Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I Was Okay

I never quite know how the holidays are going to hit me. And by never I mean not since I lost my mother in 2008. This year Mother's Day was especially hard. I expected Christmas to be too. I braced myself as the familiar carols began to play and you know what?

I was okay.

I went shopping and saw little old ladies with their caregivers. I saw children with their grandmothers. I went on Facebook and saw friends making plans to be with their mothers. I braced myself for an emotional onslaught and you know what?

I was okay.

There were no phone calls asking if their were "ears in the cornfield" so we could talk about the kids gifts. There was no one standing next to me singing slightly off key but with great enthusiasm at the Christmas Eve service. There was no one walking on my arm during the lighting of the candles. As the harpist played Away In The Manger I thought I'd be sad but you know what?

I was okay.

I was okay and then it happened. A friend posted about the imperfect perfectness of her brother-in-law's wrapping job. I made a comment about receiving presents wrapped by a blind woman. I got choked up. I miss the inside out wrapping paper and Braille labels. I miss my mother but you know what?

I am okay.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The original Big Wheel from the '60's is back. That's pretty cool as I am also an original from the '60's, only I never left. I heard one reporter say his brother had one but he didn't. All I could think was, 'We were poor but I had one.' Then he said they should always be ridden with adult supervision. Um, considering my father was at work I can only conclude that I was supervised by a blind woman. (Insert chuckle here.) 

Now that's not totally true. I seem to recall our neighbor Doris being around most of the time. She had 2 daughters I played with.  I was also supervised by the parents of my friends Neils and Renee whenever I was at their respective houses. Of course Renee came post Big Wheel. Not much danger in Barbies and paper dolls. But I remember riding my Big Wheel without any other mothers around and without a helmet. 

If you have little one's between the ages of 3-8 years old and under 70 pounds they too can ride a blast from my past. I'm going to go with the reporter on this one though and say they should always be supervised and wear a helmet. I guess it's the mother in me not wanting to take unnecessary risks with children in this day and age. I shudder to think about the mother coming out to find her child injured or worse yet, an empty Big Wheel seat. 

My next blog post will be the day after Christmas. I hope you have to put off reading it because you're supervising your children, which by the way is a great way to make memories. 

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Night Blooming Jasmine

Well it's out, my first novel and it was very much inspired by my mother. That being said, it is a work of fiction as I took artistic liberties with the storyline. I created a family for myself which I didn't have growing up and I gave Mom a couple faithful guide dogs. She always wanted one but couldn't get away for the training after marriage. We kids came along much too quickly (well at least my brother did.)

I hope you like meeting Amber-Rose Collier Powell. She's not exactly like my mother--I couldn't do her justice but they are both women of faith in adversity. They both have spunk and courage. Unlike my mother, Amber lets her doubts show, which in some ways makes her more human. (No, I did not just call my mother an android, but her faith and joy was so deep that sometimes it was hard to believe she was real.)  If Mom struggled with her faith, and we all do, she kept the struggle private.

I hope you like visiting my hometown and childhood which in the book is a mix of fact and fiction. I can't remember everything and I never did get the hang of journaling like John-Boy. My brother's girlfriend gave me a diary with a lock on it one year for Christmas. I don't know what ever happened to it, but I'm not worried that some deep dark secrets will come out after I become a rich and famous author. I don't remember writing in it.

I'm kidding about becoming rich and famous. Please support a broke and unknown writer and enjoy a sweet family drama with it's share of ups and downs and nostalgia. Oh, and if you're wondering about the title, that's explained at the end. (The title above the book cover photo is a link that will take you right to my publisher.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Without Regret

One of the regrets I have in life is losing track of people, because in a sense I lost track of a part of myself. When it comes to my mother, I'm sorry I couldn't find all her friends so they could say a final goodbye. One of the people I couldn't find was my brother's best friend. Jack was always over at the house and after Paul got stuck in the downward spiral of addiction, Jack stepped in to help Mom. Whether he was hauling stuff to the dump for her or just checking in, he sealed his role as surrogate. Maybe Mom didn't see him as a second son but I've always seen him as a second brother even before I needed one. 

I suppose we'll talk about Mom and Paul tomorrow as I visit Jack and his wife. He found me on Facebook, a social media site I joined because a friend was having a discussion on prayer and healing. Another friend thought I'd like to join in the conversation because of my experience with my mother in her last days. So you might say Mom brought Jack and I back together. I haven't seen him since right after Paul's funeral 15 years ago. I am so excited about tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a day of Thanks, not regrets so rather than mourn the time we didn't have together because I lost track of him, I shall be glad to have this caring man back in my life. In actuality he's pretty absent on Facebook but I've gotten to know his wife. Tomorrow I meet her in person. Tomorrow I get reaquaintted with him. Tomorrow is a day of Thanks. 

Without regret.

Wouldn't it be great if yesterday and today could be as well?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Back in the Advocacy Saddle Again

Crazy week over here. My husband injured his back and my son fell and has a mild concussion. And I am restless. I need to reign in the Lisa I used to be, the strong, supportive one. I discovered her when I was ten and taking Mom to see Dad in the nursing home. Now, don't get me wrong, I am being strong but only on the outside. Inside I am scattered.

Crazy week over here. My son is having memory issues and missing school. He was already struggling. I am restless but I need to reign in the Lisa I was when Mom was sick and I had to advocate for proper health care. I need to fight for my son's needs to be met at school. But the fight has gone out of me---didn't have much to begin with. My husband sent an e-mail to my son's case worker at school. That helped but really I need to be the one doing these things. 

Crazy week over here. I'm not sure how long it will last. I looked up the after care instructions on-line since they didn't give them to me in the ER (they printed the wrong diagnosis) and memory could take months to return. I hope not. My son seems frustrated by it and I hate to see him like this.

Crazy week over here, but I've been through crazier. By remembering what I went through with my mother, I realize I can advocate for my son's needs. I've done it before.

Crazy week over here. Time to saddle up.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Days that I miss Mom are not in short supply
Her birthday
Mother's Day
and today.

Today I am struggling. I'd like to share my struggle with her. After some initial shock and motherly advice she'd go straight to prayer. And today I need a mother's prayers. Prayers that can get past the walls I've let be built brick by brick. The mortar has dried. I need someone's prayers to get through.

Today, I need my mother's prayers.

If what is happening now had happened 25 years ago, she'd be happy for me. I think. But I am not who I was then. I'm at a different place and this thing I'm struggling with is out of place, so I need my mother in her place---approaching the throne of God on my behalf.

Today, I am having a Romans VII day

Today, I need her to hold me and tell me she loves me no matter what. I need her to pray me through today giving me strength to do what I know must be done. But I know it won't be easy or done in a day but tomorrow will become today so ...

Today I need my mother's prayers.

One day obedience will melt the mortar and the bricks will lie in heaps on the ground. One day obedience will haul off the bricks. One day obedience will be my prayer path to His Throne. But one day hasn't come. It is still today.

Today I wish she were here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

While this is the third and final book in the Freedom Series, I’m sure there are people who are just learning about it. Would you please share what prompted you to write these books on such topic as relevant and difficult as human trafficking? 

I was finishing up my previous fiction series for New Hope Publishers (the Extreme Devotion Series, dealing with the persecuted Church around the world) when Andrea Mullins (the publisher at New Hope) asked me what topic I wanted to tackle next. We discussed a few possibilities, and then she suggested human trafficking. I was aware of it and thought it was terrible but had no idea how widespread it was. I agreed to do some preliminary research and get back to her. When I discovered there are more than 27 million people held in various forms of human trafficking (sexual slavery, forced labor or military conscription, involuntary donation of body parts/organs) and that many of them are children (including an estimated 100,000—300,000 MINORS held in sexual slavery in the US today!), I was horrified. I was also convinced that I had to do everything possible to help educate others about this widespread horror and to call them to join the fight. Not only have I now written/released the Freedom Series on human trafficking, but I’m speaking on it everywhere/every chance I get.

What was your original objective in writing these books, Deliver Me From EvilSpecial Delivery, and The Deliverer? And, what are you hearing back from people who have read the books? How are they taking action? 

Originally my plan was to see the books alert readers to this horrific crime and, hopefully, challenge them to get involved in fighting it some way. That seems to be happening, but on such a larger scope than I had imagined. The response from readers is overwhelming! Pastors have written to say they are challenging their entire church to get involved on some level, and I’m being invited to speak all over the country on this topic. I am thrilled to see the Light being shined in this terrible darkness at last! As for specific actions, pastors and civic leaders are inviting me (or others in this ministry) to come and speak to their congregations/groups to help educate them on this massive tragedy. Readers tell me they are posting about my books all over the net to help snag people’s attention. I’m getting invitations to speak on radio and TV as well. I’ve also been contacted by readers who are getting involved in setting up safe houses for rescued victims, which is a huge need. I was even contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and invited to participate in group conference calls on the topic. Overall, I’m thrilled at the way God is using these books to help sound the alarm and to “rescue the perishing.”

It seems there is always someone in your books who is an intercessor. Why is that important for you to include? 

This is vital to me, and as you said, I almost always include an intercessor in my novels. I know there were intercessors in my own life who prayed me through some incredibly dangerous and difficult times, and I appreciate those heroes of the faith more than I can express. Highlighting their importance in my books accomplishes two things: it enables me to honor those faithful intercessors who often get no recognition in this world, and it also calls others to get involved in intercession as well.

You write books as you often call them, parables with a purpose, on topics such as human trafficking, the persecuted church, illegal immigration, and your Christmas 2012 book is about homelessness. Some might call you an advocate. Why is it important for Christians, and the church as a whole, to discuss these issues?

You’re right that I call my novels “parables with purpose,” because I believe Jesus is our example and that’s what He told to His followers—parables with purpose. He didn’t just tell them “nice stories” to entertain them. He told stories that would grab them right where they lived, and then challenge them to change their hearts, their minds, and their lives. The Church has always been at the forefront of serious social change, leading the charge to abolish slavery for instance, and leading the charge on these other issues is right where the Church needs to be now. The first step is to discuss the issues, to make people aware of them, and then to call them to action. I believe gripping fiction is one of the most effective ways to do that.

Will you give us a glimpse, a taste of things to come -- without getting too far ahead -- of what’s in store for your next series and books on the horizon? 

In addition to the 2012 Christmas novel, Unexpected Christmas Hero, dealing with homelessness in America, I will be releasing a new series starting in January. The first of the three novels is called The Moses Quilt, and it deals with a contemporary interracial romance, set against the background of a quilt that tells the story of the courageous, faith-filled woman known as Harriet Tubman. A contemporary novel dealing with the issue of abortion will follow, with the first woman doctor in America, Elizabeth Blackwell, as our backdrop heroine. The final book will be built around the much beloved Fanny Crosby, as we deal with the issue of people with disabilities. That series is from New Hope Publishers, but I also have a book releasing in the Spring of 2013 from B&H Publishers called Last Chance for Justice. It’s part of the multi-author Bloomfield Series, and I’m very excited about it.

You also write a devotional blog. Can you tell us what the focus is and where we can find it? 

I started writing a weekly devotional several years ago, in response to a request from the then newly formed group CAN (Christian Authors Network). I sent it out as a group email and had about 40 recipients then. The devotional mailing quickly grew and expanded beyond the CAN group, with countless readers signing up to receive it. I also started posting it each week on my devotional blog (, which is part of my primary website (, where you will also find my “Easy Writer” blog, which is more writing-related. (You can also sign up there to receive the weekly devotional in your inbox.) Over the years the devotional has been picked up by Crosswalk, Black Christian News, Latino Christian News (I offer it in Spanish as well as English),, Christians in Recovery, etc., so the readership has mushroomed beyond anything I ever imagined. God is amazing, isn’t He?

Finally, we know you as an award-winning author, but you also enjoy speaking for women’s events, and other groups, as well. On what areas or topics do you focus your speaking presentations? How can a church or group find out more about having you speak for their event? 

I speak on various topics, including the issues I address in my books, but on other topics too. One of my most requested topics is “When Passion and Purpose Collide.” That, along with several other popular topics, can be found in the speaking section of my website ( To see my current speaking schedule and/or to explore the possibility of having me come and speak, just go to and click on the Christian Speakers Services button to make contact. You can also see some of my speaking endorsements at

For more opportunities for free copies of The Deliverer by Kathi Macias, please visit

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview and/or book review on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Following In My Parent's Footsteps

Unwrapping His promises. I am drawn to the premise because when I think of unwrapping I naturally think of gifts. And isn't that what His promises are, precious gifts? They are to me as they were to my parents. (Oh, I know, you expect me to talk about Mom but Dad likes to sneak in every once in a while.) Today I am thinking of how they must have held on to God's promises for protection. Why today? Because today I am taking a step towards following in their footsteps. I just filled out my County Jail Ministry application. I was feeling confident until I turned over the sheet to the back page. Gulp. Basically, it reminded me I would be ministering to a dangerous population and I had to sign a liability release. You know what though, my pen did not shake as I signed my name because behind my name is a title (not printed on the form but known to me.) That title is, Child of God, and I KNOW that, "No weapon that is formed against (me) shall prosper." (Isaiah 54:17a). That's a promise I'll unwrap and wear along with my smile as I venture forth. 

That wonderful picture isn't just sitting there looking pretty. It should link you to the blog carnival put on by writing friend Duane Scott.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Stylus is Moving

I asked in the first post where God was in this adventure in blogging and the conclusion is that He's the stylus putting the dots in place to write the story of my life. It's a reference to Braille because the stylus is the writing tool. The difference of course, is that He is in control whereas a stylus is controlled by the user. But I like to think of Him as the stylus as well because the stylus is in contact with the paper to produce words and I'd like nothing more than to feel as if I'd been touched by God.

I've sensed God at work this week, giving me strength, giving me a nudge in the right direction, and giving me an unexpected opportunity. I've had a lot of work in the last few weeks to get the book to the editor (just did that tonight) and yet I had the strength to serve our military this weekend. I was blessed to work with a young man from the Inside Out Men's Home. That day Beau was not Beau, the recovering addict. He was Chaplain Beau and he rocked it! 

It was while I was serving that I felt God's nudge. I was in the church service but felt a nudge to go back to the prayer booth. Chaplain Beau had left and my husband looked relieved to see me as he introduced me to an upset woman. I asked her if I could give her a hug and she welcomed my embrace. She kept her arm around me as she shared. We had a few more hugs and I prayed. To be honest, I don't even think I got the whole story. But I was blessed. Blessed because I mess up all the time, and yet God still chose to send me to a hurting woman. He still uses me even when I feel useless. 

My unexpected opportunity knocked on Wednesday. Actually it rang and went to voice mail because I was on the phone with my marketing rep for Night Blooming Jasmine, but you get the point. My devotional, Touching The Words of Christ was seen by a publisher who was calling to express their interest in it. The God-thing here is that she saw it on a web-site that was supposed to take it down after 6 months because I couldn't afford to pay their fees. I don't know if this is a self-publisher or traditional but I do know my subscription to the web-site ended in 2011!

There is a beauty in writing Braille because it is embossed so, in a way, it is hidden. It is not until you are through, take the paper out of the slate, and turn it over that you can feel the words written. I'm excited to see the product when the stylus has stopped dancing and the Author has released the page to be read. I don't know what all will be written because I served, listened to a still small voice, and followed up on an opportunity. I just know I have the best Author there is writing the story.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Inspiring Story A Winner

Drum roll please and get the confetti ready, my debut novel, Night Blooming Jasmine, took 1st place in the Westbow Munce contest. I had entered the book under a different name in the Westbow OCCWF contest and it didn't even place. 

So what was the difference? I changed the title and the prologue to focus on my mother. I also changed the ending but I think it is bringing out my mother's faith that made the difference. Yes, it's a work of fiction but it is based loosely on her life and my mother's characteristics were not altered. That 4'11" pixie still cast a long shadow of faith.

I am sure I haven't done Delores Burkholder justice but Amber-Rose Powell is a strong feisty woman who doesn't let the challenge of blindness be challenging. I am privileged to be able to share her story in this way. I learned a few lessons through the course of writing this book, some of which are not in the book but will be explored elsewhere. Most importantly though I think I got to know my mother a little better as I really stopped to think about her life. 

I'll let you all know when Night Blooming Jasmine comes out. I just wish she were here to tell me her buttons were popping.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Virtual Tour of her Past

      I've probably said it before but my mother didn't talk much about her past. I have remnants of things mentioned in passing blended with a few old pictures my cousin sent to remind me where she came from. I know she came from a mining town, her mother had a bit of a sense of humor, and she endured more than any little girl ever should. So why would I want to go back there?

      I don't think I had a choice. I've always admired her faith and wanted someday to write more about her. That day recently came when I was told book 1 of my Shadow of the Steeples series didn't have enough grit. The book coach told me I should bring out the struggles she must have faced raising children while being blind. 
     I didn't find the grit there though. I went back, with the help of the internet, to the coal mines of West Virginia and Kentucky. I saw the darkness of the mines and the poverty of the towns. On my mother's birth certificate, her mother had written she was a homemaker in, "my own little shanty." I looked at the pictures, remembered the stories and wondered how my mother came out so full of life and light.

     Somehow looking at pictures of strangers helped me know my mother better. I'm glad I took the virtual tour. But I'm even more pleased Mom found Jesus at a young age. It was His Light that guided her through the darkness of poverty, her parents alcoholism, and her own blindness. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Living Like Lazarus

   I joined a Facebook group called The Lazarus Experiment last week. The point is to imagine how Lazarus would have lived his life after he was brought back to life. Not sure why it's named after Laz and not any of the other's raised from the dead. Regardless, I am participating. More to the point, I think my mother participated without even knowing it.

Lazarus would have been grateful.

     Mom always had a great attitude towards life. I only saw one glimpse of ungratefulness in the years I knew her and I blame the meds and weariness from the long illness. I'm sure she was no saint. I'm sure she had her Job moments, moments when she would ask how long, O Lord. But she never gave up on her faith. She embraced a Lazarus attitude before it became an Experiment.

Lazarus would have hugged Jesus every chance he got.

      Mom hugged Jesus daily through her prayer and music. Mom wrote songs about her loving Savior and to show her love for her Savior. But she wasn't selfish. Some of her songs clearly had an inviting message for others to come to Him. Her faith was remarkable to me and to those who knew her.

Lazarus would have ...
     Whatever it was, I'm sure she did. She was grateful to be alive.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Today I decided to share another entry from my devotional, Touching The Words of Christ. It's 4/11 and my mom was 4'11" so I went with the devotion on page 11.  

I am come to send fire on the earth;
and what will I, if it be already kindled?  Luke 12:49

     I have heard He was a prophet, a philosopher, a teacher, a healer, and even a rebel but never a poet. Yet doesn’t kindled sound more poetic than completed? But that is what He is saying here. I have this job to do and I wish it were done. He goes on to say that from then on there would be divisions among the people.
            The fire was not yet kindled because the wood needed wasn’t provided yet. Only a cross used for crucifixion could fuel the fire of faith. Even the unbelieving, who came to see a heretic suffer recognized Him as the Son of God: a spark. Other eyewitness accounts after the resurrection would create more sparks which the disciples would fan into flame.
     Already could not come yet. There was more teaching to come, healing to bestow and children to laugh with.  There’s a lot of talk right now about when the world will end. It can bring on a why bother attitude. But Jesus bothered. His time on earth was ending and He bothered to make sure His disciples were equipped.
      Then there was anguish, agony, and alleluia. In the garden of Gethsemane His anguish soaked the ground in tears and sweat containing drops of blood. Trying to describe His agony on the cross would diminish it.  Alleluia echoes through the ages: it’s origins an empty tomb.  I believe that when the resurrected Christ saw His disciples coming to meet Him at Galilee He could say in His heart of hearts, “It is kindled.”
       Our job now is to keep the fire kindled. Already has not come for us either, not until we are Home in Glory. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Special Delivery
 is book two in the Freedom (human trafficking) series. For anyone who may not have read book one, Deliver Me From Evil, can you fill us in on the focus of the series in general, and Special Delivery in particular?
The Freedom series is a three-book fiction series built around the horrifying topic of human trafficking. People often ask me why I decided to write about such a dark topic. First, I explain that I’m not writing about a dark topic; I’m writing about the Light that shines in that darkness. And second, I believe the Church should be at the forefront of the modern-day abolition movement to set the captives (modern-day slaves) free. The three books in this series specifically follows the life of a young woman named Mara, who was sold into sexual slavery by her own parents in Mexico, and then smuggled across the border into San Diego by her uncle who then served as her pimp. A strong sub-plot throughout the series tells of two sisters in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, Chanthra and Lawan, who are also trapped in a brothel. Finally, a teenage girl named Francesca, kidnapped in Juarez, Mexico, and forced into prostitution, is introduced in book two. Special Delivery picks up two years after book one, Deliver Me From Evil, ends, and continues with the stories of Mara and Lawan, as well as others carried over from book one. Mara hopes she is finally free to pursue her own life because she was rescued from the brothel and her testimony helped lock up her uncle for life. But the man has underground connections and is driven by revenge to reach out from behind bars and deliver the ultimate punishment to his niece.

This isn’t the first fiction series you’ve written on nationwide and even worldwide social issues, the one previous to this being the persecuted Church. What draws you to these difficult topics?

As a Christian, I believe I am compelled to use my God-given gifts to honor God in all I do—and that includes exposing the deeds of darkness, calling sinners to repentance, and taking a stand for righteousness by doing all I can to help rescue those who are suffering. I dare not turn my back on “the least of these.” I also believe that God placed this sort of burden on my heart even before I became a Christian at the age of 26. I’ve always been a champion of the underdog, a “soap-box” preacher, if you will. When I met Jesus, I simply redirected that passion toward His people, realizing I couldn’t effect real change in my own strength anyway.

With your obvious passion to right social and moral wrongs through the power of the Gospel, how did writing and speaking enter into that?

I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I was a child—never wanted to do anything else. When I was a teenager I told my then boyfriend (now husband) that I was going to be a writer one day. What a blessing that God allowed me to fulfill that dream! After becoming a believer and growing in my faith, it was natural to take my passion to fight for others and incorporate it into my writing. Speaking, on the other hand, was an entirely different story. I was terrified of public speaking when I was young, and the day I received Christ I made a “bargain” with God, promising to do anything He asked of me—so long as it didn’t include public speaking. (Does God have a sense of humor or what???) Now, when I stand in front of audiences where I believe God has called me to speak (and actually find myself enjoying it!), I tell my listeners that if God has called them to do something and they feel it’s impossible, they can consider me their “visual aid” that NOTHING is impossible with God IF we will simply take that first step of obedience and let Him fulfill His purpose in and through us.

With the topics of the worldwide persecuted Church and human trafficking under your belt, what other issues are you dealing with in your writing?

My Christmas 2011 book, A Christmas Journey Home, dealt with the immigration/border problem, and my Christmas 2012 novel,Unexpected Christmas Hero, will be about homelessness in America. The next issues-related fiction series I have on tap—which I am just starting to write, by the way—is called the “Patches of Courage” series and will begin releasing in late January 2013. Book one is The Moses Quilt, based on the life of Harriet Tubman, and will be followed by The Christmas Quilt and The Impossible Quilt. This series of books will highlight historical American women whose Christian faith enabled them to walk in great courage and make a difference in the lives of countless people.

Where can people find out about you and your books/speaking/appearances?

They can go directly to my website ( or or my Easy Writer blog: I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, and various other social sites. Would love to hear from all of you!

Where can people find out about free book giveaways on this blog tour? 

The blog tour host is giving away a set of two books from the Freedom Series -  Book 1 (Deliver Me From Evil) and Book 2 (Special Delivery). Also, readers can follow @ChristianSpkrs on Twitter or follow on Facebook at for more book giveaway locations on the tour.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (

A comment will be chosen at random to receive my copy of this book.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Earth's treasure 3/30/39-2/23/08


          You lit up a room with your smile and faith.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Daddy

Today would have been my father's 96th birthday. I've been thinking about him and our family and can't recall ever celebrating his birthday. That seems odd. I must have simply forgotten because I can't imagine my mother not wishing him a happy birthday.

Mom was widowed young so would have only had 19 birthdays with him, those last 5 being in the hospital. I wonder about that last birthday. Did we visit Dad on his birthday? Did we sing to him even though by that time dementia had turned us into strangers? And by us, I mean Mom and I. My brother never visited our father in the hospital.

Well I'm sure she wished him a happy birthday. I think it's in the fine print of the vows and Mom was faithful to her wedding vows. Maybe sometime today she sang to him the birthday song she began singing when I was an adult. "A happy birthday to you, a happy birthday to you. Every day of the year may you find Jesus near. A happy birthday to you, a happy birthday to you and the best you have ever had." Jesus is very near to both of them now.

Happy birthday Daddy. See you soon. (And by soon I am referring to the word used in the Bible translated as soon but means suddenly and unexpectedly.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Reality Check

I wanted to share with you today that I have started another blog. It's called When My Father Wakes Up and I am using it to promote my memoir and to share testimonies. This week I had a post from the Prodigal's Son Mother's point of view.  But don't leave yet. The link is at the end so please keep reading.

I've always said that this is a good time to publish the memoir because it can't hurt anybody. But the more I think about it, when it comes to my mother there's nothing to hurt. She was a strong woman of faith who prayed for her son daily. Daily. Sad to say, I'm not that committed. What I mean is I don't say a specific prayer over my children at a specific time daily. I don't have a worn out prayer rug. (A reference to one of my favorite stories in a book belonging to my father). My children are always on my heart. Jesus knows my heart from the inside out. He sees each tear I cry over them. He sees each proud moment stored over their boldness of faith, even if that boldness is in the past. He sees each glimmer of hope. He knows my heart from the inside out because I gave it to Him when I was little. Now I just need to learn to share it with Him more regularly.

So now please enjoy one woman's journey.  When My Father Wakes Up

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Letters To Ethan

I've been reading Letters To Ethan by Tom McQueen and really enjoying it. McQueen has degrees in philosophy and theology yet the letter are easy to understand. Of course he is writing to his grandson but he doesn't talk down or oversimplify things. I'm enjoying the insights and will share this book with one of you who leaves a  comment. Not just any comment. I want to know what important insight you would leave to the next generation. The comment will be chosen at random. Before you comment please enjoy this interview with the author. 

What sparked the idea to write Letters to Ethan?
One day I started thinking about my own mortality and how I would want to be remembered by my children and grandchildren. I just didn’t want to die and leave them a memory, although positive memories are certainly important and valuable. I wanted them to know that they’re here for a purpose, that God loves them; that I love them; and I wanted to share the mistakes and miracles of my own life with the hope that it would be of some benefit to them as they encountered their own challenges and opportunities in the future.

Why do you think it’s important for letters to be left behind?
I believe that it’s important to leave letters for your children and grandchildren to give them a perspective on life in general, your family traditions, the role that faith has played in your family as well as the wisdom that you’ve acquired over the years. In addition, each letter is a ray of hope in that it communicates to the recipient that we all face challenges and obstacles in our lives and that with patience, persistence, passion, and purpose those challenges and obstacles can be overcome and result in a meaningful life.

Do you really think letters can have an impact on young people?
Absolutely. I’ve seen the results first-hand in adult children whose parents left legacy letters for them. In addition, when parents have shared letters with their adult children, the feelings of joy, contentment, and satisfaction have strengthened the bond between them immensely. In addition, when a young person realizes that a grandparent took the time to write them a legacy letter, it has a definite impact upon their sense of self-esteem and self-worth.

What inspired you to start Legacy Nation? (

Two events triggered my passion for Legacy Nation. First of all, I had two sets of grandparents --- one that I lived with growing up in a two-story flat in upstate New York and knew as well as my parents, and the other set of grandparents that I never met. I still remember the happiness that I enjoyed with the grandparents that lived upstairs and the sadness that I felt at now knowing anything about my paternal grandparents.

I saw Legacy Nation as an opportunity to bridge two worlds. Parents and grandparents could write letters to their children and grandchildren on an ongoing basis while they are alive, sharing their wisdom, experiences, trials and tribulations, joys as well as the faith, hope, and love that they have in their kids and grandkids. Their children and grandchildren then would have those letters as a legacy that they could learn from and continue to build for their children and grandchildren as well.

At the same time, our nation is hurting. We need a re-energized faith, a new hope, and a return to that family foundation of love and respect that our forefathers relied upon to build these United States of America.

Progress is wonderful, technology is great, and the speed of change is a fact of life. Unfortunately, traditional family values are feeling the pinch from our current economic crisis and the demands placed upon our time result in less meaningful interaction with our kids and grandkids. I’m worried about the future of my children and grandchildren.

I founded Legacy Nation as a means to return to those values that made our nation great as well as an admired and respected people, a beacon of hope to mankind, and a blessing to our children and grandchildren.

If you could offer just one piece of advice to the next generation, what would it be?

God gave you three priceless gifts: your emotions, your intellect, and your will. And if you remember this thought you’ll know what to do with them: “God said, ‘Let’s build a better world.’ And I said, ‘How? The world is such a cold, dark place and so complicated now that there’s nothing I can do.’ God in all His wisdom said, ‘Just build a better you.’”

Where can we find out about more opportunities for a free copy of this book? 
Follow @ChristianSpkrs on Twitter. 

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Book Review

What inspired you to write this story? 
I feel very strongly about the breakdown of the family and fatherlessness and how there is much dysfunction and despair because of it. I wanted to tell a story to shed some light on the situations that many face and hopefully bring some type of reversal to the current dynamic in whatever small way I could. I wanted to challenge men, fathers especially, to be who they were created to be ... its certainly a challenge I face myself daily. A challenge that I often fail at but keeping picking myself up to start again.

Did you model any of the characters after people you know?
I used many things to model the characters ... people I know, other literary figures, actors, biblical characters, celebrities ... the characters are a combination of all of these. I wanted them to be new and familiar at the same time, universal.

Why did you choose the Dallas/Ft Worth area as your primary setting?
First of all, the south has a certain reputation for is deep spiritual roots (bible belt and all). I patterned the book in part after GONE WITH THE WIND (another book set in the south) ... not in the sense of a love story but in the sense of "here is civilization that is about to cease to exist, come see it before its gone". In the case of my novel it is a spiritual civilization on the brink. Dallas just seemed to have everything I needed to make the story work from both a symbolic and technical standpoint.

Do you have plans to write more books?
i have an idea or two floating around ... nothing concrete yet.

What sort of research did you do for the historical portions of your book? What did you like best about the research? The least?
My co-author and I researched deeply into ancient history for some aspects of the book ... I learned a lot of things ... some things I'd rather forget but most of it was enlightening. What I liked best was that it confirmed for me mostly what I already knew, there really is nothing new under the sun.

Where can we find out about more opportunities for a free copy of this book? 
Follow @ChristianSpkrs on Twitter. You can purchase the book through Amazon at

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (

I have one copy to give away. Leave me a comment about light in your life. A comment will be chosen at random.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Want More Please

     Today I thought I'd share from my devotional Touching The Words of Christ. I love that my mom got to have a hands on relationship with the Living Word.  

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?
Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only,
what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans the same? Matthew 5:46-47

      Jesus expects us to do the unexpected. And why wouldn’t He? We are His followers and He hit the ball out of Expectation Park all the time. He’s just told us to love our enemies. We know how to love, in return for love. We greet our friends and neighbors. So what? Even non-believers do that. Jesus wants us to step up to the plate ready to love and pray for our enemies.
     Do more. Be more. When others are living life large He expects us to live life more. You can have a good life without the more but you’ve already gotten your reward. Better, oh so much better and greater is the reward that awaits us in heaven. We can’t be afraid to aim for the fences and hit it out of Expectation Park and round those bases for the glory of our Captain.
     The Captain has developed this game strategy for the believer and there are no guaranties. It doesn’t say love and pray for your enemies and they’ll stop being your enemies. We cannot control what they do; only what we do. We cannot control what pitches are thrown at us; only how well we swing the bat. All we can do is more. All we can be is more. All we can give is more.
       And the Lord of All is ready to supply what we need to live as Believers who do more. He’s waiting to fit us with the uniform with the great big M. More, yes I want more of Him.