Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Heroes for Today’s World

My life has a superb cast, but I can’t figure out the plot. ~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Have you ever considered the cast of characters in your life? I’m delighted to possess relationships and friendships that enrich my life. In a world where there are few cultural heroes, most the people in my life could easily sport a hero’s cape. That’s a good thing because if someone were to ask me to list my heroes from today’s culture, I’d be hard pressed to come up with a decent list.

The other day I considered the people I journey through life with, and I found myself counting my blessings.

The people who are a part of my life, for the most part, are those with admirable qualities. I admire the way they live their lives when difficult challenges spring up like redwood forests before them. I admire the way they overcome disappointment, the way they plod through circumstances that no one wants to deal with.

Just as inspiring are the ways they reach out to others and show their love and concern. I have friends and family with a playful sense of humor, a devoted sense of duty, and a capacity to see the best in a situation. They are generous with themselves in sweet and surprising ways.

To be honest, I’ve found that if an acquaintance does not live up to my standard of being someone to admire, I tend to drift away, and the friendship doesn’t grow. Sorry if that sounds shallow, but it's honest.

What about you? Who are your heroes?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

When left unattended . . .

Do you remember when you were little and you’d walk, holding hands, with your mom? Do you recall clutching that warm, secure hand and looking around at the world? Perhaps looking up at the clouds or buildings or trees and flowers and walking and walking without being mindful of where you placed your feet or where you were headed—just trusting that as long as you held her hand you were safe and headed in the right direction?

I remember those experiences. I remember the sense of safety and the calm assurance that I didn’t need to really pay attention to where I was going. As long as I clutched her hand I could swivel my head in any direction and let anything in the world catch my attention.

I feel the same way when strolling with my husband: I know without a doubt that I’m safe and guided.

Well, most of the time. Last weekend we were walking through a parking lot together. He raised the key fob and unlocked the car doors. He walked to the left of the car toward the driver’s seat, and I approached the car on the right, opened the door and sat.

But he didn’t get in the car. And then the console looked a bit odd. And then I looked out the window and saw my husband sitting in the car off to the left.

Yeah, I got into a stranger’s car at Walmart.

My family got a good laugh out of it. Of course I blamed my husband. After all, I trusted him to navigate me to the correct vehicle.

Have you ever been left unattended and got yourself into a pickle?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Read this! -- Yahshua's Bridge

I really enjoyed reading Sandi Rog's debut novel The Master's Wall last year, so when Yahshua's Bridge, the sequel, came out, I knew it would go on my TBR (to be read) pile.

This book is considered Biblical fiction, with the setting in the 1st century. Sandi brought the times to life with detail that draws you into the story. A friend who is a bit of a Biblical scholar told me she was impressed with Sandi's books because you can tell she did her research, and the story is true to the facts of the era.

I loved that Yahshua's Bridge continued with characters from The Master's Wall. Both books were filled with elements of love, loyalty, honor, and faith.

Do yourself a favor, buy a copy of BOTH these books and give yourself hours of enjoyment.

Here's the back cover copy: An amethyst stone draws him to his past. An elusive maiden draws him to his future. Alexander is born into slavery under an abusive master: a master of his own flesh and blood ... a man he will never call father. Determined to break away from his master's hold, Alexander devises a plan to purchase his freedom. But what's he to do when he finds himself shipped off in shackles to Egypt, disappearing from the lives of everyone he knows and loves?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Did you judge Whitney Houston?

Early Saturday evening my daughter told me a celebrity had died. She asked me to guess who it was and gave me a hint: a singer.

Whitney Houston was my first guess. I was surprised and saddened to be correct. I based my guess on the fact that Whitney’s life was a cautionary tale about the dangers and heartache of drug and alcohol abuse. And face it, when it came to picking a husband, she didn’t make the greatest choice either. (The people you hang out with DO influence your life.)

I mourn the passing of this woman with enormous talents and gifts. I had wondered if she was a lost soul, and I discovered that she knew her value in the scheme of eternity. Take a look at this news video where her friend Kim Burrell speaks about Whitney. How sad that drugs were a power she couldn't conquer.

On Monday I saw a Facebook post warning people not to judge Whitney by assuming she died of anything other than natural causes. “After all,” the poster said, “she could have had an undiagnosed heart ailment.”

Yes, she could have died of natural causes, but that seems unlikely. I thought it was kind of the FB commenter to admonish us not to jump to conclusions, but the truth is that we advertise what kind of people we are by the way we live our lives.

So, think about it--what are you advertising by the way you live your life?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How to Fall in Love

Did that title catch your attention? Everyone wants to fall in love, to be loved. It’s a universal need, a desire knit into our very cells.

I wish I had ten easy steps to guarantee you’ll fall in love with the perfect partner, but I don’t have all the answers.

However, I have a suggestion. Instead of spending your energy looking Mr. Right or Ms. Right, spend time preparing yourself to be the best person you can be so when that special person comes along, he or she will recognize you as that one they’ve been searching for.

I wrote a book about a married woman who longs to have a sizzling affair—with her husband. Searching for Spice turns the tables on the usual “ten easy steps to happiness.” Pick it up or download it, it may give you some good ideas.

If you have no sweetheart in your life this Valentine’s Day please remember that your worth doesn’t not come from receiving a box of candy or a bouquet of flowers. You’re special and important and valuable in your own right. Take a moment to thank God for that, and remember that God has a great plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11).