I've survived. You've survived. We've all survived author intrusion going dark. Amazing isn't it? :-) I remember last year, going dark at Lent was a good time for me, and this past month, what with the holidays and writing Bella, I simply had to take something off my plate, and the blog was it.
But it really happened for another reason. I was praying in the prayer chapel at church and was talking to Jesus about how I just want to write my books and live my life. What I mean is this, and bloggers, I think you'll get what I'm talking about. You find yourself living your life for your blog.
"Oh, won't this make a funny post?" "What will the blog friends think about this?" "Maybe I'd better not say what I'm doing because people will get upset with me." (Remember when Ty and I demonstrated against torture and the ruckus that caused? Oy!)
I think for some folks, blogging is a source of great energy, a great way to communicate. And when I think of some of the great blogs out there with wonderful voices contributing to the conversation of life, I'm glad for it. But I have other means of communication literally coming out of my fingertips. The truth is, blogging drains me emotionally. And when I'm on-line, I stay on-line. I feel like I'm losing my life to this computer. So I asked Jesus about just wanting a quiet life of writing and living: raising children, being a wife, doing church/community things, and the words, Stop Blogging came to me along with that breathlessness I feel when the Holy Spirit's talking.
That was in December. Here we are nearing the end of January and all is well! Marvelous!
So, in plain words, then, having explained the whys, this post's purpose is to let you know that I'm shutting down author intrusion. This blog has meant a lot to me, however.
* I've made some wonderful friends. Friends I hope to keep. You all know who you are. If you've got my email addy, you're one of them. Even if it takes me a while to respond . . . I will! * I've worked through a lot of changes here and it was always good to find friends who helped me through. Think about it! I went from suburban writer/homemaker to . . . well, something else! And you were there. I don't think I could have processed it all on my own. * I had a LOT of fun! Remember our literary beauty contests and "what are you listening to right now?" times? * A lot of you shared your heart in the comments and encouraged others. (WHY am I shutting down?) And you encouraged me too. * I know there were lurkers and you all were appreciated as well.
So, I'm going to miss this. Obviously. But here's what the future holds.
*More books. (Of course. Sheesh.) *A newsletter. I'll be sending out a newsletter occasionally. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put "newsletter" in the subject line. (This email addy will only be used for newsletter sign-ups.) *A small column for Today's Christian Woman on justice issues. *Website. Still the one I've had that will keep you up to date on releases and what's going on with my books.
My final prayer request on this blog is to ask you to pray for Ty and I as we leave for Swaziland tomorrowwith Children's HopeChest. We return on the 3rd of February. Ty and I will be writing a book for Zondervan about our experience so buy a copy when it comes out because the proceeds will be going to Children's HopeChest! (I'd rather walk naked down Main Street than raise support, so I came up with the book idea. I know. I'm awful.)
So, in all things, I give thanks for each of you who found a place around the table. You've taught me so much and I'm blessed from this journey because of you. Thank you.
In Christ’s human life, there were always a few who made up for the neglect of the crowd. The shepherds did it; their hurrying to the crib atoned for the people who would flee from Christ. The wise men did it; their journey across the world made up for those who refused to stir one hand’s breadth from the routine of their lives to go to Christ. Even the gifts the wise men brought have in themselves an obscure recompense and atonement for what would follow later in this Child’s life. For they brought gold, the king’s emblem, to make up for the crown of thorns that he would wear; they offered incense, the symbol of praise, to make up for the mockery and the spitting; they gave him myrrh, to heal and soothe, and he was wounded from head to foot and no one bathed his wounds.
We can do it too, exactly as they did. We are not born too late. We do it by seeing Christ and serving Christ in friends and strangers, in everyone we come in contact with.
Christmastime is hard for me. I think back to the days when I was little. So much of my family is gone, my parents, my grandparents, and it seems like little remains of what I remember Christmas to be. So I love all the old songs and TV specials. Here's part one of the Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby Holiday Special.
It's been a busy season. I wanted to blog more, write more about Christmas and Immanuel, but a new writing project got in the way and the blog was, of necessity, the first thing to go as I prioritized what I needed to do. I do hope it's been a wonderful Advent for you all.
Lights. Trees. Good food. Giving gifts. Christmas is a special time of year for all of us. But most importantly it's a time to celebrate the greatest gift of all--Jesus. You can bet some of your favorite authors have stories to tell about their Christmas memories.
Here, in no particular order, 31 of them share here with you those special moments they'll never forget.
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About 3,000 people dressed up and escorted their dates to a prom on Friday, but it wasn't at a high school - it was at a church.
The Jesus Prom, a community gathering that people who have disabilities are encouraged to attend, began at Southland Christian Church in Lexington seven years ago and has since spread to California, North Carolina, Virginia and Haiti.
Brewster McLeod, Southland's special-needs minister, said the Jesus Prom reflects Jesus' message of caring for everyone. People with disabilities are often overlooked, McLeod said.
The idea for the prom stems from the Bible passage Luke 14:13-14, according to the Jesus Prom's Web site (www.jesusprom.org). In the passage, Jesus says, "When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
For fifteen-year-old Scotty Dawn, life is starting to resemble a movie.
After learning that her movie-industry mom is actually her grandmother, Scotty receives more shocking news: Her father was killed by the mob. With his murderer still at large, Scotty hides out on a film set in Texas. There she encounters old rivals, new friends, and a young girl caught in a desperate situation. But in the middle of her fears and intense loneliness, Scotty discovers the life-changing power of prayer.
I love Christmas shopping. Especially since I came across a charitable gift catalog, and while casually thumbing through it, found that $25 would open the door for a girl in China to attend school. I could donate this gift in the name of my teacher-sister. Perfect! For $60, I could buy rice seedlings for a farmer in Cambodia to feed his family and generate income. What better gift for my environmentally minded agriculturalist son? And just $25 for a baby goat to almost single-handedly lift a family from Senegal out of poverty—who wouldn’t treasure such a Christmas present?
I had so much fun matching a donation to each person on my gift list. But later, as I began to see more and more statistics concerning misused funds by non-profits, I began to wonder: Did my hard-earned cash actually make it to that little schoolgirl? Did the farmer get his full allotment of seedlings? And what about the family and its budding goat business? Did my gifts really impact the people for whom they were intended? If I had such questions, I was certain others were also asking. So, for all of us, I determined to find out “the rest of the story.” I would follow the donations all the way to the people who received them.
Because the catalog that first hooked me was Partners International’s Harvest of Hope, I asked them for permission to follow up on their projects—no strings attached. They agreed. So, toting tape recorder and camera, I set off—for North Africa, Senegal, and Sudan; India, Cambodia, Indonesia, and China. And, oh, the things I saw!
According to legend, (one of many, I'm sure) St. Nicholas got his reputation for dropping off gifts because of a poor family in his parish. The three daughters had no chance of being married off because they had no dowry. Each faced a life of prostitution (there weren't many career options for women in those days) and so St. Nicholas, on three separate occasions, threw a bag of gold in the window of their cottage thereby freeing them from a terrible life.
. . . and I was fine with that, until the greed monster settled in. We tried to get tickets for Gwynnie's birthday, but only about five
people got them ahead of Will before it was "sold out". (Can someone
explain to me how tickets can sell out that quickly?) However, if you signed onto the official fan club at mileyworld.com for $29.99, you were led to believe you'd get a ticket to the popular, always sold out concerts Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) is putting on these days.
Well, it didn't work out quite that way. The organization is being sued by some angry parents who plunked down the almost 30 bucks.
I have a couple of thoughts on this:
1. Anybody willing to pay thirty bucks to pay another fifty for a ticket needs their head examined.
2. I wouldn't join the club on principal. It seemed that once again, here was somebody catering to the rich kids, somebody who didn't care a fig about their little fans from less prosperous households.
3. It seemed so overtly greed-greed-greedy that, as someone who believes in benevolent capitalism, I decided to vote with my pocketbook by keeping it shut.
Wow, things are sure different than they used to be!
I QUIT Mia Piazza, 9, in her Hannah Montana costume, wants out of an official fan club.
Members of mileyworld.com, mostly preteen and young teenage girls devoted to the Disney TV show “Hannah Montana” and the show’s star, Miley Cyrus, are suing the singer’s official fan Web site for allegedly promising them first dibs on concert tickets and leaving them empty-handed.