The Secret Things of God

Have you ever done something no one else has done? Have you been told something no one else has been told? It makes you feel unique and special, doesn’t it?

I have a relationship with God that has grown a lot from when I first met Him. I think any successful relationship is marked with growth. The relationship either grows or gets stagnant.

This relationship gives me opportunities to hear things from God that no one else hears. My relationship with Him makes me feel special and unique. Anyone can have that kind of relationship with God.

Join me at Seek God With Me where I’m taking a look at those entrusted with the secret things of God.

The Secret Ego Issue in Publishing

I was reading Chip MacGregor’s blog to catch up on news in the publishing industry and to grin at the man’s sense of humor when I came across the blog post about ego issues in the publishing world. What? Authors with a pride problem? No way!

So after finishing the article and my chuckling, I tried to think this through on a bigger scale. My conclusion? I think some people get noticed for having ego issues when they get caught wanting things to be done their way. In reality, we all want things done our way.

From loading the dishwasher to deciding which plants should be in certain places in the yard, we all think we know best. After my son cleans his room, I tell him he didn’t do it the “right” way. He responds that he did it his own way (which is obviously better - in his opinion). I think we deal with this in its various versions in all walks of life.

Many authors aren’t chasing celebrity, but trying to squeeze money out of their typing. But just because they don’t see themselves as jumping onto a stage screaming HEY LOOK AT ME (as Chip puts it), it doesn’t mean they don’t have ego issues.

Those who love college professors and [supremely wonderful] editors in publishing houses for their helpful instruction secretly still want to ignore the advice and do things their own way. So since we’re all capable of letting our pride get in the way, when do we need to do our own ego check?

The one who refuses to back down is the ego-maniacal jerk, and the one who submits or negotiates will learn, grow, and succeed.

Am I right?

Secrets Revealed: 3 Things to Avoid on a Date

Every date has great potential for success as long as you know what to avoid. I’ve narrowed down the list to three things everyone can unpack and leave behind when on a date.

1. Nervousness

There’s no reason to be nervous even when you think there’s not enough in common between you. Opposites sometimes really attract each other. Allowing nervousness to creep in on a date can lead to clumsiness: drink-spilling, tripping, or even calling your date the wrong name. It may help to remember the Bible story of Jonah and the whale. In Jonah 1:15 we find the reminder, “Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.” Figure out if you’re supposed to be on that date. If you are, then the nervousness is the Jonah that should be thrown out so the rest of the date can be salvaged. It’s better to throw out the nervousness than to allow yourself to talk too much on a date, because that can lead to the next thing to avoid.

2. Revealing all of your faults

Nobody’s perfect. We all know this, so there’s no need to bring it up. A date is not the place for a lengthy disclaimer listing all the reasons the date should be unsuccessful. If you trip or spill a glass of water, it can easily be overlooked. Don’t dwell on it. The Bible gives great advice in Philippians 4:8. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

3. Bragging

The third thing to avoid on a date is going overboard in the other direction. If you start out nervous, make a mistake, and warn your date about the coming deluge of mistakes you think you might be making in the near future, you’ve got to stop yourself. Make sure you don’t overcompensate by telling your date about every award you’ve ever won and all the favorable comments you’ve heard others make about you. The Bible has a word about this too. From Proverbs 27:2, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.”

Moon Over Miami, 1941

Don Ameche is Phil McNeil, a man whose family owns a well-known company. He lives bored and depressed in a Miami resort. Robert Cummings is Jeff Bolton, a millionaire who can’t figure out which girl he loves.

Kay Latimer, her sister Barbara (Carole Landis), and Aunt Susan are tired of being poor employees at a burger joint in Texas. They hatch a plan to move to Miami where the millionaires live so Kay can get a rich husband and support the other two. Betty Grable, as Kay, spends the last of her money renting a place where she can rub elbows with bored rich men. With new clothes and assistance from her sister and aunt, she pulls the wool over everyone’s eyes.

I loved the scenes with Betty Grable and Don Ameche. Kay is just as much of a liar as McNeil, but he’s better at hiding it. And more charming too. There is much singing and dancing. If that annoys you, just fast forward to the end of the song. This film is hard not to like. And I love Don Ameche in this movie.

Jack Haley is fun to watch as Jack the waiter. He had just done The Wizard of Oz in 1939. I kept waiting for him to whisper, “Oil Can!”

Hide And Go Seek

When you see kids playing Hide And Go Seek, they don’t want you to give away their hiding place. As parents, we enjoy seeing our kids play. But what if one of them has a hiding place that no one can find?

That never happens to God.

Join me at Seek God With Me where we look at secret places.

Secrets Revealed: 3 Myths of Romance

If I were to divulge secrets to dating success, I would identify common errors to help young couples have a greater chance of letting true romance develop. So that your romantic moments can bloom unhindered, here are those ugly myths that sometimes get in the way.

1. It should be just like in the movies

It’s never just like in the movies. A lot of times, it’s better in real life. You’ve heard that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. There are plenty of real life romances that weren’t planned out properly nor were they well-financed, but they lasted a long time and had plenty of quality moments. It’s not about the ambiance. Romance happens wherever two people let the moment develop. Be original.

2. You’ll know right away if you’re right for each other

Whether you took it in high school or not, chemistry is important. If a man and woman are right for each other, they are aware of each other whether they show it or not. However, some girls get the "tummy butterflies" when a celebrity is near. Having butterflies doesn’t mean you’re meant for each other. It took my husband a long time to realize we were right for each other. I didn’t plan on dating him either when we first met, but then again we met in junior high. We spent several years developing a great friendship. By the time we started dating, we both knew it would last.

3. Wining and dining is always best

Find some way to make the first date memorable. Do or say something unique to kill the temptation to be lazy. Don’t be boring. Picnics can either be cliché if you don’t add your own personality and talents in the preparation, or they can be a genius idea for a date. There are thousands of brilliant date ideas that don’t even involve food. Romantic moments are only successful when you put your heart into it.

Without Reservations, 1946

Claudette Colbert is Christopher “Kit” Madden, a novelist traveling to Hollywood to help get her story made into a movie. First she has to help get the male lead cast. She has ideas about who the hero should be, but getting the guy to Hollywood may take some unusual effort.

On the train ride home, two soldiers, Rusty (John Wayne) and Dink (Don DeFore), sit with Kit. She puts her book away and distances herself from the fame that follows her. Since Rusty thinks the author of the book is a male, he feels free in giving his opinion of the very popular book. He basically tells her he doesn’t like the book, isn’t interested in the character she wrote, and has a certain dislike for the author, without realizing she is the author.

On the train, they a meet Connie Callaghan, played by Anne Triola. She created a lively mood whenever she was onscreen. Kit and Connie meet up a few times during the movie.

Rusty, Dink, and Kit find conflict all the way home and after they get to California. I loved the Cary Grant cameo. This is probably the only time John Wayne and Cary Grant did a movie together.

Don DeFore (Dink) played George Baxter from the 1960s TV show “Hazel”. I won’t tell whether I remember lying on the rug in front of our TV watching this show because that might give away my age.

Lonestar Sanctuary by Colleen Coble

Allie Siders, mom of five-year-old Betsy, needs to get away from everyone she loves before more people are killed. Whoever is after her is killing those she loves.

With a killer on the loose and Betsy’s grandparents thinking they can take her away from Allie, the Bluebird Ranch is the only place to hide. She can’t let anything happen to Betsy. Elijah, the owner, may be able to help.

Tall, broad-shouldered Rick Bailey is foreman at Bluebird Ranch. Elijah hired him after he helped Rick deal with some difficult issues just like he helped many of the troubled kids who were brought to the ranch. Now Rick works with troubled kids who’ve had to deal with the kind of abuse Rick dealt with growing up.

When Rick and Allie meet, it is definitely not love at first sight. How will they catch the murderer when neither trusts the other and both are keeping secrets?

One of the questions in the Reading Group Guide in the back of the book was, “Can secrets ever be good?” Hmm. Something to think about. Thanks, Colleen.

I’ve enjoyed her Aloha Reef Series and Midnight Sea. The Texas setting in this book was irresistible to me.

Visit for more info on this talented author.

The Secret to Enjoying Romance More - For Girls

The secret to really enjoying romance is… knowing Man Language.

When you want to enjoy some romance with your man, you have to realize it doesn’t come as easy for him as it does for you. Not every man will engage in lengthy conversation to find out what your idea of the perfect romantic evening is. If you want a little romance in your life, you’ll have to translate the man’s actions and dialogue into words you understand.

For instance, if a man tells you, “Wow! Love your hair today.” This doesn’t mean that he didn’t love it before today. A lot of women get defensive with their husbands when he gives a compliment because she’s not used to getting one. We need to relax and receive the compliment. It’s not just about the hair. He is putting forth effort to say something nice in order to engage you in conversation because he likes being with you.

Once you understand how to listen to Man Language, you’ll be able to share those deeply moving moments of romance that get overlooked by women who only see the surface of what the man’s saying.

Women who don’t want to learn Man Language will miss out on three very important facts:

1. While it’s true that men don’t really want romance, they will put off their true desire temporarily if it means they’ll build up to a long-term relationship with a beautiful and playful friend. Men want to find someone who brings a spark to their lives, and they want to keep that spark when they find it. Without a doubt, they want eye candy. For attraction purposes, men will suck in their bellies to impress women as long as it’s short term. They don’t want to do that all night on a date. They want someone who will be their friend for many years, who accepts them and their waistline, and who is playful and can be a sparring partner.

2. While it’s true that they won’t show it very often, men sometimes enjoy a positive emotional experience. This isn’t Star Trek, and men are not Vulcans. They have feelings. If they’re not getting the romance down, but they’re trying, we need to praise them for what they did right. Much later, after we’ve enjoyed the moment, we can give tips on how to improve upon what they tried before. No man wants to hear the nagging or complaining if he didn’t measure up, so remember to make your comments encouraging.

3. While it’s true that a physical relationship seems to be top priority, some men like to have meaty discussions too. A woman who listens to the man figure out the world’s problems and adds her opinion will find that he likes being challenged by a thinking woman. A man wants to be around a woman who’ll discuss his favorite sport or game with him. He doesn’t need a competitor, just someone who can prove that she’s interested in him. You’ll enjoy romance more if you realize he’s complimenting you by having an intellectual experience with you. He’s saying that while he loves being with you because you’re a beautiful woman, he likes the whole package.

Yes, we want the candlelit room filled with flowers and soft music or the walk on the beach, and the man always wants more than that. How are both men and women going to get what they want when they want different things? We have to improve our communication, and we have to notice that the other person is trying to be selfless and generous.

Remember that men have to put out a lot of effort when it comes to romance. So don’t take it for granted when it happens. And ladies, be yourself and have fun.

Because in Man Language, that’s what the guys want us to do.

The Third Man, 1949

This lovely film noir is set in post-war Vienna when it was separated into four zones: British, US, German, French. Each country has their zone, but the center of the city is International, where all four nations are represented.

Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) is a novelist who comes from America and arrives to stay in Vienna with his friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles) who had offered him a job. He gets to Lime’s place only to find that Lime was killed in an auto-pedestrian accident in front of the building. He goes immediately to the cemetery in time for the funeral.

He meets Major Calloway (Trevor Howard) who suggests Martins should get on the first plane out of town which would be the next day. He also meets a fan, Sergeant Paine (played by Bernard Lee who became famous for his role as M in the James Bond films), who has read several of Martins’ novels. Martins gets crabby with Major Calloway partly because of his drunken state and partly because there isn’t anyone to blame for his friend’s death. Martins decides to find out more information on his own. The Major wonders aloud if he’s taking on this task because he’s a writer.

The British Sergeant introduces Martins to a British man named Crabbin played by Wilfrid Hyde-White (who also played Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady). Crabbin wants Martins to speak to a local group later in the week about his being an author, but Martins can’t because he’s supposed to leave town. Martins told him he was planning to stay at Lime’s place, but Lime died. Crabbin said, “Goodness, that’s awkward.” Great line.

Everyone except Crabbin thinks he should go home. However, Martins gets deeply involved in a dangerous mess. Just like his Western novels, the mystery has clues, and Martins wants to follow them to find out what really happened to his friend Harry.

This film won Robert Krasker an Oscar for Best Cinematography, Black and White. It was also nominated for Best Director (Carol Reed) and Best Film Editing.

Zither music added to the ambiance of the movie, making the mystery that much more enjoyable. The key to the movie’s success wasn’t the music or Orson Welles’ acting (he was only onscreen a short time). It was the writing. The screenplay by Graham Greene was very well done.

Do You Have A Secret?

Have you ever planned a surprise birthday party?

I have. It was so hard to keep my joy hidden.

Keeping a secret is often seen as something a person would do if they’re up to no good, but I’ve found that there are secrets worth keeping. Usually the good secrets are linked to celebrations like surprise birthday parties or Christmas gift-giving. A young man planning a marriage proposal often keeps quiet about it until his secret is revealed at the right moment.

There is another reason to keep a secret. I reveal that information on my devotional blog Seek God With Me.

Join me there for a look at a woman who could keep an important secret for more than a year.

The Secret to Enjoying Romance More - For Guys

Romance is a word that scares men. They know women expect it, but they usually don’t feel like an expert. It makes them a bit nervous. They know what they want the result to be, but they don’t know what to do to get there.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “I don’t need this. I’m great at romance!” You’re not a man. You’re a superhero. Other men want to be you. Congratulations.

To the other 99% of the male population, let me say that I can help you learn to enjoy romance more.

The secret to really enjoying romance is… planning. A good plan will set the groundwork for success.

Some of you are hunters. You hunt for information about the woman by asking her friends or engaging in conversations with the woman about a fake friend of yours who needs advice. Don’t get crazy. Don’t let her think you’re interested in her friends, and don’t let her get interested in your fake friend.

The purpose of being romantic is to express yourself in a way that a woman will understand that you want a love relationship. If you let her know you want to move into a deeper, more intimate friendship, she will respond. Hopefully, you’ve been around her enough to know what her answer will be. This is part of the planning process.

With romance, planning really means communication.

The goal is to get to know the woman better. Finding out what makes her laugh is good, but staying in communication with her is best. Give her enough conversation to pique her interest, but keeping conversations with her simple and brief over a period of time helps her to get used to the idea of romance with you without any pressure. And that’s what you guys want. Right? No pressure?

After you get her interested in you, you must figure out what the woman wants out of romance. Too many times you men are unhappy with romance because you don’t have a clue about what the woman wants. I realize that men rarely figure this out, so I will divulge the secret. In basic terms, a woman wants three things.
1. A woman wants to feel like she’s with the best guy around, and he cares about her. The good news is that you don’t have to look like a male model for her to think you’re handsome. Women tend to overlook other physical features on guys whose warm smile sends them to cloud nine. Crazy, I know. It’s more important for us to be with someone we can have fun with. We are easily attracted to a confident, clever, and caring man. Although it would be nice, men don’t have to go shopping with us. You should find something we both like to do. The effort it takes to find something in common is worth it.

2. A woman wants to feel loved. We love an emotional experience. If you can’t hug a woman gently or slow dance with her in the moonlight, then find some other way to let her know (in your own words) that she stirs your emotions. Let her know how you feel.

3. A woman wants to feel safe in a romantic situation. Watch us because we show our thoughts, attitudes, and values with our mannerisms and body language. Let us know you care enough to know when to back off. We’d much rather think of you as a protector than a predator.

When you find out what a woman wants, you can create a balance between what she’s willing to accept and what you’re willing to do that makes both of you happy. You don’t have to be an expert on romance to win a woman’s heart. You don’t have to recite memorized sonnets and kiss her hand. That may come off a bit insincere. Guys really can have fun with romance. Be yourself and employ simple methods like: a lot more communication, more eye-contact, and possibly hand-holding or simply touching her arm.

Making a plan for romance that involves both verbal and non-verbal communication and small demonstrations of affection will keep a woman interested in you. Rather than focusing on a big, showy event, be consistent with little romantic touches over a long period of time. You’ll see that women appreciate the effort.

Notorious, 1946

How far will he let her go to find out what the bad guys are up to? What will it take to get enough evidence to put the villains away for good? Will she be able to get out of it alive?

Ingrid Bergman plays Alicia Huberman, the beautiful daughter of a German spy who committed suicide in prison. Cary Grant is Devlin, a government agent sent to recruit her to become an undercover agent. He does everything he can to get her to spy on her father’s Nazi friends in Rio de Janeiro.

Devlin must get her involved and keep her safe. Hard to do since they don’t really know what the bad guys are doing. She has to give the inside info as often as she can get it. Trouble gets boiling hot when one of the Germans she’s spying on finds her with Devlin.

Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman show off in a very long kissing scene which was technically difficult to shoot. It’s one of the most talked-about scenes in the film.

Claude Rains was fabulous as bad guy Alexander Sebastian. He began his successful film career in 1933 as the star of The Invisible Man. Before his Hollywood years, Rains was a sought-after acting teacher. Two of his students were Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud. Cary Grant and Claude Rains first acted together in The Last Outpost in 1935. Rains and Bergman first acted together in Casablanca in 1942.


In the Bible, we find all kinds of secrets and people who can be trusted to keep them. Rahab is a woman who found two spies she could trust. You can read about her in the book of Joshua. The spies trusted Rahab not to give their secret away, and she trusted them to keep her and those with her safe from harm.

Join me at Seek God With Me for more about Rahab.

Can God trust you enough to tell you a secret? Find out. Seek Him today.

Romantic Roses: Deep Secret

Deep Secret, a dark red hybrid tea rose with glossy dark green leaves, is also known as the Mildred Scheel rose. It was bred by Tantau in Germany, but introduced in the United Kingdom in 1977.

Buds form in a crimson so deep they’re almost black. When it unfolds, the beautiful upright bloom has a strong fragrance. In zones 5-10, some rose growers see a continuous bloom, and some see a Spring or Summer flush with scattered blooming later.

Deep Secret makes a good cut flower. However, it can be an outstanding tree rose too. There are those who love to create a nice potted tree rose from different varieties. Tree roses can be a fun project when the rose grower attaches three buds of a rose cultivar to a long straight stem of another rose. Rugosa roses have been successful stem stock for tree roses because they are strong and survive well.