Going to Mount Hermon

I've been to a few writers' conferences, and I'll keep going. There are opportunities to learn in these places that cannot be matched.

I admire the teachers who give their time to help others improve their skills. I've learned from some best-selling authors, some award-winning authors, and some writing professionals I've never heard of before. Anyone interested in writing Christian Fiction should find a Christian writers' conference near them and take plenty of notes.

Mount Hermon isn't near me, but the effort and cost of getting there is worth it. I'll be re-reading my notes for weeks afterward. I usually hear more instruction than I can digest in one sitting.

I'll meet some people for the first time and get reacquainted with my writer friends. This time, I'm travelling with a friend from home. We can share our plans, talk about the workshops, and encourage each other.

I never know which speaker or even which day will mean the most to me. God always has unexpected treasures in store.

Jesus is my Hero

Can you think of anyone more worthy of being called a hero? I can't either. I think Jesus is the best hero ever, and I'll tell you why.

Jesus left the beauty of Heaven to put on flesh and walk this earth. I see this as a manufacturing plant owner coming to the floor of the facility to walk among the workers and see these products he's ultimately responsible for making. When the owner found out there was a flaw in every product that was made, he climbed into the machinery and fixed it so that the flaws were removed - from every product that was ever made or will ever be made. But he died fixing it.

But he came back to life. And when he did, each of the remade products had the flaw removed, but that left a hole in it. He announced that he could fill the hole for free. All anyone had to do was bring the product back to him, and he would fill the hole, which made it possible for the product work the way it was intended.

Jesus did that for us. He climbed into the machinery of man and did what was necessary for our flaws to be forgiven. Sometimes we don't even notice that the emptiness in the place where our flaws used to be needs to be filled by Our Maker.

Our Hero, Jesus, made it possible for us to be brought back to God.

I love that he meets needs that we don't even know about. He's always looking out for us.

You've Got Mail

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan teamed up to give heart-warming performances in this 1998 romance, “You’ve Got Mail”. This is one of my favorite movies.

When my husband and I watch it together, he’ll comment right at the moment when Joe Fox realizes he’s in love with Kathleen Kelly. “That’s the turning point right there,” he’ll say.

And I love the moment Kathleen recognizes that not only does her enemy have a heart, but he has feelings for her.

I think men and women enjoy great romantic movies because the character never sees that moment coming. It’s fun to see the change of expression on the character’s face. Usually, silence marks the spot.

Every time I watch a romantic comedy or romantic drama, I keep an eye out for dialogue I know that character’s going to regret. They say things to tip us off that something will happen soon to change their current state of mind. There’s a moment of weakness. There’s an inner struggle being played out on the screen. There’s a freefall from the strong defenses that character had built.

I root for the characters. Cheering them on toward their inevitable happy ending. It can’t come soon enough. If the movie is really good, my muscles get tense. To me, this is silly. I know how it ends!

Nevertheless, tense muscles and all, I’ll watch this one again and again.

Speak the Truth in Love

Everybody needs friends. Friends tell you the truth when you need to hear it. They tell you in a nice way, but they tell you.

I have a friend who is too nice to tell me the truth about something I need to hear which might embarrass me, or about an area I need to grow in. She’s the kind of person who thinks, “Who am I to suggest that she change something?”

I have another friend who will tell me the truth all day and all night about my areas that need improvement. I know she loves me because she is direct enough to make sure I get the message and kind enough to make sure I receive it well.

Direct Friend shows her love by suggesting changes before I get embarrassed. Nice Friend will either try to ignore it or share my embarrassment and laugh with me about it until we’re both in tears.

For example, let’s say I don’t know that my skirt has a small, but noticeable rip in it, and I’m about to speak in front of a group.

Nice Friend will probably leave the room to think about what she could do to help me. But she won’t go back in to hear me speak because she’ll crack up at the sight. Of course, not laughing at me, but you know. It’s a funny scene. There I am, giving a serious talk in front of a group, and my rip’s just flapping in the wind. And if one person starts laughing at it, others undoubtedly will too.

On the other hand, Direct Friend will grab me before I’m welcomed onto the stage and pull me into the bathroom to tape the underneath side of my rip. She won’t care if anyone else is in the bathroom watching her lift up my skirt and apply tape. And if she can’t find invisible tape, she’ll use part of a “Hello, I’m…” name tag. She’ll repair the rip and tell me to forget it ever happened. She’ll display the “on with the show” attitude.

Is one a better friend than the other? No. They’re just different. I can’t help but love each of them for their uniqueness.

Thank God for good friends.