Prepare for Love

Today at Seek God With Me, I’m answering the question, “What does it mean to prepare a place for God in your heart?”

If God wants to spend time with you while you’re on vacation, welcome Him and do not hide in valleys and behind mountains. If you’re at home, inviting the greatness of God into your living room will make God feel welcomed. When God comes in where He is welcomed, He will reveal something of Himself to you and you won’t be the only one who sees what God reveals.

There is more at Seek God With Me. Join me.

The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter

Excitement whirling from a flurry of wedding details came to an abrupt stop in the face of a major disaster. The groom made a very poorly timed phone call – and announced his refusal to participate.

After that devastating call that stopped the wedding that she’d planned for months and which would coincide with the release of her self-help book Finding Mr. Right-for-You, she listened to the only option that didn’t result in the demise of her career. Just because her marriage was ruined, there wasn’t any point in ruining her career too.

She heard the offer to substitute one groom for another and let the man take his place at the altar. If no one confessed that the groom wasn’t the originally planned man, this whole thing might work. But if anyone leaked the untimely details…

Lucas Wright became Kate Lawrence’s Mr. Right. As long as they kept up the pretense in public, everyone would be happy. Except her of course. And him. But she didn’t know why he did it. He said he wanted her to help his parents’ marriage since she was so good at counseling people in troubled relationships, but that would take time.

And for her, time moved slowly. Getting adjusted to living with a male roommate and his large, shaggy dog was slow-going. But they made it a believable relationship to anyone who saw them together.

Lucas annoyed her at first, but over time she saw his gentle manner and the care in his eyes. He kissed her when no one was around to watch. His family even crept into her heart. She hadn’t counted on any of that.

The one man she’d counted on had failed her at a very inconvenient time. She felt forced into a very risky marriage. But Kate found out that in order to find true love, sometimes you have to take a risk. Love makes it worth it.

I love Denise Hunter books. The shaggy, slobbering sheepdog in this book nudged his way into my heart as I read. I’m familiar with goofy, lumbering dogs. This one wasn’t a major player in the book, but it made the characters loveable and warm.

The Magnificent Seven, 1960

I don’t watch very many Westerns, but I must say I liked The Magnificent Seven. Starring Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, and Charles Bronson, this movie is about men doing good works in a Western Movie kind of way.

In stark contrast to much of what we see on TV and in movies today, there wasn’t any cussing in the story. At least I didn’t remember hearing any. What a refreshing way to show tough guys. And they were certainly tough. But the subtle movements and expressions showed their hearts beneath the tough guy exterior. They had to have hearts or the movie wouldn’t be believable.

Seven bad guys decided they could work together to save a town. Even though they were used to being feared by the good people of the towns they visited, they eventually felt welcomed by the people whom they planned to help.

Eli Wallach was superb as usual. I always loved him in whatever role he played. This is a man whose career spanned 59 years as of September 2010 when he was in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Aside from Calvera in The Magnificent Seven, another memorable role he played was Tuco in The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. Wallach has won a Tony Award, an Emmy, and an Honorary Academy Award.

Good Works

Before I said goodbye to my daughter this morning when she left for camp, she promised to be supportive as her small group of friends tried to quench the teen “attitude” . They’re good girls, and I don’t think they’ll have attitude problems. I think they’ll be involved in serving others.

The girls know they were created to do good works, but they have a variety of gifts. It’s fun to see the threesome accomplishing things together that none of them could accomplish alone.

At Seek God With Me, I’m telling a little more about that story. Some of you will recognize the Bible verse from the book of Ephesians which goes along with it.

Everyone has gifts. Using those gifts to benefit others is a way of performing good works. But with so many options in front of us, how do we know what to do?

Seek God With Me and find out for yourself.

Camelot, 1967

Not long after Arthur and Guinevere meet in a romantic forest in Camelot and are married, the knights from all around find out about an unusual plan of King Arthur’s and come join him at the round table. Lancelot Du Lac comes from France to be one of King Arthur’s knights. He’s the very best at everything – and he knows it. Guinevere falls breathlessly in love with Lancelot after she fails at trying to prove he’s not all he claims to be. King Arthur figures out their affair, but chooses to show mercy. He presses on to build a court system instead of letting bloodshed rule the land. When Guinevere lands in his court, Arthur must make a decision. Should he protect his queen and destroy the court he worked so hard to create or keep the court going and risk her life?

Richard Harris is King Arthur. He may be mostly known these days for his role as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films. Franco Nero played Lancelot and is married to Vanessa Redgrave who played Guinevere. A year before Camelot, Richard Harris and Franco Nero both worked in The Bible: In the Beginning… Richard Harris was Cain and Franco Nero was Abel. They act like brothers in Camelot as well.

Camelot was filmed in both California and Spain. The Alcazar de Segovia and the Coca Castle in Segovia, Spain are now popular tourist attractions.

Shine Your Light

This week, I’m sharing with you the idea that you have greatness in you for the purpose of sharing with others. Maybe it’s hard for you to believe, but God can give you ideas that can be like a light to someone else’s darkness.

Do you have a talent you could use to help others? Join me at Seek God With Me and let your heart listen for new ways to use your God-given gifts.

Born Yesterday, 1950

Judy Holliday plays Billie Dawn, a dumb blonde who isn’t dumb at all. Her millionaire boyfriend Harry treats her like dirt and even slaps her, but in his quest to surround himself with the best, he makes one mistake. He hires Paul (William Holden) to educate his girlfriend Billie so she won’t sound so dumb when he introduces her to people.

Paul and Billie take this education opportunity seriously and in their time together, they fall in love. Paul educates Billie well enough that she’s able to see what’s going on behind the scenes with Harry and his lawyer. And she’s smart enough to do something about it.

Judy Holliday’s performance gives hope to people who want to have an impact on their surroundings. Billie shows that the opinions of others don’t matter if you are determined to rise above them. Believe those who believe in you.

Need a Revelation?

Join me this weekend for my review of a movie about a woman who gets a revelation. In the movie she doesn’t recognize that God is with her to get her out of the trouble she’s in. However if you see yourself in the same kind of predicament she was in, you should know that God knows how to give you new ideas to help you climb out of your hole. God can reveal things to you about yourself and your situation. He can change your life.

In the movie, the woman receives motivation to learn new things. If you’ve been told you can’t do anything right, listen for God to whisper into your heart His words of love, “You have gifts. You can learn new things. You can achieve success.”

Today on Seek God With Me, I’m enjoying the fact that God loves to reveal himself to those who are interested in getting to know him better. Open the eyes of your heart and seek God with me.

All Through the Night by Davis Bunn

Wayne’s past in Afghanistan only partly prepared him for his second chance at life, the fight he never expected to be confronted with. Analytical skills and muscles weren’t all he’d need for the work he faced. He’d need prayer too.

After a group of retired people get scammed out of all of their money, they need a hero. Wayne takes on the job of returning what they lost. But he finds that to be only the beginning of an enormous maze of questions all tied to CEO Easton Grey.

Tatyana and her red Ferrari capture Wayne’s attention easily. She works closely with Mr. Grey and needs Wayne’s help in shutting down the mysterious darkness threatening them all.

Wayne’s group of friends grows to include a wide variety of ages and backgrounds. They all believe Wayne can right the wrongs, but can he actually fix the problem? Not without a lot of help.

God is a big part of Davis Bunn’s story of righteousness triumphing over swindlers. The suspense kept me interested, but the characters kept me connected. This book showed that you can be more than who you were.

Summertime for Writers

Summer is finally here! Hooray! Now I can relax.

No, actually, I can't relax just yet. I have blog posts to write.

I took some time off from the world of blog posts so I could spend a little more time in the world of parenting. It's important for parents to live in the moment while their kids are still young. In a few short years from now, my kids will be on their own. If I miss this time with them, I'll regret it.

Next week, I'm starting up my reviews and devotions again. Some months will be jam-packed with blog posts, and others will be sparsely populated with posts.

The important thing is ...I'm still writing.

God gave me the desire to write. It's a gift. He expects me to develop my gifts and allow them time to mature into something beautiful. My mom is a piano teacher who insists that her students practice between lessons. As a writer, I continue practicing my craft, hoping that when my time comes to publish a novel, my gifts will be ready. Practice makes publishable.

Yes, my kids will always come before writing. But now that they're on less of a schedule, I have a little more time for me.

Yay! Summer!