This one brings tears to my eyes every time. Who am I kidding? I cry out loud and have to leave the room. What a beautiful commercial. Every little girl's dream . . . at least it was mine.
God, you put that amazing love for horses in me. Then you fulfilled my dreams of owning and being around them. Then you allowed me to capture a story about racing them. I'm always in your debt for all you've done for me. I love you, Lord. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread."
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live by bread alone.'"
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours."
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'"
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here. For it is written:
"'He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"
Jesus answered, "It says: 'Do not put your God to the test.'"
If you enjoyed the first Tim BurtonAlice in Wonderland, this one looks every bit as fantastical. Normally, I don't care for these kinds of movies, but the first Alice was very well done, and I suspect Alice Through the Looking Glass will be too.
Father, if only they knew you were the source of their amazing creativity. I pray they will realize the One who's blessed them with such talent. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
One of these days our family will be moving to a new home in a city just southeast of our current location. We're familiar with our new area having attended church there several years ago, and we have friends we've known for many years who live there.
Change is in the air. Leaving our home of over 30 years will be somewhat of a shock when it all finally becomes a reality. There will be mixed emotions, some melancholy I suspect, but ultimately it will be a welcome change because we will be moving to the country since we are now surrounded by urban development in what used to be an unincorporated rural area.
I'm generally not fond of change. This is a necessity, and I do welcome it. From the emotional standpoint it will be hard to say goodbye. We have buried three horses, two dogs, and one cat here. Memories collected for this many years will not be abandoned even when this house is torn down to make way for an apartment complex. Relationships with our neighbors will be sustained from different locations, but our friends behind us have made an offer on a home about two miles away from ours!
Anyway, the blog may be irregular and undependable now and then leading up to, during, and after the move. We could use your prayers for a quick turnaround with technical "stuff" - and everything else that comes with a major relocation. Thank you for your faithfulness in sharing this blog with me. I hope to continue to offer cool things to look at, read, and ponder. I look forward to hearing your thoughts whenever you're moved to give them.
For the time being, we will proceed . . .
Father, thank you for all of this. It's not easy, but it's a gift from you, and we're so grateful for it. Words always fall short when it comes to you. Thank you is never enough, but I offer it from my heart. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother's wife, and all the other evil things he had done, Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.
When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry.
Every now and then I need to read some "lite" fare. Most of you who visit here know I prefer to read thrillers, mysteries, and novels which are generally intense. Occasionally I break away for some reading "lite". That usually means a romance.
I'm very selective when it comes to romances because I'm not a huge fan of the typical formula for the genre. Characters are everything when it comes to a romance. If I can't work up a genuine empathy for the protagonist(s), the chances of enjoying the story diminish considerably. I tend to stick with faith fiction when in the romance market.
Do you ever venture away from your normal reading tendencies by exploring other genres? Do you need a break from your reading choices or do you tend to vary your genres?
Father, thank you for all your authors who write to honor you with what you've given them. Please help us all to do what you ask us to do. Always. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Sterile and efficient, contemporary. Not my style but I like the ovens, the size of the island, but would prefer more cabinets to drawers. Is this in an apartment, a condo, or a penthouse, I wonder?
Lord, there is functional beauty for all tastes because of your great provision in the imaginations of mankind. Beauty originates with you. Thank you for every example of it on earth. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
. . . this is what I mean. Christianity will be spoken of, practiced by some, and not a hidden part of the story. God will be a prominent character even if He's in the background because He will provide motivation for many of the actions contemplated and performed by those characters who embrace Him. Not all characters will necessarily be believers. In fact, many might not. There may only be one Christian in the entire book, but readers will know what that character believes and represents.
Some authors who are Christians get riled up about the term Christian Fiction and declare defiantly that books/stories cannot be "Christian", that Christian is not an adjective. However, today's descriptions of everything from color to political positions are labeled with words and phrases that aren't used as their natural identifier (i.e. noun, adjective, etc.). Christian Fiction explains to the reader what could be inside to enable them to select the novel based on an honest depiction of what they might encounter. It's particularly annoying when a review of a Christian novel cites its religious content as the reason for a one-star assessment. What did they expect if its properly labeled?
There are degrees of Christian in the fiction. Some are bold, some are subtle. Some Christian authors prefer vague references to God and prayer. Some include the full Gospel in their stories. These factors often determine who their readers will be.
I have found excellent writers in both types. I have been disappointed with both types. So much depends on the preferences of readers - genres, writing quality, differences in belief systems, depths of characters on either side of faith.
What say you?
Father, I am nothing without you and apart from you, I can do nothing. My desire is to honor you with my writing. May it be so. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same."
Tax collectors also came to be baptized. "Teacher," they asked, "what should we do?"
"Don't collect any more than you are required to," he told them.
Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?"
He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely - be content with your pay."
The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.
Tremendous sadness when you have to go to a Hollywood movie to get close to the truth on such a traitorous tragedy. See it.
God in heaven, we long for your beauty and justice in our depraved society. Please expose those who have allowed their flesh and godlessness to overcome anything good you built into them. May they find you, Jesus, before they're forced to breathe their last in a far more merciful way than they forced upon these honorable men. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Sibella Giorello’s three prequels in A Raleigh Harmon Mystery series take the reader back to the youthful Raleigh before she’s grown into FBI Special Agent Raleigh Harmon. Designed for the YA market, these novels appeal equally to adult readers who embraced the five books in the original A Raleigh Harmon Novel series. Stone and Snow is Book Two.
Young Raleigh exists in a world of a mentally ill mom who insists Raleigh (who she’s taken to calling “Ray”) is not her daughter, a rebellious older sister (Helen) in college who comes home for breaks but escapes as often as possible to hang out at bars, a father (who is a Judge) devoted to his wife and striving to stabilize their home life in the midst of total chaos. Adding to the sadness and instability, Raleigh’s best friend Drew endured a terrible ordeal in Stone and Spark (the first novel in this series) and has never fully recovered, exhibiting severe OCD tendencies. Mix in the angst and drama of first love and Raleigh’s life is extreme.
When a school friend dies in a car crash that is ruled a suicide, Drew will not accept it. Not wanting to placate Drew, Raleigh’s loyalty to her friend leads her to geology, where her interests and knowledge have proven helpful to her and others. Learning something new about their deceased friend spurs Raleigh on in her daring investigation.
Sibella captures the abject sorrow, the gutsy determination, and the extreme loyalty of the young Raleigh Harmon. Life’s blows have given her a bit of a cynical attitude, but she pursues what she believes is right in spite of potential consequences. She’s a brave, tender-hearted girl who’s been forced into an emotional survival mode which makes her defiant among those who view themselves as superior.
There is real sadness in Raleigh’s life, and it’s difficult to watch what happens to her. Sibella knows just when to lighten up and give the reader a dose of laugh out loud humor or a romantic moment. Superbly written with deeply constructed characters and a complex plot, Stone and Snow is a near flawless read.
Father, you know the heartbeat of our souls. I pray you would continue to direct Sibella to where you want her to go, show her exactly what you want her to do, and keep her safe from all harm along the way. Bless her, Lord. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
American AssassinMovie: CBS Films Announces Writer And Director
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
CBS Films, which owns the movie rights to Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp series, announced today that Michael Cuesta, who has directed and produced television series including Six Feet Under, Dexter, Blue Bloods and Homeland, will direct the film adaptation of American Assassin. Stephen Schiff, who has served as a writer and producer on the acclaimed FX television series The Americans, and whose screenplays include Lolita, True Crime, and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, will develop the screenplay.
The film will begin shooting later this year.
Updates on casting will be sent as soon as they are available.
Terrific news for Vince Flynn fans.
Father, we're all desperate for you. We know there is great evil in this world and you have called some to be warriors. We honor those who serve and pray they understand from whom their hope, their abilities, and their courage originates. Thank you, Lord. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
We all know what disappointment feels like. And it ain't a good feelin', is it? Nope. Sure isn't. Football season is over with a thud, a dud, and a certain sadness that accompanies sports fans into that familiar oblivion of disappointment and emptiness. What now, we ask? The long wait. With uncertainty. It's over for the first time in two years. It. Is. Over. Wow.
Father, you know my heart. I pray for all the players and coaches that they would know you if they haven't yet, that they would be strengthened and made stronger in you for those who've known you, and that you would minister to the severe and slight injuries providing healing in bodies, souls, and spirits. Apart from you, we can do nothing. Thank you for a great team of individuals who played for each other and many of them for you. Bless and heal, I pray in the Name of Jesus, Amen.
John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
Sometimes a story writes itself. It lingers in the mind of the author, distilling. Pushing itself to the front of thoughts, it demands a time to be told. This is either a long process or a quickened one. The writer chooses his method of operation - is he an outliner, a spontaneous combustion type, or a combo of the two styles? Over time, some of those choices change or combine themselves depending on the complexity of the story.
Sometimes an ending is the impetus for the story. Sometimes a character forms and reveals the plot. Sometimes a location sparks awareness and intrigue. Sometimes a timeframe calls "Remember me." The story originates in whispers or shouts, climbs around the mind of the author, demands exposure, and declares the plan.
Sometimes the perceived notion of the story takes a turn, dips, dives, and surprises the writer forming the words. It feels supernatural. Like it's writing itself.
Sometimes the author is only the vehicle, taken captive by the story.
Father, I know apart from you, I can do nothing. I thank you for every story idea, every word, every turn, every direction of every story I've ever written. The flaws are mine, the beauty and creativity is all yours. As always, thank you is never enough. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.