Learning To Obey

There are plenty of things I have to do whether I want to or not. Rules I have to follow. Actions I have to take.

But we're all in that same boat. No one gets to do everything they want. Not even children.

I have to train my children to pick up after themselves, serve others, and participate in their own education (do homework). They'd rather just play.

I don't blame them, I'd rather just play too. But I can't. My goal is success and success takes work.

If they don't learn to follow instructions, how will they be able to succeed as adults? They have to learn to obey me now as children so when they get a job, they'll be able to obey the rules and take home a paycheck as their reward.

Today on my Seek God With Me blog, I posted about being determined to obey, especially if you don't want to do what you're asked. There's usually a reward for obedience, even if you don't see it right away.

Colleen Coble's Distant Echoes

You can count on Colleen Coble’s stories to feature an fascinating animal. The animal at the center of Distant Echoes is a Pacific bottle-nosed dolphin named Nani who is being trained by the story’s heroine, Kaia. I’ve always loved dolphins and would really enjoy swimming with them, so I read this book with great interest.

Kaia Oana lives on the island of Kauai and meets Lieutenant Commander Jesse Matthews of the Barking Sands Naval Base while trying to rescue as many people as she can from a tourist boat that was hit by one of the Navy’s missiles.

Since the missile defense system tests had been promising so far, this missile misdirection could be a sabotage. After Jesse orders his men to pull survivors from the wrecked remains of the tourist boat, he watches a young Hawaiian girl, Kaia, holding onto the dorsal fin of a dolphin as she carries a victim in her other arm. She immediately captures his attention because he’d never seen anything like what he’d just witnessed. Jesse pulls Kaia on board his boat with the help of her brother Bane. Even though she's exhausted, she still has enough energy to lean over the edge of Jesse’s boat to reassure her dolphin that she’s okay.

Kaia studies mammal intelligence at Seaworthy Labs and is teaching a dolphin, Nani, to communicate with humans. Jesse hires Kaia and Nani to patrol the coast with a camera strapped to Nani so they have a better chance at catching whoever wants to sabotage the missile tests.

The closer Kaia and Jesse get to finding the one responsible for the tourist deaths, the deeper into trouble they get. They’re worried not only for themselves, but also for Jesse’s young neice.

Kaia’s brothers, Bane and Mano, enjoy minor roles in this story, but get to be the heroes in other books in Coble’s Aloha Reef series.

Colleen Coble has won many awards with Distant Echoes, the first book in the Aloha Reef series: 2006 ACFW Overall Book of the Year, 2006 ACFW Suspense Book of the Year, and the 2006 National Readers’ Choice Award – Inspirational. She won third place in the 2006 Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence for Long Inspirational Mystery/Suspense. And she’s finaled in other contests with this enormously entertaining book.

Alone With God

Today on my Seek God With Me blog, I remind all of us to find a place where we can be alone with God. A place with no distractions will help us focus on what God wants us to think about when we pray.

Check out how a man found a place in his home to develop a good prayer attitude here.

Crimson Eve by Brandilyn Collins

Kanner Lake realtor Carla Radler has a nibble. Possibly a whole bite. She’s positively elated about the chance to sell Edna San’s estate to a tall, dark, and handsome. But Carla keeps her poise in front of this charming man with rich brown eyes. When she learns that this British gentleman with a cocky James Bond attitude will pay cash if he likes the place, she really gets excited. Who wouldn’t?

What Carla soon finds out is that things are not as they seem.

Fast forward to a phone call at Bailey Truitt’s coffee shop, Java Joint. Two of Scenes and Beans blog post authors, Bailey and Carla, discuss Carla’s missed appointment with Wilbur, another Scenes and beans co-author who needs Carla’s help with a blog post. Carla’s in more trouble than Bailey knows. She can’t let Bailey know what’s going on. What if the phone lines are tapped?

Carla’s run for her life takes her into homes, hotels, and cars that conceal her, but only for a while. Her life takes a desperate turn. No one can know where she is. No one. Or he’ll kill them too.

Brandilyn Collins reveals the secrets of Kanner Lake residents one by one in this series. In Crimson Eve, she again mixes real-life with fiction in her references to a real blog called Scenes and Beans, which is based in a fictional coffee shop called Java Joint.

She has woven another well-paced suspense in Kanner Lake, only this time we leave town.

Thanks For The Help

The ladies of my online critique group are busy producing. We're praying for each other. We're sending out pages to be critiqued and sending out finished critiques of everyone else's work.

Some of the ladies have full-time paying jobs. I have a full-time job that pays in affection. And don't worry, I make sure I'm well paid. My kids are sweet enough to give out bonus hugs too.

My husband pays me in an occasional night out or by helping me in the kitchen. He even does some of my chores so I'll have more time to work on my novel.

The critique group has found a few errors and asked important questions and challenged a word or two. But their attention to detail has helped me focus on the words that bring the story to life.

Many busy people are helping me achieve my goals, but my simple thank yous seem too small. So I wanted to take a moment to thank them.

I thank:

God... for calling me to the task of writing, for breathing His life into my story, and for giving me the determination to stay focused until I get published

My husband... for supporting my writing habit and for loving me through it all

My kids... for allowing me some quiet moments by myself and for the extra hugs

DiAnn... for patiently encouraging me two years ago when I met her and for giving me a kick in the right direction lately in her Wordsmith group

Melanie... for hugs, emails , wonderful encouragement, and for coming back to Wordsmith

My family and friends... for not asking every other month if I'm published and for believing that I will be

My critique buddies... for catching problems and for your enthusiasm

Members of ACFW... for answering questions I hadn't asked and for sharing tips for success

I appreciate all the help I've received. Know that I love you all.

Knock. Knock. Who's There?

Everyone knows a Knock Knock joke. Some of them are even funny. My sister's favorite is, "I know a great Knock Knock joke. You start."

The whole point of that style of joke is that you know someone is there. You expect someone to answer the knock.

On my Seek God With Me blog, I take a look at the expectation in Psalm 120.

Consider with me the answer to the following question: Why would anyone pray if they didn't expect God to answer?

Check out the blog post here.

Hearing God and Obeying

Today on my Seek God With Me blog, I take a look at Moses and how he found water flowing from a rock.

Sometimes God gives us success without it being a true success. When Moses disobeyed God, the thirsty people weren't punished for someone else's disobedience. They got their water. But Moses had a privelege taken away.

You can read the story in Numbers chapter 20.

Jesus Is My Hero

Luke 7:44- 48
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

Jesus can be called a hero for a million reasons. Here’s just one: Even though I’m a nobody, Jesus makes me feel special enough for HIM to rescue. He makes me feel like I belong with Him. There is an awesome, peaceful joy that comes with the knowledge that God wants you with Him.

When I see how much Jesus cares about me, I want to shout about it.

“Jesus is my HERO!”

Waking Up With God

Today's post on my Seek God With Me blog is about listening to God.

A friend once told me that she didn't ever hear from God. When I told her how I listened and waited for God to speak, she acted like it hadn't occurred to her to listen.

We pray and ask God to do things for us, but if he should ever say anything to us, it scares us. Are we shocked that God would talk to us?

Maybe he's waiting for us to be quiet and listen.

Check out my suggestion that might help us listen to God in the mornings.

Domino Club Changes

I've enjoyed setting goals for the Domino Club blog. It has opened my heart to the opportunities around me.

But the time has come to narrow my focus, and that means I will stop posting to the Domino Club blog.

I must now clear some space in my schedule so I can accept the challenge to rework my first novel (following suggestions from a thorough critique) - and finish my second novel.

After months of challenging myself and others to be more than we are, the encouragement to set goals continues. I'm leaving the blog where it is to support those who need a place to begin. Feel free to review the posts from time to time.

I've set some serious goals for my novels and they need some attention, so that's where I will be.