Monday, July 28, 2014

What Would You Do if You Had Free Time?



Photo courtesy

My husband and I visited a missionary in June. This is a hard working couple with a difficult ministry.

God called them to work in a tribal community. 

Like every group of people, this particular tribal people have some really sweet people and some not so sweet people. When they speak, there is a tonal sound to their words. I love listening to it.

The missionary has found a way to blend the tribal people and local ranchers in the church. We sat in the service with the blended group, sang with them, prayed with them, and listened to the sermon with them. 

The Missionary's Church
Photo by Mary Vee
The missionary works long days. He bales hay, repairs things in the church, is a worker at the public school...he reaches out to the whole community in order that they may see and want a relationship with Christ.

When we visited this missionary, he talked about things his wife wanted to do if she had free time, and things his daughters wanted to do if they had free time. When he finished I said, "What would you want to do if you had free time?"

The question stumped him. I don't think he had considered the question...ever. The conversation morphed into another topic, but I didn't forget.

Then I started to wonder. Jesus had a limited amount of time when He was with us. He worked hard, did what the Father asked, was kind, compassionate, giving, forgiving, firm, fair, and so much more. 

I can't help but wonder, what would Jesus say if asked the question, "What would you do if you had free time?"

I really am not sure what He would say. I think it would totally depend on the time, circumstances, needs, I don't know. What did He do while resting on the 7th day of creation? 

How do you think Jesus would answer the question?

If you are as stumped as I am, how about...What would you do if you had free time?

Don't forget to leave a comment, chatting is so much fun!

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


Friday, July 25, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature-Michelle Rayburn




Today I welcome author: 
Michelle Rayburn

To win a copy
Michelle's book, 
The Repurposed and Upcycled Life


Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.




I met Michelle at the Write to Publish Conference. Although a member of the faculty/staff, Michelle's warm and friendly spirit encouraged conferees to chat with her. She never rushed away but always found a time to laugh or talk with us. When I saw her again this year, she invited me to her table. Sure enough we were laughing in seconds. I asked Michelle, "How has God led you on your writing journey?" This is what she replied:




A Renewed Sense of Purpose

I always knew I loved writing, but didn't know I wanted to be a writer. I was one of the unusual students who enjoyed a writing or speaking assignment from a teacher, and disliked multiple- choice exams. I remember a seventh grade assignment to write a short dialogue between two people. Emphasis on short. I turned in a thesis-sized manuscript of a fictional conversation between two opponents playing tennis. Yawn. I showed ambition with the ridiculous length of the mundane conversation, but poor Mr. Breytung, who had to grade that foolishness.

And that's why I don't write fiction. Youre welcome.

I didn't figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up until around age 32. That was more than ten years ago. 13 years more than, to be specific. Yeah, you can do the math.
I had been a registered nurse, then a stay-at-home mom. I tried wedding coordinator, rubber stamp demonstrator, custom painter and decorator, craft instructor and web designer. In my free time, I enjoyed drawing, quilting, scrapbooking, and reading. But, I still didnt know what I wanted to do with my life.

A writers' conference provided a compass in the midst of my career wandering and hobby-exploring and offered a new and unexpected direction. I returned home from that conference and never followed through on any requests to send a manuscript to an editor for consideration. Wouldn't that have sounded so much better if the reverse had happened? Confidence didn't come automatically.

However, I did return home with a renewed sense of purpose. I realized that all of my hobbies, career attempts, and talents and abilities weren't as random as they might seem. Like a dot-to-dot puzzle, as I made the connections and saw how everything established a solid foundation for providing writing material, developing skills, and beginning a speaking ministry, I could see the big picture and it all made sense.

I return to that conference nearly every year, and now write for various publications. Yes, I did eventually follow through! I love what I do. The variety keeps me hooked on my careerthe longest one Ive ever had outside of motherhood. On one work day, I might write a devotional. Another, an article. Still another, I'm working on a newsletter for a Christian ministry or creating a marketing flyer for a client. Some days I'm prepping for a speaking event, and others I'm free to have lunch with a friend.

In 2013, my first book came out. The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure is a book that helps women reexamine the junky stuff in their lives to see how God uses our worst experiences to teach us and to show his glory. The book was born out of my love for repurposing yard-sale junk into budget-friendly decorations for my home (I blog about that passion on my website). I realized, if we can appreciate trash-to-treasure finds with all of their flaws, maybe it's time to learn to appreciate others, and ourselves, despite our imperfections. God is the master at turning trash into treasure. Writing it was a significant part of my own spiritual journey, and the process was therapeutic.

As you look at your own journey, where have you seen God at work even when everything seemed to fall apart? 
What about your own before and after story points to the greatness and goodness of God? 
Please comment below with how God has repurposed your junk.


Michelle wants to help you connect the dots between faith, creativity, and everyday life and discover the joy of finding God in the most unexpected places. Michelle is the author of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure. She has written for Chicken Soup for the Soul, Vista, Christian Communicator, Focus on the Family, and more. She has also written several Bible studies for ChristianBibleStudies.com. She and her husband, Phil, have been married for nearly 25 years, and they have two college-aged sons.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




Special Offer TodayThe Repurposed and Upcycled Life is free for download on Kindle, July 25 only for all visitors!

Book Trailer on YouTube: The Repurposed and Upcycled Life
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 


To enter the contest for  
Michelle Rayburn's book: "The Repurposed and Upcycled Life":
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this site, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

Sorry, U.S. only for the hard copy
BUT on July 25 anyone visitor can download a copy! 

Winner announced on my facebook page.


Thank you, Michelle, for Joining us This Weekend!

Don't forget to comment!



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Helping the Wounded

  


A lot of animals like to visit our yard. 




This year a family of seven geese have settled here. The little ones have grown from puff balls to nearly adult size already. 

Two of the goslings have injured legs. I didn't know how the other geese would treat  them. Would they leave these two behind?









This goose hobbled along with the family.




















Neither of the injured geese were ever alone. 
  








This animal family ate together.



Slept together



Swam together



Preened together








The family was relaxed in their routine while the watcher stood guard, ready to alert the family of danger.











There are times we all feel wounded. 


Perhaps hurtful words said by someone else. 
Maybe we disappointed ourselves with what we did or said. 
An important person didn't recognize our work, 
or we weren't included when others were chosen.

As a member of God's family, you can know you are safe. Never left behind. Have access to food, a place to rest, and the company of others.

As a member of God's family, we can feel relaxed, knowing Jesus is our watch keeper. Standing guard, protecting us from harm, and giving us the freedom to go about our duties.

For today's comment, please say a thank you to Jesus for what He has done, is doing, and will be doing for you.

I'll start. Jesus, there is an endless list of things I could be thanking you for at this moment. I'll say only one since you know the others that are in my heart. Thank you for my family.

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


Monday, July 21, 2014

A Great Opportunity

God blesses us everyday with great opportunities.

Even in the midst of trials or fun times, God gives us opportunities.

Think about your day so far. Have your cup of coffee? Wait--I'm going to get mine. Be right back.





Okay, I'm ready. Had a little fun and put an "M" for Mary on top. :)






What opportunity has God given you to bless someone? To bless yourself? (that's okay, by the way. God wants us to be happy) To bless God?

Yes. I'm hearing some great ideas from you all:

*call a friend
*send an email/FB message to someone in need
*fix a super dinner for the family tonight
*listen to the birds
*do the one project I've been putting off
*hug my spouse/child/parent
*pray for my pastor and his wife

Great ideas!!!!

It's also okay to ask someone to do something or pray for you. 

What prayer request do you have? Write it in the comment section. I will be praying right away for your request. 

What can we do for you? Well we're kinda limited on line with this one. But I can think of a couple of things:

Tell me a topic you would like us to chat about.
Tell me a book you would like reviewed.
Tell me an author you would like to visit with us for a weekend post
Tell me a book you would like me to include in the book give aways.



I have a request. Something each of you could do for me. My website/blog Let's Talk has been nominated for blog of the month at the Book Club Network. I know! I'm so excited!!

This organization reaches out to thousands of readers. But to win I need votes. You don't have to be a member and any one can vote. I would really appreciate if you would take a minute to vote this blog and me. Here is how:

1. Go to this link: http://www.bookfun.org/
2. Scroll down and look in the far right column for "Voting for July blogger of the month"
3. Click the box for "Let's Talk" by Mary Vee 
4. Click the button "vote"

If you are using a mobile phone the link does not take you to the home page...crazy, I know!!
Open the menu on the top right and click on "desktop view". That will take you to the home page. Scroll down and look in the far right column for "Voting for July blogger of the month". Click the box for "Let's Talk" by Mary Vee. Click the button "vote".


Thank you so very much.

Don't forget to include in the comment section how we can pray for your or something you would like added/done on this blog.







Friday, July 18, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature-Linda Glaz





Today I welcome author: 
Linda Glaz

Enter to win Linda's new book
Bride of Necessity


Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to enter.




I met Linda at a local ACFW meeting. She taught several of the classes. Her personality, though is lively, smart, and fun. She knows what is up to date in the publishing field and shares tips. After sessions she is one of the most personable people I've met. I instantly counted her a friend. At the meeting I won one of her books. Read my Wednesday post for the book review. Seriously, she is an entertaining author. When I asked Linda how God has led her on her writing journey she gave this answer: 


Enjoy All God Has Created

How has God led me on my writing journey? After 23 years, there’s so much to tell about how I did everything wrong, then got smart and got serious about the writing, found an agent at conference, and then began working with him as an assistant after a time. 

Then a door opened for me to become an agent and I took it. I never would have been able to dream this stuff up 23 years ago. No one would have believed it. 

So…let’s just say, if there is something in your life that you want, never give up your dream. Never, ever! You may not see results the following week, but if you are truly on a journey for which you can’t turn back, you will discover where you are supposed to be. 

For me, it is writing as well as matching other writers with editors. Dream job! But I persevered way beyond what most folks are willing to do.


~~

Linda is married with three grown children and three grandchildren. She is a complete triple-A personality (she often says quadruple). How else would she find time to write as well as be an agent for Hartline Literary Agency? 

She loves any and every thing about the written word and loves when families pass stories along through the generations. If she isn't writing or putting together a contract, you'll find her taking a relaxing bath with her ereader in hand.

Her background includes serving in the Air Force at a time when it wasn’t considered the right thing to do for a female, teaching soccer around the US for 25 years—finally retired as the feet failed, and teaching karate and women’s self-defense off and on for 30 years. Ditto with body parts failing.

She loves to sing in and direct musicals, though there’s been little time since she became an agent. Linda grew up with all brothers, so she understands sophomoric humor as an art.


Life is good! Have fun, don’t take yourself too seriously, and enjoy all God has created!

To learn more about Linda click on these sites:
Website:       http://lindaglaz.blogspot.com
Facebook:     www.facebook.com/linda.glaz

~~

Bride by Necessity:
JONATHAN LAMBRICK NEVER PLANNED TO MARRY AGAIN 
But when the master of Kent Park takes in the orphaned daughter of a tenant, Jonathan doesn't expect his young charge to be a stunning woman. Or for a predatory relative to lay claim to her. Marriage may be the only way to protect Payton from an unthinkable fate. 

Payton Whittard knows her marriage to Jonathan is about safety, not love. But the feelings that soon arise during their arrangement are anything but safe. Still, there's something about her handsome protector that makes her trust him with her life. Can Payton trust him with her heart, as well?





The Preacher's New Family
PREACHER T.J. O'BRIEN ISN'T LOOKING FOR A WIFE AND FAMILY 
Yet every time he sees Sarah Anne Rycroft, he feels a powerful urge to protect the beautiful young widow. When she's in danger of losing the farm to the bank, T.J. steps in to defend Sarah against the unscrupulous banker. 

Sarah knows T.J. has vowed to live a solitary life of devotion to God. Still, the single mother can't resist the comfort and safety of his strong arms. But when he sells his most prized possession to save the farm from foreclosure, she wonders if the handsome preacher could have marriage on his mind, after all.    




To enter the contest for  
Linda Glaz's book: "Bride by Necessity":
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this site, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

Sorry US only

Winner announced on my facebook page.


Thank you, Linda, for Joining us This Weekend!



Friend, what would your dream job be?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Book Review-The Preacher's New Family by Linda Glaz


This coming weekend I am blessed to host author and agent Linda Glaz. Linda is a member of my local ACFW chapter and has helped our group by giving presentations that update us on current market trends. She is a gifted speaker, a great friend, and now I've had a chance to see she is also a fabulous writer.

The Preacher's New Family was released March 2014. Linda had a second new release in June 2014. Be sure to join Linda and me this weekend!




Life couldn’t have been any more perfect for T.J. O’Brien. Surely God rescued him from the cramped big city apartment by calling him to become a frontier circuit rider. The deliciously sweet air, mixed with a peaceful life free from burdens to find a roof over his head or food for his table settled well in his soul. Nothing could pull him away from this perfect life. So he thought, until the day the beautiful young widow, Sarah Anne Rycroft greeted him with a shotgun.

Frontier life in 1881 came packaged with trials and troubles. More so for a young widow working to save the fertile farmland her dead husband worked so hard to own. Sarah Anne Rycroft's sweet four-year-old son helped as only a little guy could. But when the banker refused to help extend her loan, her world caved in. 

Preacher T.J couldn’t stop his heart from caring for the widow, yet he felt torn by his convictions that a dedicated preacher should never get married. 

Sarah Anne couldn’t abandon her love for her first husband. His accidental death ripped her heart in two, so deep it could never be mended. All she had left was their son and a hope to keep their farm.

Linda Glaz has written a story that will truly touch your heart. The component that put this book over the top for me was: Linda Glaz's fresh writing style clearly designed to entertain and tug at the reader's heartstrings. What I especially like was the memorable one-liners threaded throughout the story. This story kept a perfect pace, not to fast where the reader would get lost, and not to slow with boring repetition. Truly class writing.

One of the reasons I liked this book is it really held my interest. I don't usually read books from this time period but it was on my nightstand. I picked it up, only willing to give the story a page or two to yank me into the main character's life. Hah! I finished reading the book the next morning.

If you click on the picture above, the link will take you to Amazon.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Zillions of God Jobs to Be Done



Photo Courtesy
In a hotel breakfast area, a boy and his mother chose food to put on their plates. The mom said, "How do you work this waffle maker?"

She had turned in my direction. Thinking she threw out the question to anyone who stood nearby, I pointed to the little cups and said, "Fill this one with batter."

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her son. He looked about eleven-years-old. His mouth was partially opened as if ready to say something, but he didn't. 

Aha. I thought. This is a respectful young man. He knows the answer but is choosing not to say anything because I had offered help first. I turned to him and said, "You know how to do it right?"

He smiled.

"Then you should teach her." I stepped back to let him take over. 

He smiled again and showed his mom what to do.


Every moment of the day there are zillions of God jobs to be done. He could handle each one by Himself and do a perfect job. Yet, because of His love for us he asks us to do the job.

God chooses to let us participate in what He is doing in the world for many reasons. 

1. He loves us.
2. He likes to be with us.
3. He knows we like to be responsible.
4. He wants us to have a sense of value.
5. He knows we need things to do (which means we will not be bored in heaven :) )
6. He likes to see others smile when they see us do God jobs.
7. And a job well done, as we are able, proclaims His glory.


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

What fun jobs has God given you?


Friday, July 11, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature: Ginny Hamlin, Marriage Takes Three




I am happy to welcome 
author G.E. Hamlin 
as my guest today





I have been in a critique group with Ginny. Our time included her work on Marriage Takes Three. I must say, her writing is intriguing. Today we are talk about her book. Below I have my review. Ginny passionately writes about broken marriages and the restoration power of Jesus Christ.  I hope her ministry will be a help to you or someone you know.

Restored Marriages


G. E. Hamlin’s debut novel, Marriage Takes Three is a stirring read filled with real issues, great characters, and hope. While these specific issues may not rattle every marriage, the struggles, heartache, friendships, and path to resolution will ring true.

Darla’s marriage is teetering on the edge of a cliff. Her husband Randall is a recovering alcoholic who suffers from temper issues. 

Darla’s high school sweetheart, Jack Collins, drives to her town, stops by her office and hires her to be his realtor. He wrote his latest hit country song about the one gal he never stopped loving and now he wants to try to win her back.

Through the rising tensions, close friends reassure Darla and Randall of God’s love and help.  Randall wants to believe them but can his once vibrant relationship with his wife be restored or will Jack pull her away? Their friends say it takes three to make a marriage work.

Hamlin weaves a true to life story about fears many face in marriage and the pursuit to face those fears. With God, and the people God puts in our lives, fears become nothing more than false evidence appearing to be real.

With Scriptures sprinkled in the story at just the right times, Darla and Randall see the need for God's help.

Marriage Takes Three is an excellent book for a book club and as a gift.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for my honest review.


G.E. Hamlin (Ginny) passionately writes about broken marriages and the restorative power of Jesus Christ. Her stories stem from personal experiences and working in lay ministry as a member of her church. Her characters encounter the natural consequences of addiction to: alcohol, drugs, and sexual immorality. It is Ginny’s hope each story will create a bridge for discussion in real life.
Ginny has been a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) for over six years.  Her style of writing reflects the qualities of Nicholas Sparks’ soft side and the fast pace of James Patterson.
She and her husband Ed have a blended family with five adult children and eight grandchildren. Ginny and her husband live in southern California where they enjoy the: beach, desert, and mountains. As a full time author she is blessed with frequent opportunities to spend time with the grandchildren.

Want to learn more about Ginny?Visit Ginny at http://eghamlin.com/Gblog
Facebook Author’s Page http://www.facebook.com/GEHamlin
Twitter http://twitter.com/GEHamlin


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Do We Really Value What God Gives?


Photo Courtesy

Sometimes we don't appreciate the things God has given us. 

I went to the grocery store and paid for my groceries. As I rolled the cart toward the exit, a young man hurried from the self check out. In his rush he spilled a handful of coins, probably his change, on the floor.

He raised his arm, frustrated at what happened. 

I stopped my cart and waited, wanting to give him the space and a chance to pick up his coins. 

Instead he walked to his friend standing at the frozen coke machine. While his friend filled his cup with a drink, the two appeared to talk. The friend nodded at the coins and when the first young man made no effort to retrieve his spilled change, the friend shrugged.

Neither picked up the change.

A choice now fell on me. I could push my cart past the change, knowing it would either stay there until a custodian cleaned it up or someone else would pick up the coins.

I chose to pick up the coins. I held them in my hand and walked outside, hoping to see the young man. I would have offered the coins to him if I saw him, but I didn't want to chase him down in the parking lot. :)

I didn't see the young man. The coins landed in my jeans pocket.

I wondered why he didn't want to pick up the money. Clearly his friend thought they should be picked up as well. But neither one did. 


Life has thrown me several days when I didn't have money to buy food or a way to get it. God interceded and helped me through those moments.


The Bible tells a story about a man who had to appear before a king. The king accused the man of owing a great sum. The man pleaded for mercy. After all  if the king threw him in jail he would have no way to earn the owed money. The king's heart soften and he forgave the debt. 

One day the man yelled and beat a poor fellow who owed money. The poor fellow begged and pleaded for mercy. After all if the man had him thrown in jail, he would have no way to earn the owed money. The man hardened his heart, refusing to forgive the poor fellow and threw him in jail. 

The king heard about the man and the poor fellow. He called the man back to his chambers and questioned him. "Did you refuse to forgive the poor fellow and have him thrown in jail?" 

The man stammered and cried for mercy. 

The king shook his head. "Because you refused to appreciate the mercy I gave you and did the same for the poor fellow, I refuse to give you any more mercy." The king called for the guards and had the man thrown in jail. 

Someday the young man from the grocery store will need money. When he does, do you think he will remember the day he left a handful of coins on the floor?

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