Making Things Happen

What do you do when you don’t get what you want? Do you throw a fit, sulk, or pout?

That's what children do. But we know better, right?

When some people discover that all their efforts to get what they want have been ineffective, they pray.

Sometimes we, as adults, try our best to make things happen, and then we get so frustrated that we finally go to God. But He’s been waiting for us to come to Him the whole time because He’s the one who makes things happen.

On my devotional blog, Seek God With Me, I’m taking a look at a woman who prayed for the ability to bear children. Join me.

Relationships Are Funner With God

My kids enjoy seeing my brother’s kids every year. They used to be a lot closer in size than they are now, but they still party like there’s no tomorrow when they see each other. Their love for each other makes even the adults smile.

I get to see my brother and sister fairly often. We love to make each other laugh. I like to listen to them sing. (They’re really quite musical.)

We try to keep our relationships filled with God’s love so there isn’t any room for an argument big enough to separate us. If anything does get in the way, we all know that God is able to do a relationship renovation. If anyone can help, God can.

Join me for more thoughts on relationships at Seek God With Me.

On A Killer's Trail by Susan Page Davis

Kate Richards, new on the job at the biggest newspaper in Maine, wants to be one of the best reporters in the country, but that would take time.

Portland police captain Connor Larson and his wife Adrienne welcome Kate into their home for a few reasons, one being the fact that Kate and Adrienne are sisters.

Police detective Neil Alexander used to date Kate, but he’d ruined any chances he might have had with her because of his lifestyle back then. However, he’s changed. He has become a Christian and is determined to act like it.

While Connor and Neil struggle with a case that seems to have no end, the clues aren’t leading them to a perpetrator they can arrest. Instead, they get more deeply entangled in questions.

Author Susan Page Davis is from Maine. She’s familiar with the icy streets and freezing rain. She knows about many of the book’s details first-hand. I think that’s why she kept my attention through the story. Since I'm from Texas, the details she provided helped me see the story better.

Davis has more books coming out. Her next Love Inspired Suspense release will be Hearts in the Crosshairs (October 2009). For more on this terrific author, check out her web site.

Kings Row, 1942

Starring Robert Cummings as Parris Mitchell, Ronald Reagan as Drake McHugh, and Ann Sheridan as Randy Monaghan, Kings Row was nominated for three Oscars: Best Cinematography of a Black and White film, Best Director, and Best Picture.

Drake and Parris grow up in a small town with the intention of staying best friends for life. The trust and innocence of childhood shields them from the darkness lurking in their own hometown.

Having aspirations to become a doctor, Parris is grateful for the opportunity to study under the father of his girlfriend Cassie. He wonders about Cassie’s secretive family, but can’t get too nosy or he’ll risk losing his teacher.

Turn of the century medicine draws Parris to study in Vienna. But back home, Drake has plans to become a businessman in the field of real estate as soon as his inheritance is paid. His plans are hindered by two men attacking from different areas of his life. Parris worries about his friend and hurries home from Vienna. He hopes he can use his new medical skills to help him.

This film shows the two young boys growing into men and the changes that take place as their naiveté and big plans are destroyed. Questions pile on top of each other as the story unfolds. And like every good story, the answers stay hidden until the end.

I enjoyed the happy-go-lucky Drake with his confident, boyish tongue clicks. Parris was the picture of manners and compassion. Ann Sheridan and Ronald Reagan are the stars of this film. Both produce stunning performances.

Twenty-three years later, Ronald Reagan used one of the lines from this film as the title of his 1965 autobiography, Where’s the Rest of Me?

God Heals Parents

When you hear someone announcing their pregnancy, do you rejoice with them or grind your teeth?

I’ve known women who have had a difficult time becoming a mother. Pregnancy doesn’t come easy to some couples. I don’t know why. I don’t know how they feel when they hear a birth announcement just after they find out that their latest attempt at starting their family has failed.

God has a plan.

I don’t know what God knows, so I have to trust him. I have to abandon my way of working things out and find out how to implement God’s ways.

Join me at Seek God With Me for more discussion about children.

Pride N Joy

The 1992 All-America Rose Selections winner Pride N Joy is a miniature rose whose orange petals are enhanced by yellow on the reverse side. It has also been described as a salmon rose. This rose was hybridized by William Warriner and introduced by Jackson & Perkins in 1992.

I really don’t know much about this rose. I picked it because of its name. Since I'm focusing on children this month, I wanted to find a rose that reminded me of the kids.

A mini rose is the perfect plant to use as a gift, especially one whose name is an expression mothers use to describe their children.

Surrender Bay by Denise Hunter

While reading Surrender Bay: A Nantucket Love Story, I was swept away by the power of persevering, unconditional love. This allegory, slathered with emotion and conflict, transformed a normal love story into an incessant tugging at the reader’s heart.

Samantha and Landon, best friends since childhood, have some things to talk about. However, Sam won’t talk. Her battered heart hasn’t healed, but has been guarded, stashed away to protect what was left of it.

At several points in the story, I got the idea that Landon’s love was Christ-like. This is a trait I’d like to see more of in novels and in real-life relationships.

Of all the heroic qualities I could list for Landon, I’ll stick to just three. He’s caring, patient, and driven. These three stand out because I saw Sam’s need for persevering love, and these three qualities ganged up on her and made an impact. His unquenchable love for her took over when human reasoning fell flat.

Are You A Novelist?

Are you a novelist? Then you’ll be interested in attending the American Christian Fiction Writers conference.

I’ve been to a few of them, and they’re awesome. I won’t be there this year because I’m a mom, and I have responsibilities around home this year. When I’ve been able to get away and get involved in the conference, I’ve learned a lot. However, this year because of my beloved children, I’ll need to purchase the recordings– I love that I can do that!

The ACFW conference is in Denver next week, September 17 – 20, 2009.

This year’s keynote speaker is Debbie Macomber. Maybe you’ve read her novels, maybe you knit, but with more than 100 million copies of her books in print worldwide, you will learn something about her success story by attending the ACFW conference.

If you’re a first-timer, you’ll want to attend the first-time attendees orientation on Thursday afternoon.

Whether you need to attend the Foundational Basics workshop by Jim and Tracie Peterson or the University of Fiction “5 Hour Degree” workshop by Allen Arnold and Karen Ball, you can find a class for any skill level. There are classes that teach on characterization, point of view, plotting, and dialogue. You can even take classes related to the business side of publishing.

You’ll enjoy listening to novelists, agents, and editors in the workshops they will teach. Plus, you'll get to speak to these awesome publishing professionals at lunch and dinner.

In addition, there are late night chats with editors from a variety of publishing houses on Thursday night. The agents take their turn on Friday night.

If you can get away to Denver next week, do it. Your fiction will thank you.

Blessing Your Kids

When people talk about the economy these days, they have tension in their eyebrows. Personally, I don’t care what the economy does because God is my provider in any economy. When business is booming, God provides for me. When the nation mourns a bad economy, God provides for me. God’s power is not affected by our economy.

However, our obedience affects God’s power in our lives. He tells us to do something so he can reward us. If we refuse to obey because we live in fear and because we don’t trust God, we end up tying his hands. He’d love to bless us, but he won’t bless us for our disobedience.

As a parent, I understand this.

I feed and clothe my kids no matter how they behave, but I can’t take them to a special evening out when they’ve been rebellious all day.

I love to do special things with my kids just like God loves to bless me with special moments. When I trust God and obey him, I build up an inheritance that I can share with my kids and grandkids. Just like my grandparents handed down a reverence for God, I can keep the flow of God’s blessing open toward my descendants.

Read more about choosing an inheritance for your children at my devotional blog Seek God With Me.

Child's Play Mini Rose

Child’s Play, hybridized by Saville and introduced in 1991, was a 1993 AARS winner. It’s one of the very few miniature roses who have won that award.

It can easily rise from the ground to be two feet in height. It’s also a little more winter hardy than your average hybrid tea. With its light, fruity fragrance and its disease resistance, Child’s Play makes a wonderful patio plant.

This easy to grow rose produces wonderful color in a small space. The white flowers trimmed with pink edges could be perfect for your window box.

The King and I, 1956

Yul Brynner stars as King Mongkut of Siam. With his exotic good looks and confidence, he’s the picture of masculinity. He made having a bald head handsome before Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise. Yul Brynner’s chest showed in costumes for two of his 1956 films The King and I and The Ten Commandments.

Deborah Kerr stars as Anna, the teacher who was hired to teach English to the king’s children. She struggles with learning Siamese culture, but falls in love with the children.

Marni Nixon sang Deborah Kerr’s songs in this film. Nixon is famous for dubbing songs in The King and I, An Affair to Remember, West Side Story, and My Fair Lady.

Kerr was introduced to the American public with her starring role in the 1947 film The Hucksters. One of the taglines for that film was “Gable’s New Star is Deborah Kerr (rhymes with star).” She was nominated for six Best Actress Oscars from 1949 to 1960, but never won.

The King and I won five Academy Awards: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Art Direction-Set Direction/Color, Best Costume Design/Color, Best Music – Scoring of a Musical Picture, and Best Sound-Recording. It was nominated for Best Picture, but that was the year Around the World in Eighty Days beat out The King and I, Giant, The Ten Commandments, and a William Wyler film I’ve yet to see called Friendly Persuasion.

Shout Out to God

Planning a party for Labor Day?

Many will gather their BBQ tools and get the charcoal ready for the annual holiday coming up next Monday. We love to relax and eat until someone has to get a crowbar to get us out of our chairs.

But do we really rejoice?

Sure, we go to football games and scream for our team. But have we rejoiced over meaningful and eternal things until we’re hoarse?

Today’s devotional blog post gives an example of how men, women, and children rejoiced because of what God had done for them. They rejoiced so loud, they could be heard probably in the next county.

Join me at Seek God With Me.