Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Freedom

Happy 4th of July! This week we're celebrating the Declaration of Independence. Years ago men and women came to this land in search of religious freedom. Through the years, more brave men and women have fought to protect our country.



Even more important, we have freedom in Christ. Galatians 5:1 says, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

Romans 6:22 says, " But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life."


In the Unites States, our freedom came at a great cost. I'm so thankful to all of the people who sacrificed for my freedom. I'm also thankful to Jesus who gave his life for us to have eternal life.

Galatians 5:13-14 says, "You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”"

Love our neighbors. As ourselves. Love. Others. As we celebrate, let's remember to love others.

Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Seabeach Amaranth

The other night as we walked along a South Carolina beach, we spotted cages. I hurried over expecting to see signs indicating sea turtle nests were being protected.

Instead, the sign indicated seabeach amaranth was being protected. I've seen it on beaches before, but I didn't realize how important it is to beach eco-systems.


Seabeach amaranth is found in Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas. It is an annual plant that germinates from April to June and blooms in July.

Beach erosion and human traffic are two big threats to this plant. The worst blow to this herb was Hurricane Hugo in 1989. It's estimated the hurricane wiped out ninety percent of South Carolina's seabeach amaranth. In 1993 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed it as a threatened species.


If you vacation and spot seabeach amaranth, enjoy the view, but please don't pick it. Thanks!







Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Rainy Vacation Days

We all want perfect weather when we go on vacation. This year my family joined together for vacation in Holden Beach, NC.

The week started out with high hopes of bike rides and fun in the sun.

However, it rained, and rained, and then rained some more. We'd come from KY, TX and SC for this week, and we refused to let rain take away our fun.

One day we went to a family fun center where both granddaughters bowled for the first time. The oldest even got to play laser tag.

Another morning, we had a girls' morning out and made pottery.

We played lots of games inside and enjoyed being together. We went out for ice cream and even shopped a little.


These were just some of the things we did during the rain. We were so happy to be together, we enjoyed every minute of Vacation 2018. I hope you're able to enjoy some fun family time this summer.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

National Cheese Day

I discovered June 4 is National Cheese Day. It's also National Hug Your Cat Day.

I can eat cheese, but I'm severely allergic to cats. So, I won't be hugging anybody's cat.

How will you celebrate June 4? Hug your cat or eat a hunk of cheese? Whatever you do, I hope you have a good day!

Friday, May 25, 2018

The American Flag


Many of you know how much I love my country and love our flag. This week I'm sharing a poem by American poet Joseph Rodman Drake.


"The American Flag" by Joseph Rodman Drake

When freedom, from her mountain height
Unfurled her standard to the air
She tore the azure robe of night
And set the stars of glory there.

She mingled with its gorgeous dyes
The milky baldric of the skies
Then from his mansion in the sun
She called her eagle-bearer down
And gave into his mighty hand
The symbol of her chosen land.


Monday, May 14, 2018

"The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus




I get tired of hearing so many bad things about our country and decided to share this poem by Emma Lazarus.


"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand.
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles.
From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame."
Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips.
"Give me your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


Monday, May 7, 2018

Positive Thinking






Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."


Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Whatever you face today, God is not finished with you.

Norman Vincent Peale is known for loving God and for positive thinking. He said, "It isn't what's happening so much as what our attitude is of what's happening."

Dr. Peale also suggested we should develop a positive attitude when we're at the bottom. We can't go any lower, so we should have hope.

Phillipians 4:6-7 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I hope you have God's peace today no matter what you face.


Psalm 29:11 "The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace."

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

South Carolina Authors

It recently occurred to me I needed to learn about authors from South Carolina.

I'm sure most people know Sue Monk Kidd, Dorothea Benton Frank, and Pat Conroy.

What about New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe? When she moved to coastal South Carolina, she included the environment in her stories. Her book, The Beach House, will soon be on Hallmark. Besides writing, Ms. Monroe is active with the Charleston Literacy Volunteers, The Leatherback Trust and serves on the Board of the South Carolina Aquarium.


Mickey Spillane also lived in South Carolina. Murrells Inlet to be exact. Known for pulp fiction, and many read his Mike Hammer crime novels.


Georgia girl, Anne River Siddons now lives part-time in South Carolina. One of her many books, Low Country, is set in my new state.

I've been blessed to attend a weekend conference hosted by Lynette Eason who is an inspirational romantic suspense author. Her Stolen Past was even made into a Lifetime Movie Network movie. Lynette is kind an encouraging as well as a talented author.

Another South Carolina author is my good friend, Misty Beller. If you like inspirational historical Westerns you need to check out Misty's books. Stop by her website to bet a free book. www.mistymbeller.com


I hope I've piqued your interest in exploring new authors. Thanks for stopping by.


(Misty Beller, Janet Ferguson and I were able to catch up in Dallas this past fall.)







Monday, April 9, 2018

Azaleas

The first azaleas I planted were in April 1994. Grandmother Lutz gave them to me as a gift when my son Scott was born. So, you might guess I didn't really plant them myself. Tim and Bill planted them for me.

Since 1994, I've always had azaleas. This weekend, we visited Brookgreen Gardens, and the azaleas and dogwood trees were beautiful.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let. Psalm 96:11-12

This week I'd like to share a little bit of South Carolina with you. Enjoy!



Psalm 89:11
The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all it contains, You have founded them.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Sunday

Easter is about hope. Jesus is our hope. No matter what comes our way, no matter what problems we face, no matter that we live in a fallen world, Jesus is our hope because He conquered death.

“As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples…'” Mark 16:5-7

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,” John 11:25

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” 1 Pet. 1:3-4

Whatever is happening in your life today, I hope you have a blessed Easter. Don't lose hope because Jesus intercedes for us. “Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Romans 8:34

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Holy Saturday


But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:5-6 NIV

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

More About South Carolina from a Kentucky Native

I spent most of my life in Kentucky. I was comfortable there and familiar with the state. My favorite pie is Derby Pie. Yes, for the Kentucky Derby. This is March Madness, and in Kentucky all we discussed was basketball, brackets, the Wildcats, and more basketball this time of year. Your conversation might start out on one topic, but you'd end up discussing basketball.

But I live in South Carolina. I almost hugged a friend who mentioned her basketball bracket. And in church, I moved pews before the service to sit behind a family because the husband wore a blue UK shirt. I got to talk basketball with them.

These were things I took for granted and never thought about until they weren't a part of my life.

Here are a few facts about South Carolina. We're called the Palmetto State because of the American fort on Sullivan's Island. They made the walls out of Palmetto logs. British cannonballs bounced off the spongy logs which of course protected the Americans.

Columbia is the capital and largest city in South Carolina.

What about the state motto? "While I breathe, I hope." How great is that? Of course Kentucky's United we stand divided we fall is pretty great, too.

I used to live in Jessamine County Kentucky. The state flower of South Carolina is Yellow Jessamine.

One more fun fact. The Latin word for Charles is Carolus. South Carolina was named to honor King Charles I of England. In 1629, he made the original land grant. In 1729, Carolina divided into two states and South Carolina was the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1788.

The people of South Carolina are warm and friendly, and we are glad God called us to serve in this wonderful place.





Friday, March 16, 2018

Exciting News


Many of you have traveled with me on my writing journey. I'm excited to announce I've signed with Agent Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency.


When I attended ACFW conference in the fall, God opened my eyes to how much I've enjoyed cozy mysteries through the years. During my days in Dallas, I contemplated narrowing my writing focus to romantic suspense and cozy mysteries. Peace filled me as I made the decision.

In January, I discovered Dawn and queried her. A couple of weeks ago she reached out to me and we talked. It felt like a good fit, and she signed me as a client. I'm grateful and look forward to spending more time with Dawn as I work on my writing career.

Thanks for your support and encouragement as I've begun writing. I'll keep you posted on what happens next.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Huntington Beach State Park

Huntington Beach State Park is a fun place to visit in Murrells Inlet, SC. Now that we live near the beach, Tim and I don't ever want to take it for granted. Huntington is the closest beach to us, and we enjoy visiting it often.





Besides three miles of beach, you can visit a national historic landmark, Atalaya. It was the winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. It's referred to as the castle and has a Spanish influence.

In 2016 lightning started a fire that destroyed the Nature Center, and they are now raising money to build a new center.



The center was destroyed before we moved to SC and we never visited it. I was told it contained nature exhibits with reptiles, snakes, fish and aquariums. They also hosted educational programs. It looks to me as if the area is been cleared of the damage and mayb e they are ready to focus on rebuilding now.

If you are in this area, I hope you take time to visit Huntington Beach State Park. It's more than a beach and more than a park. It's a great place to enjoy nature and explore the many wonders God has given us. And who knows, by the time you visit, the nature center may be a reality.



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Carolina Sea Glass


I've always been fascinated to look for shells and sea glass while walking the beach. Most of my beach time has been in South Carolina and North Carolina. I've found clear, white, brown and green sea glass over the years. Some pieces are big and some are tiny, and I imagine every piece must have a story.

Some people call these pieces beach glass or mermaid tears. Years in the sea have softened the sharp glass edges and frosted the color.

I used to wonder why I never found blue or purple sea glass on the coast of Carolina. My research revealed Fort Bragg, California and Kauai Island in Hawaii are the best places to search for a wider variety in colors. One reason is the beach in California used to be a dumpsite for glass.

Here are a couple of tips if you want to start collecting sea glass on your next trip to the beach.

The best time of day is before the tide goes out. The sunnier the better for catching reflections on the glass. After a storm is also a great time for finding glass that has been stirred up by the rough water.

I hope you enjoy looking for these little treasures. I keep my sea glass in a big jar on my book shelves and it makes me smile.




"God never wastes anything. He would not give you abilities, interests, talents, gifts, personality, and life experiences unless he intended to use them for his glory." Pastor Rick Warren

It may be far fetched, but if God can redeem a broken piece of glass in the ocean, how much more does He love us and want to redeem us?

Ephesians 1:7-10
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.



Sunday, January 28, 2018

Weathering the Storms of Life

Last year was a different year for Tim and me. In the fall of 2016, Tim was offered a job in South Carolina. Our first instinct was there was no possible way we could leave our family in Kentucky.

God had different ideas.

We couldn't fathom God would ask us to move at the beginning of our empty nest years. But He did. So, we moved. March 1, 2017 was our first offical day living in South Carolina.

Two big lessons we learned this year were if God calls you need to say yes. He doesn't promise it will be easy to obey his call, but He won't leave or forsake you.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 3:16 NIV

The other lesson we learned, the Holy Spirit will go ahead of you. If you're called to minister to others, He will prepare them for you. So many people tell me how much Tim has touched their lives since we moved to South Carolina. He's a man of integrity and tries his best to be a representative of God's light to others. It's been a hard year for many reasons. We faced challenges. But we've persevered. We even weathered a hurricane scare.

Lamentations 3:21-24 ESV "But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him.”"

God is good and merciful. We're thankful for 2017, and we're looking forward to an even better 2018.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Hope

I was blessed to spend the week after Christmas in Kentucky with my family. During this time, Brooke helped me pick out pictures of dogs for my new stories and we named them. I was impressed how much thought she put into the process. It was fun working with her.

Brook and I also discussed picking out a word at the beginning of the year and focusing on it and God. We discussed a few possibilities and she nudged me to picking Hope. I've picked the word hope another year, but we can never have too much hope.

1 Peter 1:3-5 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time."

My hope is in Jesus, and I look forward to what God has in store for me in 2018.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Yucky Yellow Relish

I'm sure you've heard the saying, no good deed goes unpunished. I'd like to share a story that exemplifies this saying.

Some of my first memories are of going to my dad's drug store in Owensboro, KY. They had a soda fountain and made deliveries. It was always fun to go visit him and Mom often let us sit on the spinning stools at the fountain and order a special treat.


When I was eight-years-old, we moved to Elizabethtown, KY where my dad bought a drug store on the town square. My dad has a huge heart. Customers loved him. The bank tellers and even other pharmacists respected and loved my dad. To this day, my dad has a story or joke for every situation. And he doesn't know a stranger. When my youngest son was playing tennis in high school and college, a few of his opponents met my dad before meeting Scott. Like I said, he doesn't know a stranger.

But I digress. My mother ran the front end of the drug store while we were in school while dad took care of the pharmacy. My brother and I loved to go down to the store when we weren't in school. I learned how to use a cash register and make grab bags at the store. There was also a storage basement where Chris and I would play. We could also walk to the library or run to the bank for change from the store.

Many of Dad's customers were farmers or some people struggling financially. Sometimes they couldn't afford their medicines. Dad couldn't let a person walk away if they needed a prescription. He'd say they could pay him later. Sometimes they couldn't. And sometimes they'd give him things like jars of yellow relish. Yuck. But we ate it. I don't know if Mom really liked it or if she was being kind. I followed her lead though and ate the yucky relish.

One thing I learned from this was it pays to be kind. Dad didn't make a lot of money at the drug store, but he made a lot of loyal friends. Both of my parents have a huge heart for others. I hope my heart for others shines like theirs does.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 New International Version
This is what the Lord says:

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.



Freedom

Happy 4th of July! This week we're celebrating the Declaration of Independence. Years ago men and women came to this land in search of r...