It’s Coming! It’s Coming!

What’s coming?????

OWL JOURNAL COVER W. BRANCH - FRONT ONLY

My CHOCOLATE OWL JOURNAL.


I’ve just finished the prototype for my next journal, and I can’t wait to get it out there for writers who are always looking for more pages to fill.

This little gem is called the CHOCOLATE OWL JOURNAL and, instead of photos throughout like the coffee lovers journal, it will offer great little nuggets of chocolate wisdom from CHOCOLATE OWL himself.

Now, authors and book creators don’t generally dedicate something like a journal to people who are special to them, so this journal won’t include a dedication page either. But I just want to say that if I were dedicating it, I’d have to dedicate it to my friend Lee over at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus. She appreciates owls — and all kinds of God’s precious winged creatures  — more than anyone else I know.

Well, I just wanted to let you see the front cover and whet your appetite for this newest project. It should be available for purchase by the end of the week at the latest. Price should be around $6.00. I’ll post again when it’s ready and give you all the final details.

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Weely Smile 8/19/19

ARK FLYER FOR AUGUST # 2 - top onlyTo participate in Trent’s Weekly Smile Challenge, click on the link and get the simple instructions.


Well this week, I have two reasons to smile. One was last Thursday, and one was just this morning.

Thursday was another “Meeting Aboard the Ark” meeting that my ministry Radical About Jesus holds at our local civic center. I love these meetings because we have a great time worshiping the Lord and getting into His Word, but I especially love the meetings when people come who need much healing and help from the Lord. We had a meeting like that this time. So  often, the people in need just don’t know that God wants them well and that He wants to provide all their needs. They’ve been taught that God delivers people sometimes, but sometimes He chooses not to, so they’re plagued with doubts and fears, and they’ve suffered for years.

But when they hear the Word of God and how He has poured His heart into promises to come to them and bring them the relief and the help they need — and that He has already paid for it all through Jesus’ finished work — they just open up and blossom like a flower in the sun. It’s the most amazing and joyous thing to see the change come over these people as they soak up God’s Word. Their faces light up, their eyes shine, they sit up straighter in their seats  and even lean forward as if to soak it up better — because they’re learning how much God loves them and wants to help them. And they’re learning how to receive miracles from Him. Then when we come to the time to pray for them, their faith is ready to receive, and God is able to change their lives.

I can’t think of anything I’d rather do with my life than carry that delivering, healing, life-giving Word to people who need it so much. So, naturally, that kind of experience can produce the biggest smiles of all.

But then there are the little things — as Trent mentioned in his own post this week. And I had one of those experiences this morning. I left the house early for a prayer meeting, and just as I was closing my car door, I glanced over at a sort of grassy area close to my azalea bushes. I saw the most amazing sight: There were hundreds of tiny sparkling gems scattered throughout the grass — in varying shades of greens, blues, and reds. I was stunned. I had never seen anything like it before, and as my gaze traveled over the rest of my yard, I saw more. The dew still on the ground was reflecting the sun’s light in those prisms of color, and it looked like my lawn had been seeded with precious sparkling gems of so many colors.

Some of you readers may have experienced that situation before, but I never have, and I was just speechless for a moment. I sat there, motionless, and suddenly my heart just swelled with gratitude that the Lord had given me that special experience. I had been having a troubled time the past couple days, for a couple different reasons — not the least of which was sadness as I come to the week that is the anniversary of losing my husband (17 years ago now) and then losing my very best friend of many years (just two years ago this week.)

So my heart was heavy this morning, and the little light display from the Lord so cheered me and made me realize how much the Lord loves beauty and how much of it He creates. He just reminded me that if He bothered to create so much beauty in little drops of dew, how much more beautiful will Heaven and the rest of eternity be. I was running much later than I should have been for the meeting, but I just had to sit there quietly and soak up that lovely experience — which made me smile a lot — and thank the Lord over and over.  I did finally get to church for the prayer meeting though.  🙂

I hope all of you have had plenty to smile about this week as well.

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Hurry! We’re Almost Gone

SMILEY - YEL,ORANGEJust a reminder to some of my followers here:

Not everyone who follows me on this site follows my ministry site “Hangin’ Out With God.”  But a whole lot of you do. For that reason, I’m posting a reminder here as well as there, so that you won’t forget to switch to our brand new site with us.

“Hangin’ Out With God” has been spreading the love of Jesus for over 8 years, and we have moved that work to our brand new site — “Radical About Jesus Ministries.” This week will be the last week “Hangin” Out” is available for public viewing. Unfortunately, I’m not sure everyone has actually realized that unless they hop over to the new website and hit the “Follow” button, they will lose all connection with that work.

I know it sounds strange to say that the readers don’t understand that point. But you know how it is:  we are creatures of habit, and if we’ve been going to the same site for over 8 years, we just keep doing it and thinking, “Oh, yeah, I need to check out the new site.”  Then the next time we visit the old website, we think that again — and again — and, well, you get the point.

Anyway, since we have hundreds of followers on “Hangin’ Out” and only about 5 of them have moved with us to the new site, I thought a little reminder here for those who follow both sites might be helpful. Of course, if most of those hundreds of people don’t want to follow us any longer, that’s okay, but I don’t really think that’s the case with most of them.

So, please, if you want to stay connected with the “Hangin’ Out With God” ministry, be sure to visit “Radical About Jesus Ministries” and hit “Follow” before next Monday. We really don’t want to lose you!

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Weekend Coffee Share 8/3/19

COFFEE. GOLD BORDER -- Luiz Jorge Artista - PX

If we were having coffee together today, I’d be serving you my Folgiers half & half blend. I love Folgiers.  I generally enjoy Maxwell House coffee as well. Many of my family members and friends use the Keurig coffee makers, and they’re okay, but the coffee just doesn’t taste as good as it does when I brew my own by the pot.

If we were visiting today, I’d probably tell you about a new series of Christian ministry meetings I’m holding at the local civic center, because they are on the top of my “to-do” list. The first one was last month and went very well. The people who attended said they were very blessed, and the second meeting is scheduled for August 15. So I’m busy, busy, busy trying to get out all the advertising and notifications throughout the local media.

I would probably also tell you that I’m feeling pretty guilty because my house really needs a good cleaning, but telling you about my guilt is probably as far as I would go. I probably won’t do much actual cleaning this weekend. With the meeting to plan, a prayer meeting Sunday evening, and my newest journal project hanging over my  head, I just can’t seem to focus on the vacuum, the dust rag, or the dishpan.

I’m sure, if I gave you plenty of refills on coffee and some cookies to go with them, you’d be sure to sympathize with me and agree that the cleaning should come farther down on the list than those other jobs. Oh, and that reminds me: I was going to pick up a new package of chocolate cookies when I was at Wal Mart a couple hours ago, and I forgot!

Not to worry, though. I have enough cookies left from some packages I bought last week — and some M&M candies as well. I’ll be fine.

Well, enjoy your coffee this weekend and be good to yourselves. I’ll try to get around and visit several of you and try out your brew before the weekend’s over as well.


To join in the fun of the Weekend Coffee Share, hop over to this link and get the simple rules to participate.

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Weekly Smile 7/29/19

I love taking part in Trent’s Weekly Smile, but for the past couple weeks I’ve been bogged down finishing up this term’s writing class and preparing for a ministry meeting at a local Civic Center. But this week, I’m starting to wind down from those two event — both of which made me smile — so I have a little extra time.

COFFEE JOURNAL COVER FRONT ONLYHowever, my post is not about those two things. It’s about another smile maker. My brand new DAILY GRIND COFFEE LOVERS JOURNAL. It’s just out and, I’m grinning from ear to ear about it — partly because it’s now available for purchase — and partly because I just can’t keep from smiling when I look at all those delicious coffee photos and think about how those captions popped into my mind for each one — and partly because I’m enjoying doing my own journaling in my personal copy of the book.

Now, I know this sounds like an advertisement, but truly it is the thing that caused my biggest smile this week — and last week.  I’m having a great time running around delivering copies of the journal to other coffee lovers who want one for themselves or to give as a gift. And to be perfectly honest, I’ll probably be smiling pretty big over this event for the next week or two as well.

Not only that, but I’m working on the next journal, which has a writing theme and should be out next month. That project is putting a smile on my face as well. Of course, it’s also causing me some hours of serious thought and a tiny bit of aggravation, but after all — as we all know — that’s part of the program when you’re creating a book.

Hope you all have a lot to smile about this coming week as well.

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COFFEE LOVERS JOURNAL

My newest project: DAILY GRIND COFFEE LOVERS JOURNAL

COFFEE JOURNAL COVER FRONT ONLY
It’s finally online and for sale — from Amazon. (Copies will also be available from me personally if you’re in the Southern Illinois area). I love this journal. I enjoyed creating it, and I’ll enjoy using it personally. I’m including a few pictures of the outside and inside — since the sample Amazon gives is too short to see what the journaling section actually looks like.

COFFEE JOURNAL COVER BACK ONLYJOURNAL SAMPLE 1JOURNAL SAMPLE 2

There are 31 delicious coffee pictures — each with its own appropriate caption and 3 lightly lined journaling pages. There are 93 lined journaling pages total. I hope coffee lovers all over the world will get one and enjoy it or give it as a gift to someone they love — who loves coffee.

The journal is $19.00 on Amazon. I’m selling them personally at a discount, but, of course, you’d have to live close enough for me to deliver one to you.

Anyway, check it out more thoroughly or purchase one HERE.

 

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New Addition to the WordPress Family

MARSHALL'S PICTUREI want to let all my readers know about a new blogger in our WordPress family. A young man named Marshall Girtman, a free-lance writer from my neck of the woods, has created a site called “Painfully Authentic.” His tagline reads, “Real experiences, Outspoken authenticity, Experiential insights.”

Marshall shares posts about his personal experiences and his strong beliefs on the site, and he has a great wealth of material to draw from. Not only has he earned two degrees and been active in different professional positions, but he also has behind him a lengthy military career, including time spent in active combat. Moreover, as the father of five children, he can’t help but have a good deal to say that’s related to family.

Marshall is a friend of mine and an excellent writer. I think many of my followers will find his site interesting and enjoyable. I hope you’ll pop over to visit him, using the link above, and welcome him to WordPress.

 

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Winning the Lost the Jesus Way

CROSS WITH QUESTION MARKSJesus never asked anyone to believe in Him or accept Him as the Son of God, the Messiah, on the basis of His willingness to die for their sins and give them access to Heaven at the end of their earthly lives. That concept was not the Gospel He preached. Instead, He asked them and expected them to believe in Him and accept Him on the basis of His ability and willingness to heal their bodies, deliver them from demonic torment, raise their dead, provide food and sustenance, and make their current earthly lives better.

It was only when He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, delivered from demons, and raised the dead that He proclaimed to people that the Kingdom of God had come to them. He gave the same instructions to the teams of disciples He sent out to spread the Gospel. He told them to heal and deliver the people in every towns where they went, and while healing and delivering them, they were to announce that those acts brought the Kingdom of God into their midst. (Matthew 10:1-8; Luke 10:1-9; Luke 11:20).

Even to His own chosen twelve apostles, he said “If its hard for you to believe I’m who I say I am, then believe because of the miracles I do.” (John 14:11 paraphrased).

So why on earth do so many Christian ministers and so many church denominations keep trying to win people to the Lord without healing their sick, cleansing their lepers, delivering those in bondages and addictions, and providing for their physical needs? We have whole church denominations that claim they’re preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, yet they deny that the baptism of the Holy Spirit and His nine supernatural ministry gifts are for today. They teach – both in their seminaries and their pulpits – that the Lord does not heal today the way He did when Jesus walked the earth. The teach that there is no such thing as demonic possession or oppression unless its just in some far off heathen land.

These ministry leaders scorn and point their fingers at believers who pray for the dead to be raised. And they send their member and prospective members to human doctors, human mental health counselors, and government welfare systems instead of giving them the miraculous help Jesus instructed all true believers to offer the world. It’s Jesus who made it clear that people needed to be touched in their earthly bodies and helped in their earthly lives if they were going to be able to recognize the goodness of God and the deity of His Son. (Let me add here that I’m not implying that it’s a sin for someone to go to a human doctor or to currently be on government welfare. If there is no faith in the church they attend to get them well or to meed their material needs, they have no other choice. What I’m saying is that it is definitely a sin for our churches and church leaders to fail to be in a position to offer the miraculous in place of the costly, imperfect, and often harmful human ways of dealing with the problems of this life.)

Let’s wake up, church, and let’s stop deceiving ourselves. It’s time – past time – we got totally honest with ourselves and each other. If we really want to win the world to Jesus Christ, we’re going to have to get back to doing it the way Jesus Himself did it. Let’s get into His Word and onto our knees in prayer until we come to a real believing faith that can and will obey Jesus’ commission. We need to be daily healing the sick, delivering the demonicly oppressed, and meeting people’s needs – and then announcing to them that we have done so because the God who created them loves them so much He wants to meet all those needs for them. Then we can explain how all that power is found only in the name of Jesus Christ because He’s the one who paid the price for our sin, opening the channel for the Lord to be able to give us these blessings freely.

Let’s get ourselves to a level of faith where we won’t have to send hurting people to the world’s systems – which are imperfect at best and dangerous at their worst. We must bring people the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – including His healing, delivering power and His material provision. Then they won’t want to cling so tightly to the things of this world. They will want to cling to the God who delivers and blesses them. It’s the kindness and goodness of the Lord that leads people to repentance. (Romans 2:4).

If we ever get back to truly believing and obeying Jesus – preaching the same Gospel He preached — we will win thousands more to the Lord than we are winning now. And what a glorious harvest we will have for the Kingdom of God.

 

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The Truly Consecrated Christian

HANDS IN CIRCLE

True consecration and oneness with Jesus is not earmarked by some mystical — other-worldly — experience where the believer ceases to have active participation in the life of the earth. It’s best understood as a believer continuing to have his feet firmly planted on this earth and actively participating in the life being lived on this planet, but whose heart is totally captured by Jesus. He’s so in love with Jesus that the love they share dictates and controls how the believer lives out that life on a day-by-day basis.

The wholly consecrated believer does not hide himself away from the world. He actively involves Jesus in the every-day aspects of his earthly life and his relationships with people — thus bringing the Kingdom of God into the earth.

 

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Weekly Smile: 6/4/19

I’m finally getting back to participating in “Weekly Smile” this week. I really like this subject, but some weeks there are just too many irons in the fire already to be able to do another post for it. However, this week, I’m determined. And I’m SO determined that I’m going to do one better than Trent. He had two things to smile about this week, but I have three. 🙂

Exif JPEGMy first smile is my recent purchase of a couple African Marigold plants. Let me say up front that I am not a gardener. The pretty flowers in my yard at present are the ones that came to me with the house, and I’ve had to struggle to keep them moderately cared for. I’ve not had any marigolds in a garden for at least 20 years or more, but they have a special place in my heart. My mother used to absolutely love gardening, and she created such beautiful garden spots in almost every house we ever lived in. In two of our homes, she created a huge rock garden — with rocks and shells from around the country — and some of the most gorgeous flowers anywhere around.

But one summer, her mother became quite ill and had to move in and live with my parents. My mother had pretty much the full care of Granny, but I helped when and where I could. It was actually spring when Granny first moved in, and it was the time of year my mom would have started her loving labors on her yard and her gardens. But that kind of work took hours and hours of attention and consumed so much time and energy that she didn’t feel she could care for her mother properly if she gave her garden proper attention.

One day as she sat looking out the window, she talked about how much she wished she could plant something. She didn’t begrudge caring for her mom at all, but there was a real sadness in not being able to plant something new and see it grow.

Suddenly, she said, “I think if you’ll drive me to the nursery, I can at least pick up some marigolds. It won’t take long to purchase them if I know exactly what I want, and it will be easy and quick to set them in. They’re hardy and won’t take a lot of care, and I can at least watch them grow this summer and feel like I’ve got something with new life in the yard.”

So I drove her to the nursery, she picked up several trays of marigolds, and she was almost like a kid with a bag full of candy when she went out to plant them in the back yard while I watched Granny. I have never forgotten how important those marigolds were to her that year.  I had never been particularly impressed with them before that time, but since then they’ve held a special place in my heart because of that little event that we shared.

Exif JPEG
This year, I unexpectedly came across these beautiful African Marigolds, and as soon as I saw them, I thought of my mom. I still miss her terribly, even though she’s been gone over 30 years, and those marigold plants — and the memories they evoked — were a balm to my heart. So I bought two of them to put on my front porch in honor of her. They each had 5 very large blooms and multiple others just waiting to come forth. So that’s one of my big smiles this week.


 

WATERMELON CARD FRONT W. FRAMESmile number two is a new set of greeting cards that I created this week with one of my original watercolor paintings on the front. It’s super simple: just slices of watermelon and a summery slogan. But I love it, and I do love the little cards. Sets of them will make great gifts to some friends who like to send cards. I’ve included a picture of the front of the card with the watercolor.

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BIBLICAL PATHWAYS LOGO

And smile number three is the fact that it’s time for the summer term to begin at the college where I teach. This term I’m teaching “Biblical Pathways to Health & Wholeness” and “Writing Memoir and Personal Narrative.”  I’m really looking forward to starting these classes this coming week. I hope we have a full house for each one.

 


If you’d like to participate in Trent’s Weekly Smile, click on the link and get the details.

Until next week — I hope you all keep smiling.

 

 

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A Tiny Tribute to Max Steiner and Margaret Mitchell

Max Steiner’s iconic theme to Gone With The Wind has never lost its appeal. The poignancy and the passion of the music draw those same qualities to the surface in the listener. The music defines, at a level beyond words, the love, the courage, the conflict, and the tragedy of the Civil War and its toll on the lives of all who lived through it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that war lately — and about the book Gone With The Wind — about how incredible it is that one author, Margaret Mitchell, could bring to life that unique kaleidoscope of personalities, emotions, and events of that epic era in such a realistic manner. Some have scoffed at Mitchell’s book. I had a college professor who did so. But he had missed — as have all the other scoffers — the power of the creative gift in Margaret Mitchell. Very few authors have created characters so powerfully developed and presented as to impact generation after generation of readers and movie-goers. Her characters are raw and real with the passions of their time and their tragedy. And they force those who read and watch their passage through that story to feel what they feel.

Many have criticized the book in recent decades because they say it does not portray a realistic picture of the South during the pre-war period. But Mitchell was not trying to portray a picture of her homeland from an objective or “politically correct” point of view. She was trying to make readers see what generations of southerners believed and felt — how they saw their lives and what they longed for in their future — and how they lost it all and barely survived the further tragedy of the Reconstruction.

She was endeavoring to tell a story — and one that was based in reality as she and her southern kinsmen saw it. And in that effort, her gift as a writer shines. Readers and movie goers have identified with her characters for generation after generation, and it has nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with a writer being able to bring raw, real human qualities and emotions to life in simple black ink on white paper.

There are a few other authors with this same gift, but they are rare indeed — especially in our current time, when so many who write are everlastingly conscious of “political correctness.” Margaret Mitchell was, most definitely, not politically correct. But she was committed and faithful to tell a powerful and successful story of how those people lived, loved, longed for better lives, and languished in their defeat. Every once in a while I like to just sit back and breathe in the beauty of that kind of talent when I find it.
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Amazing Story of U. S. Marines Protected by God During W.W.II

BLACKIE'S GROUP AROUND TABLE - Dad, J. Boyles (sp), Blackie, Jim Mouring (sp)On Memorial Day, 2013 — just 2 months before going to be with the Lord — my dad posted the entire text of his book “SARGE, WILL YOU TELL US ABOUT GOD?” on his personal website so that people all over the world could read it free. He prefaced the story by sharing about his visit that year with his very best friend throughout the war. They had stayed in touch but had not seen each other for 67 years. I’m posting the link to that site so that all of my readers will have the opportunity to read the amazing story of God’s miraculous care and protection of an entire Marine unit because they believed Psalm 91 and prayed those promises. The book is quite short, but exceedingly powerful and faith-building. Read it and share it wherever you can.

You’ll find the entire story here:  ‘SARGE, WILL YOU TELL US ABOUT GOD?’

 

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