adventures?

I had a few friends phone numbers and that was it. I called each, hoping one would pick up. "Please answer!!" I yelled at the endless rings. 

I resorted to calling friends from other states, asking them to look up a phone number for one of the church friends...because I didn't know how to spell the rancher's last name (it was French). Each one insisted on hearing my story about running out of gas in Montana before they'd help. Good grief. Talk about embarrassing!

Wow! 

Through a chain of calls, I finally reached someone who gave me the rancher's number. 

Sigh. He laughed at the story but said he would hop in his truck and come help.

A long half hour later, a cloud of dust plumbed in the air. A pick up truck pulled into the "gas station". The rancher, a grasshopper long legged man with cowboy boots, cowboy hat, and cowboy walk stepped out of his truck. Once he finished laughing, he slipped his card into the pump.

I was very insistent that he only put in $5.00 so I could get to the city and fill my vehicle. Wisdom sided in his mind. He knew I'd need more than that. He filled the tank for me. 

That Sunday, he refused to take any money in repayment.


Unexpected, scary, upsetting events happen to us. God knows. He also knows that we simply cannot live alone. That is why he gave us communities.

My debut book, released this season is just such a story. The character is fiction, but he, too finds himself in an unimaginable situation. This Christmas story touches hearts and reminds us why God places us in a place for such a time as this. 

Consider getting this Christmas mystery. I think you're really going to like it. Anders' Redemption is available in paperback and eBook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and your favorite bookseller.

Amazon Link
Barnes and Noble Link

Here is a taste of the story: 



How has God answered your cry for help?

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: HelpIsNear





Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A 500 Year Celebration




While some celebrate an evening of candy, costumes, and trick or treating on October 31, others will be celebrating a change in history.


Photo Courtesy - Castle Church Door
500 years ago, Martin Luther delivered The 95 Theses. 

Many of us believe he nailed these documents to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Some say he had them delivered on that day. Whichever is really so, Martin Luther took a stand for epic statements based on intensive research, prayer, meditation, and a very close walk with God.

Some of the points Luther believed to be true were:

1. Every person should be able to read God's Word in their own language.
2. We cannot pay for our sins. There is absolutely nothing we can do to wash away our sins. Only the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God could pay for our sins.

And much more, enough to fill the 95 theses.

Four years later, Luther was called to appear before the Emperor on two occasions. Both times he was asked to recant his words. Luther's famous response was:

"Since your majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convicted by scripture and plain reason--I do not accept the authority of popes and councils for they have contradicted each other--my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, God help me. Amen."

I hope that if I am ever asked to recant even in a desperate and dangerous position, like Martin Luther was in, that I too will be willing to stand strong for my faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.



This post has been brought to you by the one word-Nevergiveupstories

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

AUTUMN IS FABULOUS!



Autumn is a fabulous season, right? Sure, we put up with a few days of rain, but the scent is breathtaking. Crisp leaves. Fall flowers. Cedar and pine trees radiating their scent. Even a walk on mushy leaves is refreshing. I love the fall.


One day when driving to Belgrade, Montana I saw this tree. I pulled over and waited for semis and other traffic to pass, for the sun to be just right, etc. and snapped the photo. 

Wow. Talk about a complete story of God's creation. Rocky mountains in the background, plump clouds overhead, and one tree, (on the east side of the Rockies this is considered a forest!).

I printed this one out and hung it in my living room.



We just never know when God will surprise us with a scent or view or sound that will stir the spark inside us. You know the one. It causes you to want to stay where you are. Take a deep breath. Cock your head to hear better.






Brice Anders the main character of my October 2017 release debut book had a similar experience.  Life just seemed so difficult. So much had gone wrong, yet when he really needed it, God opened his eyes to a similar blessing. Stories like Brice's are good to read. They remind us that we are not alone in our struggles and there is a good at the end.  CLICK HERE AMAZON LINK




If you can't see the move, above, here is a link to the book trailer. It'll only take 1 minute and I think you will like it. Anders' Redemption.  

This story is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, whatever your favorite bookseller and on eBook. 



God has given us so much this year, right? Take a moment and reflect on the bright colored moments from this year and give a shout out to God for His goodness. My list, seriously when I make the time to think of it, would take way more than a moment!






I also want to share with you one other new release, Christmas with the Enemy. I was invited to publish a new novel in a Christmas boxed set. My story, Christmas with the Enemy is packaged in the set, 











Mistletoe, Snow, and Suspense. This set is available through Amazon for only 99 cents. Click Here

 If you are willing to write a review, we will send you a free copy. Email me at maryveewriter@gmail.com if you want to participate in giving a review.

These are the stories inside: 

Acclaimed Christian authors come together in this irresistible collection of Christmas novels and novellas filled with suspense, romance, and intrigue. 

THE CHRISTMAS ANGEL THIEF
by Lillian Duncan
Zoe Adams has a secret—one that’s worth killing for!

As the country’s most infamous PK (preacher’s kid), Zoe chose to rebel against her famous father and his beliefs. Instead, she lived the party lifestyle with the rich and famous of Hollywood until she disappeared after witnessing a crime. After more than three years of running and hiding, all she wants is to go home for Christmas but knows that can never happen—if she wants to stay alive.

Ex-FBI agent, Marco Bernstein traded his gun in for a Bible. His path crosses with Zoe’s in a most unusual way. When he recognizes her, he makes a promise to get her home for Christmas but someone else is just as determined to make sure Zoe never gets home alive so keeping that promise turns out to be more difficult than Marco ever imagined—and even more dangerous! 


ANGELS AMONG US
by V. B. Tenery
In the season of Love, Peace and Joy, a chance meeting with a young woman in a supermarket sets Detective Cole Allen on an urgent quest to save the lives of three young women.
It will take the combined skill and dedication of the Twin Falls Homicide Bureau, and a helping hand from God, to locate and end the nightmare of the helpless victims. 

WORKS OF DARKNES
by V. B. Tenery
Some secrets just won’t stay buried. 

A construction site provides a horrific discovery when a worker uncovers the skeleton of a small child wrapped in a sleeping bag. Police Chief Matt Foley links the murder to another cold case, the hit-and-run death of Attorney Josh Bradford.

The long-suppressed memory of the young victim’s childhood friend, Sara Bradford may hold the key to both crimes. But Matt has mixed emotions about Sara—his prime suspect in her husband’s murder.  

Matt soon discovers the twenty-five-year-old mystery has the power to stretch across decades to kill again.  


KERI’S CHRISTMAS WISH
by Pamela S Thibodeaux
For as long as she can remember, Keri Jackson has despised the hype and commercialism around Christmas so much she seldom enjoys the holiday. Will she get her wish and be free of the angst to truly enjoy Christmas this year?

A devout Christian at heart, Jeremy Hinton, a Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Spiritual Mentor and Energy Medicine Practitioner has studied all of the world’s religions and homeopathic healing modalities. But when a rare bacterial infection threatens the life of the woman he loves, will all of his faith and training be for naught?

Find out in Keri’s Christmas Wish


CHRISTMAS WITH THE ENEMY
By Mary Vee
Samantha Windermere, a successful marketing intern, is lured by her parents to leave a hectic Chicago life for one relaxing week in the Windermere/Tucker family-share lodge. She arrives in a Rocky Mountain blizzard before anyone else and is scared when the family enemy walks through the door.  
The generation-old disagreement between the Windermeres and Tuckers over a priceless antique toy sparks when Sam’s parents arrive a few hours late and find Hank. A family Christmas just can’t be celebrated with one of them on the grounds.
Sam’s boss calls with an emergency from the Chicago office to the archaic lodge landline. She must attend a meeting tomorrow evening or her money-making account will be given to her rival. With no cell phone coverage or Internet at the lodge, city girl Sam must ask family enemy and mountain man, Hank, to guide her through white-out conditions to find an Internet connection. 
Blizzards, avalanches, bear attacks, snowmobile accidents, and deadlines become minor concerns when Hank’s parents arrive unexpectedly, igniting the toy train feud and exploding any chance for Peace on Earth. 





Have a great fall. Read some good books in those early dark nights. I've shared some with you that I hope you will check out.


This post has been brought to you by the one word: SeasonBlessings