"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

6/30/10

Freedom in Precepts: Monday Manna for July 5

Monday Manna

The purpose of Monday Manna is to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word.

On the first and third Mondays of each month, anyone who wants to participate can post their thoughts on a specific verse--posted here at my blog on the Thursday before, to allow you to chew on it over the weekend. It doesn't have to be long -- just a few thoughts, a picture you feel helps express it, a poem, a short story, a devotional. Just post it on your blog on Mondayish (early OR late is fine, by the way!), then come back here and link up in the Linky Tools gadget that will be at the bottom of MY post at o'dark thirty that morning.

With Canada Day today and American Independence Day on Sunday, I couldn't resist slipping SOMETHING in about freedom. Of course, our freedom in Christ is different from the freedom many celebrate at this time of year. What a blessing it is for us to have both.

And now, without further ado - the verse :D
I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame. Psalm 119:45-46
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you can take some time out of your holiday weekend to think on and write something for this verse. I'm looking forward to it.

Blessings!
 
Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

Rest: Word-Filled Wednesday

Welcome to Word-Filled Wednesday, hosted at The Internet Cafe. Be sure to click above for more visual inspiration from scripture.

I haven't looked, but if I were a betting woman, I'd wager I've done this verse before - maybe even similarly to how I did it this time. But I need this verse - and this image of it. How often I feel the need to be scooped up in my Father's arms and protected! How often does He have to hold me like this so He can give me the rest I refuse to take of my own accord?  Am I weary? Am I burdened? Often- much more than I should be. Only He can give me rest.



Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to visit The Internet Cafe for more

 
Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

6/27/10

Gravy

Maybe it isn't the case, but it feels like it has been a VERY long time since I have achieved a writing goal I set at the beginning of the month.

That changes for June. :)

I'll be back on the first to give you a full update, but I just wanted to celebrate a BIT with you guys by sharing that my June word count goal has already been met - and there are still three more days to go! (and, of course, I have every intention of writing as much as I can the next three days!)


4573 / 4500 words. 102% done!

The rest, as they say, is Photobucket


Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

6/25/10

Those Sneaky Austrians: Friday Fiction

Fiction Friday,button,karlene

Welcome to my contribution to Fiction Friday, hosted this week by the wonderful Laury Hubrich. Make sure that you head over to her blog and link up with your own fiction. Or, if you just want to read some great fiction (ALWAYS great in my opinion!), head over to her blog and check out the links there.
I wrote this entry just a week ago for the "The Writer's Challenge" topic at Faithwriters. It came together pretty easily, and was lots of fun to write. It also did pretty well in the rankings. Hope you enjoy it (and beware of ear worms, from what folks have told me :D)

THOSE SNEAKY AUSTRIANS
By Joanne Sher
12:54pm Well, today's the day. My professor told me that I just needed to set some time aside and protect it, and my goal will be within reach.

So, I did. Three hours once a month, starting in about five minutes. The phone will be off the hook. Email, Facebook, Twitter, and my cell phone will be off limits. This time, the kids will have The Sound of Music and Jenny from down the street to keep them company.

One hundred and eighty minutes to sit in my recliner: computer on my lap and reference books (and snacks) to my left and right. Three glorious hours to let my muse take over and actually make some progress on my novel. Ten thousand eight hundred precious seconds of uninterrupted writing time. I can hardly wait. Better get started. Jenny has to leave at 4pm sharp.

 1:10pm Remind me to close the door next time. Apparently, while I was making breakfast for the kids, Evan came in and...um...reorganized my stack of books. I've found about half of them so far, and the cover has only been torn off one (praise God it wasn't a library book). Glad I hadn't opened my can of root beer, though it appears my drink choice will still have to change. Better find the rest of these books before any more time is wasted.
  
1:45pm Well, I found my thesaurus: under Lily's rear end on the living room couch. That was when I remembered how much I loved this movie. Watching Julie Andrews sing "I Have Confidence" was enough to boost my own-self esteem, and I couldn't possibly get to writing when I knew the scene with the children marching down those stairs was coming so soon. Finally tore myself away when the family finished dinner.

Doesn't mean I'm not humming "My Favorite Things" as I get settled.

Photobucket2:10pm I wish they'd turn down the volume on that TV. The soundtrack is lousy background music for my murder mystery. Every time I get into the ambiance and start writing those words, I hear the Von Trapps singing, or catch a favorite line from the movie. Totally ruins the mood.

Wish I had earplugs.

2:30pm For future reference: as odd as it may seem, stuffing cheetos in your ears is actually a very effective way to block out background noise.

3:05pm I am SOOO tempted to check Facebook. I just remembered Yvonne had a doctor's appointment about her hip, and I'm sure there's an update there now. Besides, I just found the most remarkable quote on writing in my reference book. Totally tweetable.

No, girl. Time is running out. The muse rules.

3:15pm The muse lost. Yvonne needs to have surgery. And I've already had 3 RTs on that quote. Good marketing, right? Getting my name out is important too - isn't it?

3:30pm Okay - really buckling down now. I will write out this scene. Half an hour? Plenty of time.

3:55pm I did it! Got my scene done. Certainly not as much as I'd hoped for three hours ago, but at least the scene is done.

But wait. I don't remember a hike through the Austrian Alps in my outline.

**
Thanks for reading. Don't forget to stop by Laury's blog for more great fiction.

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

6/23/10

Together: Word-Filled Wednesday

Welcome to Word-Filled Wednesday, hosted (for good!) at The Internet Cafe. Be sure to click above for more visual inspiration from scripture.

I am a social person by nature, and I often have no idea what I would do without my Christian friends. They mean the world to me - and it's wonderful to know that, because of them, I have Someone else near to me.


"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20 NIV (photo courtesy of stock exchange)

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to visit The Internet Cafe for more

 
Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

6/21/10

Step on up to the Family Counter

Welcome to my Internet Cafe Barista debut! Stop over and check out my article on Honoring Daddy - and don't forget to read the posts in the ministry and marriage channels, too. And, of course, you can't miss the daily devotional there. I'm so excited to be a part of it.

Thanks, and enjoy!


Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

6/20/10

When to Worship: Monday Manna

Welcome to Monday Manna. The purpose of this meme is to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word. On the first and third Monday of each month, anyone who wishes can post their thoughts on a verse I introduced at my blog the Thursday before. It doesn't have to be a long post -- just a few thoughts, a picture you feel helps express it, a poem, a short story, a devotional.

Anyone is welcome to participate. Just put a link to your Monday Manna blog entry in the Linky Tools gadget below, and check out others' thoughts.

This Monday's verse comes straight from the Pentateuch. It is one that struck me as I was studying Moses last week.
And when they [the Israelites] heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped. Exodus 4:31 NIV
Looking forward to your thoughts (link up below so I can find you!). Mine are below.

**

We are told countless time to worship the Lord. And I'd venture to say all of us have at one time or another. There are many ways and occasions to worship and praise His Name.
But we don't always worship Him when we should.
Oh, we're great at acknowledging His power when He has delivered us from a calamity, or when he has given us a blessing. When things look good, we are great at honoring our Heavenly Father. But things are not always like that in this fallen world.

The Lord promised us that our world would be full of trials, and like all his promises, He makes good on it. But we are not to restrict our worship to times of ease.

Look at the Israelites here in the first part of Exodus. They were under terrible oppression from Pharoah. They were worked mercilessly, and were miserable.
The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. Exodus 2:23
You should know that by the time Moses and Aaron approached the Israelites at the end of the fourth chapter, things had not changed. They were suffering as slaves, and were despairing.
Yet, all they needed to worship was the knowledge that the Lord knew of their suffering. Sure, he said he would alleviate it, but it had not yet come to pass.
 How often do we wait until God has delivered to bow before Him in thanks? Are you one to worship God only once He has fulfilled His promises, or are you willing to do so with only the assurance that He will: at some point, in some way?

That is the kind of faith that pleases our Father. For faith after the fact isn't faith at all.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
 And God's Word is full of promises of His faithfulness. He will never leave nor forsake us. We can depend on Him.

So praise Him - and worship Him - in your storm. He will deliver you.

*
Thanks for reading - please join us with your own thoughts on this verse, and/or read the comments of others.



 
Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

6/18/10

You Don't Have To Like Coffee To Be A Barista

Change can be scary. I am very much a creature of habit. Yet, when God is leading the way, He has a way of changing (or at least channeling LOL) that fear into excitement and trust in Him that I am heading where He wants me to go.

Many of you know I have been a part of Exemplify Online since its inception over a year ago. This amazing Christian resource for women has been a blessing to me - and I hope I have been a blessing to it - ever since I got involved. Well, Exemplify is making some HUGE changes - God-led, and all meant to enhance this incredible ministry's mission. One of these changes is the "shifting" of the family, marriage, and ministry counters to a new home. Check out Cupcake in Chief Kristen Schiffmann's announcement here for more details. I recommend it. Go ahead. Read it! I'll wait. :D

I will still be a member of Team Exemplify as its magazine editor (a read not to miss, by the way!), but as you read (if you read LOL), I will also be taking my "channel" duties over to ANOTHER incredible blog: The Internet Cafe, where I will be a Family Counter Barista.
For those of you familiar with the Cafe, let me reassure you that this is an additional ministry, not a replacement. Those wonderful ladies will still be serving up their amazing daily devotionals. The barista counter will "will serve to you a new article relating to family, marriage, and ministry issues. These articles will contain practical how- to’s, sound Biblical teaching, encouragement, and inspiration, complimenting the daily devotionals. A second cupful, if you will." More details are available in today's Cafe post by the wonderful, lovely, and amazing Lori McMath and Jen Jernigan. Again - go ahead and check it out!

I feel so blessed to be a part of both of these amazing ministries - and I thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity to serve him at TWO sites I love, and that I am sure He loves. I am so excited about this change, and hope you are too.

Just glad I don't have to develop a taste for coffee: I'm not quite ready for that change!


Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

6/17/10

They Bowed Down: Monday Manna for June 21

Monday Manna

The purpose of Monday Manna is to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word.

On the first and third Mondays of each month, anyone who wants to participate can post their thoughts on a specific verse--posted here at my blog on the Thursday before, to allow you to chew on it over the weekend. It doesn't have to be long -- just a few thoughts, a picture you feel helps express it, a poem, a short story, a devotional. Just post it on your blog on Mondayish (early OR late is fine, by the way!), then come back here and link up in the Linky Tools gadget that will be at the bottom of MY post at o'dark thirty that morning.

My new pastor is teaching on Exodus at Wednesday night prayer meeting right now. I love this book. I've read it more times than likely most any other book of the Bible, and it still has much to teach me. As Pastor Pike was discussing the events leading up to Moses and Aaron's first visit with Pharoah, one verse in particular grabbed me. That, by the way, was the sign to me that I was to choose this verse for Monday Manna.
And when they [the Israelites] heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped. Exodus 4:31 NIV
Well, there you go! A verse to ponder for a few days. Looking forward to reading what you come up with for Monday. See you then!
 
Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

6/14/10

When I See(k) Him

Good things happen every day. So do bad things. That isn't going to change. The only thing that can change is your perspective.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how God has blessed me and my family. Even in just the past few days, the good things, and His provision, have been evident in so many ways, small and large. He got us to and from church on Sunday (not as easy as one might think :D). He allowed us to have our garage door fixed free of charge. He provided a "babysitter," per se, when we were unexpectedly delayed from picking up our daughter. And the list goes on.

Yet, there are others who would have seen our "blessings" from a completely different perspective. We had to walk to church Sunday morning. We waited in line for an hour and a half in the heat to register my son for camp. My daughter had to sit around for an hour, not knowing when we would get back to pick her up. And, again, the list continues.

Perhaps it is just because I am naturally optimistic. But somehow, I don't think so. The only way you will see God's blessings is if you look for them. And the only reason to look for them is if you expect them to be there. And only those who love Him and know Him truly believe that He answers prayer, that He gives blessings, and that He performs miracles.
But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29 NIV
He is there - in the good and the bad. You just need to look.

 
Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

6/9/10

Imitation: Word-Filled Wednesday

Welcome to Word-Filled Wednesday, hosted (for good!) at The Internet Cafe. Be sure to click above for more visual inspiration from scripture.

Children love to imitate, and learn through imitation. They catch more than they learn, per se. And we should be the same way - about one Person, anyway.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children. Ephesians 5:1 NIV

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to visit The Internet Cafe for more


 
Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

6/7/10

In God: Monday Manna

Welcome to Monday Manna. The purpose of this meme is to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word. On the first and third Monday of each month, anyone who wishes can post their thoughts on a verse I introduced at my blog the Thursday before. It doesn't have to be a long post -- just a few thoughts, a picture you feel helps express it, a poem, a short story, a devotional.

Anyone is welcome to participate. Just put a link to your Monday Manna blog entry in the Linky Tools gadget below, and check out others' thoughts.

Our verse for today is one that has so much depth in so few words. Don't you think?
For in Him [God] we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Mine are below.

*
In God. What  a thought.

I have enough trouble grasping God within me - but me within God? Wow.

We LIVE in God. He is our abiding place. If we are His followers, everything we do  in life occurs within the bubble of his everlasting care. He is our home - our refuge. And we are never outside of the loving abode of His presence.

We MOVE in God. As we progress through life, from one activity, task, and/or life experience to the next, we are surrounded by our Savior. He is our "outer covering," if you will, as we travel from strength to strength; from trial to trial; from joy to joy.

We HAVE OUR BEING in God. Everything about us that makes us human - our strengths, our weaknesses, our nature, our desires, our hopes, our dreams - is in Him. We think that the Lord messed up - that that one physical flaw or weakness that drives us crazy is out of His control. But it isn't. He is sovereign over ALL of it. Our being - everything about us - is under His control.

And there is nowhere I can feel more secure than in my Heavenly Father.

Photobucket
**

Thanks for reading. Be sure to link up your own thoughts on this verse below, and/or read others' contributions. Blessings!


 
Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

6/3/10

In Him: Monday Manna for June 7

Monday Manna

The purpose of Monday Manna is to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word.

On the first and third Mondays of each month, anyone who wants to participate can post their thoughts on a specific verse--posted here at my blog on the Thursday before, to allow you to chew on it over the weekend. It doesn't have to be long -- just a few thoughts, a picture you feel helps express it, a poem, a short story, a devotional. Just post it on your blog on Mondayish (early OR late is fine, by the way!), then come back here and link up in the Linky Tools gadget that will be at the bottom of MY post at o'dark thirty that morning.

This Monday's verse is from one of Paul's sermon's: this one to those in Athens. I'd never really pondered this thought until it was pointed out to me in my Wednesday morning devotional.
For in Him [God] we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28
Feel free to check out the context - you'll find it fascinating, I'm sure - or not. I look forward to thinking on this over the weekend - and even MORE reading your thoughts!

See you back here on Monday.

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

6/2/10

Slavery and Freedom: Word-Filled Wednesday



Welcome to Word-Filled Wednesday, hosted (for good!) at the Internet Cafe!> Be sure to click above for more visual inspiration from scripture.

Okay - I have a confession to make. I found this picture a week or two ago at stockexchange (a favorite site of mine for free graphics) and decided I had to find a way to use it on my blog. It absolutely cracks me up! And though the verses may not fit exactly with the photo, I'm gonna call it "close enough." And, of course, I love the verses. We ARE free - indeed!


Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:34-6 NIV

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to visit The Internet Cafe for more

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

6/1/10

Squeezing it in

Ever look ahead at your schedule and feel like you have NO clue how things are going to go? That's me just about every summer. How much time will I have to get stuff done? Will the kids being home, and/or at various outings/camps, etc., give me MORE or LESS time to get my online/writing stuff done? During the school year, I THINK I know what it's gonna be like - how much time I'll have (though, of course, I am often wrong LOL), but the summer is a huge question mark.

That being said, my perception of how this past month (which I now fondly call "May Madness" - who's with me?) would go was VERY off. How far?  Well, check out my goals for last month, directly from my blog post:
  • Write 8,000 words in my current WIP, Handmaiden to a Princess (guess I'd better take that 500 a day button off my blog for the time being, eh??)
  • Post to my blog a minimum of twice a week (with a TRUE goal of three times a week as the month goes on)
  • Enter the FaithWriters writing challenge ONCE this month (feeling like I need to write a bit more fiction that is NOT my novel!)

So, let's start with the good news. I did write and enter the Writing Challenge in May. Even made the top 40. And it may end up being something longer. So many unanswered questions there! I also posted it on my blog last week for Friday Fiction - check it out here if you haven't already.

On a similar note, I also wrote another bit of fiction during May (bonus! Writing NOT on the agenda). Got the inspiration from a very odd place, and it was fun work to get it written. Click here to read "Cori's Box" if you're interested.

I also met my goal of posting to my blog a minimum of twice a week. In fact, I posted to my blog EXACTLY twice a week every week but one, when I posted three times.

And then there's my WIP word count. My goal, as you see, was 8,000 words. That's just a touch more than 250 words a day. Seemed reasonable to me--at least at the beginning of the month. So, how about if we let the ticker tell the story itself?




2614 / 8000 words. 33% done!

Not so good, eh? I could justify it with lots of reasons/excuses if I wanted to, but I'm not gonna bother. I'm done with this looking back thing for now - time to move forward.

So, on THAT note, my goals for the month of June are to:
  • Write 4,500 words in my current work in progress, Handmaiden To a Princess (just for the interested, that averages out to 150 words a day, every day)
  • Post to my blog two to three times a week
  • Enter the Faithwriters' Writing Challenge once this month
  • Get back in the habit of reading others' blogs (I miss this, and know it is SO good for me - and encouraging for others!)
For those of you still reading (and those who just popped to the bottom LOL), I really appreciate your support, encouragement and prayers. You guys are such a huge part of what I DO get accomplished. Thanks - and see you soon!
     
    Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

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