Saturday, March 25, 2006

Word Games

I love words. Even when I’m not writing, I’m surrounded by wonderful, stimulating words. I find humor and pathos in the conversations that fly around me. For instance, one of my little kinder Romeos tried to plant a big wet one on another kidlett. His classmates met him with the rule, “No kissing in Kindergarten!” Don’t you just love that?

Oh, and my class now has a favorite new word: Hallelujah! I kid you not. One Friday when I was longing for Saturday a student asked, “What is today?” I answered, “It’s Friday, Hallelujah!” The word spread throughout the room and I heard Hallelujahs echoing over and over, and smiled at the personal revival they inspired. About a week ago, while writing the Morning Message, I added the word after writing “Today is Friday.” All this week the class asked me to put the word Hallelujah into the Morning Message. I get so excited hearing them praise God—even if they don’t know that’s what they are doing.

After school last Wednesday, I got into a discussion with a friend about favorite movie lines. Her favorite? “Toe pick.” Took me a minute, but I remembered the movie. My own personal fav only illustrates my very warped sense of humor. “Nailed’m.” My hubby’s favorite line is “It’s a good thing your mother died in childbirth ‘caused she’d have died of embarrassment by now.”—that one may not be perfect, as I didn’t go double check the DVD.

I won’t tell you the names of the movies here but will add the answers in the comments tomorrow. Promise. In the meantime, I’d love to know your favorite lines and what makes them your favs. You can comment on your favorite quote, kid wisdom, or even most clever book title—I’ll give you my favorite on that one. James Howe has written a great series of books for kids all about the hare-raising (correct spelling) adventures of a vampire rabbit named Bunnicula. One of the sequels is titled The Celery Stalks At Midnight. Man, I love that title! I know, I know, I’m still a Three Stooges fan after all these years, too.

So, I’ve shown you my words (or ones I wish I’d thought of). Now you show me yours.

And may the words of my mouth (and fingers) bless my Abba, bring encouragement to others, and a smile to all.

Abundant blessings!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Interview With Jack Cavanaugh

I know, I know, I just posted Saturday and you are used to me posting once a week. There is a reason for this mid-week update--I have a very special interview for you, dear reader. Best-selling author, Jack Cavanaugh teamed up with the late Bill Bright to write a series of books, based in our history but relevant to our today. Dr. Bright has since gone on to be with our Lord but Mr. Cavanaugh has now completed the first book in their series. I am so excited to be able to bring you this interview with one of my favorite authors, Jack Cavanaugh. Enjoy!

Tell us about the conception of The Great Awakenings series.

JC: This series was born out of a shared desire for revival in our country. When Dr. Bright and I learned that we were both praying for revival, it seemed only natural that we would team up to write this series about the historic revivals in America.

There are so many unexpected twists in Storm, were those plots twists made during the planning sessions with Dr. Bright, or were they inspired as you wrote?

JC: The creation of a novel has many stages. Before he passed away, Dr. Bright and I met and prayed and sketched out the broad strokes for not only Storm, but three other stories as well. We knew that unless God intervened in a miraculous way, Dr. Bright would not be alive to see the release of any of the books. My task has been to bring our stories to life.

As you researched the revivals that once swept our country, what most affected you?

JC: Two things: First, that God so often chooses common, ordinary people to be the spark for the extraordinary outpouring of His Spirit. Second, the unexpected nature of revival. Not only the timing of revival, which is wholly in God's hands, but the unimaginable wonder of it all. The historical events that occurred are far more fantastic and wondrous than anything we could have imagined.

Do you consider Storm a character or plot driven novel?

JC: Storm is a character driven novel. But don't mistake that for lack of action. Character driven simply means that readers keep reading because they want to find out what happens next to the characters. Storm is a personal duel between two men. Imagine if you were given the task of leading your greatest rival to the Lord. The one person you can't stand. The person who annoys and torments you endlessly. Then imagine you learned that God had chosen him, a non-Christian, and not you, to start a national revival. That's exactly what happens in Storm.

What do you hope your readers will take with them from this series?

JC: That's easy. When we began this project, Dr. Bright and I got on our knees and prayed that after reading these novels Christians would turn their hearts to God and cry out, "Lord, do it again."

Until next time, Abundant blessings all!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Raining and Reigning

I awoke to a familiar sound this morning. It was one I knew but couldn’t place at first. Then, going deep into the recesses of my mind, I found a closet where sensory memories are kept, and dug into the back. Low and behold, I found the memory.


Rain tickled my senses and dripped down onto my skylight, pinging a rhythm that told me God still reigned, even over the driest deserts of my life.

Our valley has begged for precipitation now for over 140 days. God heard our prayers and told the clouds, heavy with needed moisture, not to pass us by this time. The clouds obeyed, breaking open with a welcome shower and soaking our parched ground.

I snuggled down into my warm covers. In my mind I sang thank yous to my Abba and danced in His rain.

One more time my Abba explained, in patience and in love, “All in My time, My child. All in My time.”

I really need to remember that.

Abundant blessings to desert dwellers everywhere!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Waiting With Elijah

I’m feeling a lot like Elijah these days, though he hasn’t always been the Biblical character I relate with the most. In fact, I generally feel a kinship to Peter and the uncontrollable desire to say the wrong things—especially after I just got something right.

But these days, I’m more like Elijah—I’m in the waiting mode.

Not a fun mode, I have to tell you. And this mode applies to many areas of my life—both collective and personal.

As you may or may not know, our wonderful valley, in the midst of what should be the best season of the year, is knee deep in drought. One hundred thirty seven days, to be exact. Oh, sure, we experienced a wee bit of spittle a couple days ago, but as our weathermen explained, if it doesn’t get the cup at the end of the runway at Sky Harbor Airport wet, we haven’t had measurable rain.

So we wait.

And then there is that Postal Service snafu which is playing havoc with my time and temperament. How long does it take a priority package to arrive from Arkansas? Well, it’s been a week and a half and we still don’t know.

I have work related waiting issues. I have medical related waiting issues. I have spiritual related waiting issues. In fact, I am just now getting over no Internet waiting issues—that’s why I can now update my blog.

I don’t remember praying for patience.

So, like Elijah, I wait.

Only, unlike Elijah, have no one to send to check my PO Box for that little fist of a cloud, er, I mean priority package. So day after day, I faithfully look. I think I’d be happy for junk mail. Or a cloud burst. Or unexpected dark chocolate (I know, it always comes back to chocolate).

One good thing came of this, though. I had time to read two wonderful novels. And in reading them, I realized I was hungry, ravenous even, for good fiction. My appetite was sated with both these books.

The first is actually the third in the Ahab’s Legacy Series by Louise Gouge. I’ve had the pleasure to learn from her--in a cyber class and in person. When reading Son of Perdition, I knew without a doubt, this woman knows her stuff. Even when forced to put the book down by things that wouldn’t wait, my mind continued to check in on the characters as if they were real members of my acquaintance. Though not a suspense, this historical contained enough plot twists to keep me guessing. Even when I thought I could see where she was headed, she led me with such artistry, I was caught unaware. I do not want to give away too much, for this book is so worth the read, but know, you will never look at Captain Ahab or Moby Dick or even the sides of the Civil War in the same light. When one learns and grows while reading well-written fiction, that is the sign of a great book.

The second book I picked up on a friend’s recommendation. I was not disappointed. Christine Schaub’s Finding Anna is the first in the Music of the Heart series that looks at the stories behind the great hymns of faith. She began with a story many claim to know, me included. However, I was so taken by her retelling of H.G. Spafford’s writing of the lyrics to It Is Well With My Soul that the black moment was made very real. Even though I thought I knew what was coming, in reality, I didn’t. I was swept along with the flow, bringing humanity to the tragedy. Ms. Schaub writes in her Author’s Notes “If I did my job and convincingly wove those two elements (history and fiction) together, if I presented you with a really exciting, plausible story, you won’t get caught up in the details wondering, ‘Did that really happen?’ You’ll just believe it.”

I believed it.

Abundant blessings, all!