Path of Freedom, Quilts of Love series

1858 North Carolina - When Quakers Flora Saferight and Bruce Millikan embark on the Underground Railroad, they agree to put their differences aside to save the lives of a pregnant slave couple..

Highland Sanctuary, (Highland series - Book 2)

1477 Scotland - A chieftain heir is hired to restore Briagh Castle and discovers a hidden village of outcasts who have created their own private sanctuary from the world.

Highland Blessings, (Book 1 - Highland series)

1473 Scotland - The story of a highland warrior who kidnaps the daughter of his greatest enemy and clan chief to honor a promise to his dying father.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Home from the Mission Field

Our church, Word of Wisdom Fellowship, sent a team of seven to Jamaica on a missions trip. I am happy to say that everyone arrived home safely--including my husband, Dwayne. It was his first missions trip and he really didn't know what to expect. They concentrated on street evangelism and saw over 60-80 decisions for Christ.

Dwayne preached his first sermon and he said the Holy Spirit showed up to make it all happen perfectly. They were surrounded by 100 taxi cab drivers on both sides and everything was loud when they arrived, but when he began preaching everyone grew quiet and listened. I wish I could have been there to see it.

They visited several places, including schools and a children's home. Below is a photo of our pastor, Avery Dunn, with children from one of the schools. Dwayne said these children were so happy and completely unaware of their poverty.

Our mission team experienced some home-cooking, Jamaican style, thanks to a couple of ladies from one of the local churches. I think our team is missing these home-cooked meals. They were welcomed by everyone they met and the people in Jamaica were so friendly. Our church is hoping to send another team to Jamaica next year in March when it might be a little cooler.

A few of the things they had to get used to was the humid heat without any air condition. With the exception of the resorts, the power is turned off on the island everyday between 1-4 p.m. to save electricity. Tiny ants ran the household and Dwayne said you just learn to live with them. He came home with so many bug bites. I've never seen anything like it. They drive on the left side of the road and apparently they drive fast.

It sounds like it was a wonderful experience for our team and for the people they met in Jamaica. May God bless them all!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Writing Before Dawn

It may sound strange, but I have found that the best time to write is before dawn. I started out writing this early because it was the only time I could find to be alone and when someone wasn't expecting me to be doing something else. Now, the wee hours of the morning have become my best creative hours.

There have been times when I woke up at three or four o'clock in the morning with characters talking in my mind. Most always, I jump out of bed and rush to the computer before I forget it. My husband, bless his heart, used to think I was crazy. Now he just rolls over and goes back to sleep, doing his level best to ignore me.

Something about the morning is fresh - like a new beginning just waiting to be created. This is also the time of day when the night's dreams are prevalent and can easily trigger a new story or a new scene. For me, waking up before dawn has been the answer to writer's block. This is also a time when I sense the Lord's presence the most.

I am learning to live with six hours of sleep instead of the recommended eight. If I am going to work full-time and still write, without taking time away from my family, this is what I must do. I set my alarm for four o'clock in the morning. I write until six and then I exercise with FitTV - usually Gilad. If I'm in the mood I'll also do the Carribean Workout, if not, I will do devotions. Then I get the rest of the family up and begin getting ready for work.

My evenings after work are reserved for homework with my daughter, writing short articles, website updates, emails, more devotions, and reading. If you struggle with writing time or writer's block, try setting your alarm an hour or two early. Rising before dawn has been a wonderful blessing to me. It's my bonding time with the Lord, His Word and the words He inspires me to write. With God's Spirit residing in me, how can I not feel led to create, when He is The Creator and I am created in His image, as we all are?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Fragility of Life

This past week I have been reminded of the fragility of life as my aunt passed away on Mother's Day. (Mary Ellen Alley to the left.) She was only 57. She had lung cancer and smoked until the very end. Life is so short and fragile. Why do we chose to do things that will make it even shorter?

A few years ago, my husband lost an aunt in the very same way. My husband's brother had a lung collapse before he quit smoking. My brother has had his lungs collapse twice and now he has Emphazema and he is only 31. My father-in-law has the same disease and his condition is much worse.

I was amazed to watch family members mourn my aunt's death and then light up their own cigarettes as if it were nothing. How many funerals will it take? How many warnings will they ignore?

I know there are many people who dearly love the Lord, but still battle the addiction or habit of smoking. Sometimes what we cannot or will not do for ourselves, we will do for others whom we love. If anyone reading this is struggling or has a loved one struggling to quit smoking, I pray the Scripture below will be an inspiration to you.

" you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."

1 Corinthians 6:19-20