Wednesday, January 31, 2007

News on A Prophecy Forgotten: The revisions should come this weekend!

Awesome news!! I just heard from my editor, and she is going to send me revisions for A Prophecy Forgotten this weekend—if all goes well!!! Things are beginning to progress!

For more information on my debut novel, A Prophecy Forgotten, check out my website at

Sunday, January 28, 2007

My Weekend at Planet Wisdom

I just finished one of the busiest weekends I’ve had in a long time. After speaking at NCA, I drove over to my church and followed a bus full of the teenagers from my youth group all the way up to Lakeland. I had only 2 hours of sleep (to be explained later) so the 2 cans of Mountain Dew that I grabbed from the Youth Group cooler really helped. Here are some of the highlights from the trip:

Watching the bus tire blow up: Well, first I wanted to call my youth pastor to let it know that I didn’t quite like the sparks flying out from underneath the bus, but I didn’t have his phone number. Then suddenly, POOF! Black smoke and flying pieces of rubber tires blew out from under the bus, hitting my windshield. Let’s just say that I no longer needed the Mountain Dew to stay awake. Hey, did you know that if you follow a bus close enough, you get caught up in the bus’s drag, and you save on gas money? It’s not such a good idea if the bus’s tire decides to blow up, however.

Mark Matlock, Sean McDowell, Jillian Windham & the Skit Guys: All the presenters at the conference were awesome—especially the Skit Guys who made my stomach hurt from laughing so hard at their British Comedy impersonation. I especially liked Mark Matlock’s message about concentrating on the essentials of Christianity—you know, the love God and love your neighbor commands that we Christians often forget while we’re protesting abortion and gay rights. Way to go people. Let’s show the world God’s love through condemnation. Anyway, it was a great, timely message. And my friend, Jillian Windham, did amazing, I must say. She’s an actress who did these little video spots that really showed how frustrating and confusing figuring out what we are supposed to do as Christians can be.

The Adventures of Michelle, Kyle, and Richard: I got to pick up one of the speakers, Sean McDowell (more on him later), from Tampa International Airport, at 12:05 Friday night. (This on two hours of sleep. I was well beyond Mountain Dew by that time, folks.) I brought along Kyle and Richard to meet him, and I think we had more fun getting there and trying to find the hotel than actually talking with Sean. (No offense, Sean, if you’re reading this.) Here are some highlights of our adventures:
  • Deciding not to get gas at Bob’s Gas Station with the black Monte Carlo full of gangsta’s filling up next to us.
  • Discussing Beckham and Posh moving to the USA.
  • Talking in the elevator for, like, 5 minutes until we realized we had to push a button to make it move.
  • Pushing a wheel chair around, calling out for its imaginary rider.
  • Holding up a yellow sign for some guy we’ve never seen before, hoping we were at the right spot.
  • Trying to find an ATM machine at the airport that worked.
  • Pulling into a franchised gas station (I think it was Hess) on mere fumes.
  • Driving up to Sonic just after it closed.
  • Having to call our youth pastor up at 1:00 in the morning to find directions to our hotel.
  • Passing civilization twice before finding the sleepy little village our hotel was located in.
  • Totally missing our hotel because we were so focused on Checkers.

I think that was the best little side adventure I’ve had in a while. We didn’t reach the hotel until 3:30.

Sean McDowell: Josh McDowell is a well-known author whose books have not only been an inspiration to my teaching and my novel, A Prophecy Forgotten, but also an author whose books have cemented my faith in God. His son, Sean, was one of the speakers at the conference, and when my youth pastor and Jillian found out about my idea for a non-fiction book (to be kept secret for now) and knew he had expertise in the area, they arranged for me to pick him up at the airport and have lunch with him. First, it was great to meet a fellow author and discuss the difficulties of waiting for the book to be published after we got the contract. Just knowing that other authors go through what I’m going through with all the waiting was so encouraging. Second, I was able to ask Sean how he developed a speaking career, and he gave me some really great ideas. Third, even though we are both too busy right now to collaborate on the kind of project that I have envisioned, I left with the impression that both of us respected and appreciated the other’s ministry. And again, it was just great to talk with a fellow author.

Kendall’s cookies: Kendall, even though you won’t give me the recipe, I must say that there is nothing better than coming back from a fun adventure to Tampa International Airport at 3:00 in the morning after only two hours of sleep the night before than sitting down and eating one of your cookies right before my shower. You Rock!

For more information on my debut novel, A Prophecy Forgotten, check out my website at

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Speaking at First Baptist Academy

On January 26th, I got to speak to over 150 kids at First Baptist Academy in Naples. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures. I had a great time, and the kids were full of energy and engaging. If you are just reading this and from First Baptist Academy, you guys were awesome, and I hope that I can come back and talk to you again!

For more information on my debut novel, A Prophecy Forgotten, check out my website at

Monday, January 22, 2007

January 22, 2007 Daily-ish Readings

Readings: I Kings 4-5, Psalm 148, I Corinthians 14
I Kings: So Hiram was the king of Tyre. Hmm, I wonder if the Free Masons know that.... Cult issues aside, Hiram says "Praise be to the Lord," regarding Solomon. Did Tyre know and worship Israel's God? I ask only because a prophecy from Ezekiel 28 predicted Tyre's destruction. (The prophecy was later fulfilled in an amazing way, and I believe Alexander the Great may have had a hand in it.) In Ezekiel, God accuses the king of Tyre of severe pride. What happened to Tyre for it to go from being the nation Solomon reaches out to for help in building the temple to becoming a nation that God decided to destroy?

I Corinthians: I can't believe I'm reading this. I've been weighing the idea of writing a book about Old Testament Prophecies and how they came true through the life of Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15:24 says, "But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, 'God is really among you!'" Now, granted, the prophecies that Paul is referring to here are not Old Testament prophecies, but it's still pretty cool.

A Meme That Makes You Think

A friend of mine at tagged me to receive and pass along the following meme. It’s called “the thinking meme.” I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out because right now, I don’t want to think. I may turn sarcastic by question 2.

1. If you had to choose one vice in exclusion of all others what would it be?
A vice that would magically go away and stop tempting me? Lack of faith. See earlier blogs for an explanation. A vice to keep without enduring the consequences? Dessert! (Did you know that “desserts” is “stressed” backwards?)

2. If you could change one specific thing about the world, what would it be?
Eliminate terrorism.

3. Name the cartoon character you identify with the most.
Mulan from Walt Disney’s Mulan. Holy cow, she’s just like me! Struggling with being a girl but wanting to do guy things and not really being what typical guys look for in typical girls. I so identify with her.

4. If you could live one day in your life over again which one would it be?
The day I pitched my publisher and he said, “Send me the manuscript.”

5. If you could go back in history and spend a day with one person who would it be?
Jesus Christ. I’ve got a lot of questions. :-) If he wasn’t available, I’d dress up like a soldier and follow King David around while he was running from Saul, just to see how he behaved under pressure. I’m curious because the kid was anointed by Samuel to be the King of Israel before he fought Goliath, and then he had to run around in the desert (not “stressed" backwards) for years. I keep wondering if he ever doubted God. The Psalms seem to indicate that the answer is no, but I would just want to see for myself what “a man after God’s own heart” would do when things seemed bleak.

6. What is the one thing you lost, sold, or threw away that you wish you could have back?
I lost my ability to do karate when my foot developed a strange bit of tendonitis. Now I can only walk with an arch support. (Without an arch support, walking/running is painful, and if I go too long without it, I can’t walk for a good week because of the pain.) I would give anything to have my old feet back and be able to take karate again.

7. What is your one most important contribution to this world?
I’m not done contributing to the world yet.... :-) I hope that people in the future say that my writings led them to Christ. That would be the ultimate contribution.

8. What is your one hidden talent that nearly no one knows about?
I can sing. I’m really good at singing swing/scat/R&B/jazz, and I can make up a harmony to almost any song as I hear it for the first time. Just don't give me anything too high.

9. What is your most cherished possession?
I have no clue. Right now, if my house was burning, I would grab two things. First, my Bible because I’ve spent way to much time underlining in it. I know where everything is, and I have no desire to start over. Second, my thumb drive, which backs up all my writings. Although, technically, I can buy another Bible, so I probably would grab the thumb drive first. Is that bad?

10. What one person influenced your life the most when growing up?
I don’t know. Parents were important. Youth leaders were important. God was important. Picking one would be wrong.

11. What one word describes you better than any other?

I'm sending this to my fellow author-friends, Sandy Lender ( and Tina Murray ( I think I need more blogging friends!

For more information on my debut novel, A Prophecy Forgotten, check out my website at

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

January 10, 2007 Daily-ish Readings

I just had the coolest devotional reading today. I read I Kings 2-3, Psalm 147, and I Corinthians 13. I Kings left me with a big question, and Psalm 147 and I Corinthians 13 answered it. I read my Bible methodically, so these three passages were put together for me in advance by God. (Or you could call it a coincidence. I don’t really believe in those, however.) Below, you can see the questions I typed out in my Spiritual Journal on my website ( and how they were answered.

I Kings 3: Solomon asks God for a discerning heart, and God gives it to him, saying "I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be." Solomon is known to have been wise, but that wisdom did not give him the ability to obey God. I often wonder why. I've always placed high value on wisdom and knowledge about the Bible and about God. I have seen throughout my (short) lifetime, however, that those who are wise can turn away and stop following God. Although I don't understand why or how, I know that it must take more to obey God than wisdom. Why isn’t wisdom good enough?

Psalm 147: Here is part of the answer. It says, "The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love." There must be something about genuinely respecting and grasping the power of God and then putting hope in Him that is somehow greater than wisdom.

I Corinthians 13: Ah, here's the other part answer. How amazing that I read these passages on the same day. "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, but have not love, I am nothing." Later it says, "But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away." I can see from both the Psalms and this passage, why immense wisdom is not enough. What does it take to follow and obey God? First, it takes the heart of David (w/o the adultery/murder)—heart full of a genuine fear and respect for God and faith. Second, it takes a heart of love for both God and others. Funny how when Jesus was asked what the most important commandments were, he said "Love the lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself." (I didn't look it up, so that's about as accurate as I can get it from my memory.) The heart God wants us to have is not characterized by wisdom, it's characterized by fear and respect for Him, hope and faith, and love for others. I shall end with I Corinthians 13:13. "And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." (Not wisdom.)

(My husband was looking over my shoulder as I read this. He said that he had been praying for wisdom for years, and God has given him wisdom. Then he said that he had not been praying for love, and he doesn't really care about others that much. I think his prayer life is about to change....)

For more information on my debut novel, A Prophecy Forgotten, check out my website at

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

January 9, 2007 Daily-ish Readings

Readings: II Samuel 24, I Kings 1, Psalm 146, I Corinthians 12I Kings 1: Now that I have finally come to the end of David's life, I can see two main weaknesses that the great king had, which led to his undoing. The first and most obvious was his weakness for those of us who belong to the fairer sex. Though the law, which David wrote about with such fondness and studied greatly, discouraged kings from taking on too many wives, David made himself a harem full of concubines and wives. As a woman, I can't quite reconcile this with a man who had the heart of God, but I must remember that all of us have weaknesses. David's weakness for women led him to lust after Bathsheba, and when he couldn't marry her because she was already married, he took her anyway. Big mistake, and it led to murder--and then a nice little curse on the rest of his children. (The sword shall not depart from your house.)

David's second weakness is more subtle, but probably more devastating: too much mercy. David shows throughout his life a tendency to not punish those he loves. When Joab kills another man in cold blood, David does nothing. When Tamar is raped, David does nothing, nor does he do anything when Absalom kills her rapist. I Kings also indicates that David never disciplined Adonijah, who tried to assume the throne without being appointed as king. (David, in fact, wanted Solomon to become king.) Most of David's problems actually stemmed from his lack of ability to discipline. Justice is important, even if we must punish those we love.

This weakness is my own, and I hope I will be able to overcome it before I start having children.

Perfect Timing

I cannot begin to tell you what goes on in my brain when things don’t go as planned. My publisher has encountered some production slowdowns, which has put my book’s publication date father out in the future than originally planned. Of course, my little paranoid brain starts too think evil thoughts, such as, “Oh, what if he secretly hates the book and thinks he made a mistake?” or, “What if God has been fooling around with me and really doesn’t want me to do all the things I thought He had called me to do?” You know how we humans are—me especially. I lack faith.

Anyway, for those of you who don’t know, my husband and I have just started a commercial cleaning business. We don’t have enough clients to hire employees, so we’re doing all the work. I began to think last week (probably as I was cleaning a toilet) that if my book had been published in August, as originally planned, or in December as was the second plan, I would not be able to help Greg in this endeavor. I would have been traveling, trying to sell my book and speak at schools, libraries, and youth groups. God knew Greg would need me to work with him now, hence, no book. If you are wondering why my book hasn’t come out yet, don’t blame my publisher, blame Greg and Weston Commercial Cleaning, Inc.

Also, Greg and I only have one car. We need another if I want to travel to sell my book—preferably, a bigger, older SUV or truck that we can use to haul all the cleaning equipment. My mom just called today, and told us that they are moving my grandparents into a special living facility that allows them to live independently, but takes them to all their appointments. Hence, my mom no longer needs her ancient Ford Explorer, which they have been using to haul my grandfather’s mechanical wheelchair around. She does not want to pay the insurance on it anymore, and she was wondering if she could gift us the car as long as we took over the insurance and let my uncle use it to cart my granddad around on occasion. I burst into tears when my husband told me. You see, I’ve been praying that God would give us a car because I knew I would need it. God tends to give us what we need when we need it, so I really am hoping that my book will come out soon.

Back to my mantra: God’s timing is perfect. Mine is not.

For more information on my debut novel, A Prophecy Forgotten, check out my website at

Monday, January 08, 2007

January 8, 2007 Daily-ish readings

Readings: II Samuel 22-23, Psalm 145, I Corinthians 11
II Samuel 22: I sometimes forget how dangerous it must have been for David when Saul chased him around Israel for years. Here, David records a song he wrote about God once he had been delivered from Saul's hand. He describes his experience fleeing from Saul as "waves of death" swirling around him, "torrents of destruction" overwhelming him, and the "cords of the grave coiled around" him. I often wonder how he maintained his faith in God when he prayed to God night after night, and God seemingly did not answer. Again, timing is key. David survived and became king.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

January 3, 2007 Daily-ish Readings

Readings: II Samuel 18-19, Psalm 143, I Corinthians 9
II Samuel 18: Absalom, David's own son, created an army and tried to take David's throne through force. (He also killed one of David's other sons in earlier chapters.) When Absalom is finally killed, David's reaction is not joy. He reacts with deep mourning, yelling, "O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you--O Absalom, my son, my son!" Not being a parent, I can only imagine the anguish of David, both in having to endure the horror of having his own son try to kill him, and in hearing of his death. I think this must be how God feels about us. It must pain Him to watch us turn against him and die against Him. David's outburst reminds me of Jesus, knowing that Israel's religious leaders in Jerusalem would succeed in getting him crucified, said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!"

Happy New Year!

Well, 2007 is finally here. I'm not usually one for New Year's Resolutions, mainly because I don't keep them, but I am going to list a few just for fun.

1. Achieve and maintain a body weight of 135 pounds.
2. Finish Out of the Shadows, A Prophecy Forgotten's sequel.
3. Sell 10,000 copies of A Prophecy Forgotten.

And now the "you must be dreaming" resolutions:
4. Appear on Oprah.
5. Hit the New York Times Best Seller list.
6. A movie contract would be nice, but I'll settle for an option....

By the way, check out my new first chapter. I made a few adjustments.

For more information on my debut novel, A Prophecy Forgotten, check out my website at

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

January 2, 2007 Daily-ish Readings

Readings: II Samuel 16-17, Psalm 142, I Corinthians 8
I Corinthians 8: The Christians in Corinth struggled with eating meat, not because they were PETA activists running around preaching animal rights, but because the meat sold at the market had first been sacrificed to idols. (Here of course is a funny point of contention. I guess the meat was laid in front of the idols, and since they didn't eat any of it because they're stone, the meat was then taken and sold at market. It must be cost beneficial to have a stone god where you get all of your sacrifices back.) Eating the meat bought at market was considered an act of worship of the god. (By the way, the patron goddess of Corinth was Aphrodite (Venus), so they had other rituals...) Christians were unsure if they should eat the meat because they did not believe in the gods, so therefore eating meat sacrificed to a god that doesn't exist shouldn't be a problem, but some of them considered themselves worshiping the gods simply through the act of eating the meat, and couldn't mentally separate it.

Paul's advice? Technically it's fine to eat the meat. God knows you are not worshiping the idols. However, because some people felt so guilty about it, they should not eat the meat. Here's the interesting thing. Paul says that those Christians were weaker than those who had a fuller understanding of God and knew that eating the meat was fine. An interesting concept--legalism is the result of weak faith.

However, Paul then says that those who were not weak were under the responsibility of making sure not to let their freedom cause someone else to stumble. That's the part of the chapter I always forget...