"The choices we make change
the story of our life." ©
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
The photo is Kathy L. Patrick and Jay.
Ya gotta love extroverts. Those amazing people that God gifts with the ability to light up a room with their energy and passion. I don’t personally know Kathy L. Patrick, but I imagine her to be one of those folks. Kathy is the founder of The Pulpwood Queens. She owns the world’s first Hair Salon/Bookstore. A great combination if you ask me.
From Kathy’s web site: My life is about to be an open book. Yes, coming soon to a bookstore near you is my story 'The Pulpwood Queens' Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life' to be published by Hachette Book Group USA formerly known as Time/Warner Book Group. This is my story on how books saved me, the story of Beauty and the Book, and the Pulpwood Queens, and why I am on a mission to get the world reading. My book will also be a resource book for readers and book clubs. It is kind of a one stop shop for readers. For you, it will give you all you would ever want to know about The Pulpwood Queen!
Kathy has organized the first ever BOOKS ALIVE!, a celebration of Christian and Inspirational literature and music to be held at The First United Methodist Church in Jefferson, Texas. This event which will be held annually is sponsored by Beauty and the Book and The Pulpwood Queens, and will be a fundraiser for The First United Methodist Church mission and outreach programs. FUMC is the church that was instrumental in coordinating the relief efforts for displaced families of Hurricane Katrina and Rita and continues to do so. All proceeds and profits will go to supporting the mission and ministry of The First United Methodist Church of Jefferson, Texas.
I’m excited to share with y’all that I have been invited to join Kathy and a host of authors for this special BOOKS ALIVE! event to be held November 3-5, 2006 in Jefferson, Texas. Visit the web site to find out more. If you’re in the area please come out and say hello!
Stay tuned for more information on this upcoming event and more info on the Tiara Wearing Queen in future God Allows U-Turns BLOGS. I hope you’ll find this woman and her mission to be as fascinating as I do!
And that’s what’s on my mind today,
Sunday, August 27, 2006
August 27, 2006
Guest Blogger: Charles Gibson
My first attempt at fiction was a story I wrote in third grade called "When Craig and I Were Trapped Inside a Mayonaise Jar." It was a thriller with a narrow escape. In the story, Craig and I both worked at a "mayonaise factory" and were somehow sucked into a giant jar of mayonaise. We barely managed to unscrew the lid from the inside before the jar left the factory. Whew!
I have loved to write ever since. I also love to travel and have ambitions to be a travel writer. The kind that travels to different countries and writes about the experiences I've had and the people I've met. Trish and I have already ended up in some interesting travel situations. Three years ago, we went on a trip to sites in Greece and Turkey from the missionary journeys of the apostle Paul. Trish was two months pregnant with our son, at the time, which is a story in and of itself. The trip was during the time of the build-up to the 2003 Iraq War and we were in Turkey when the war started. We spent the first full day of the war on the Greek island of Patmos, where the book of Revelation was written, hearing of "wars and rumors of wars."
Since I decided to more seriously pursue writing in the last seven years, I have concentrated on non-fiction. In addition to the two stories I wrote for the God Allows U-Turns Series, I have written for a Twin Cities paper called the Minnesota Christian Chronicle, including an article about a U-Turns book-signing from this March and the Minnesota connection of Allison and Bethany House Publishers.
It was at that book signing that Allison asked me when I was going to write my first novel. Just the week before, I had been thinking about turning some of my interest for medieval history into a novel. Out of that conversation, I submitted first a query letter, then was asked to submit a full proposal to a major Christian publisher, where it was well-received. That was in the spring.
Just a couple days ago, I received a reply that they want the to see the full-manuscript of the novel, which of course is not finished yet. It's exciting and overwhelming at the same time. I need to become more disciplined with my schedule to make it work. The novel is about a knight in 13th century France fighting a different type of Crusade. Instead of fighting with the Church in the Holy Land, he finds himself fighting against the Church on his own land.
I wanted to thank Allison again for letting me share what God has put on my heart this week. I hope the Lord has used my blogging to speak to someone and encourage them.
Charles (Chad but not Chuck)
Saturday, August 26, 2006
August 26, 2006
Guest Blogger: Charles Gibson
A couple months ago, our 2 year-old little boy, Trenton, raided a drawer in the kitchen. He grabbed a large box of toothpicks and proceeded to spread them around the living room floor. When I told him to pick them all up and put them back in the box, he said "okay," then proceeded to start putting the same two toothpicks in and out of the box.
For whatever reason he had decided he wasn't going to pick up his mess. When faced with various measures of discipline, including missing the chance to go to grandma's house, he still refused, but wouldn't directly tell us "no." Instead, he shrugged his little shoulders and said the toothpicks were "too heavy."
Trenton is very skilled at making messes. He is good at evenly distributing the mess for maximum clean-up difficulty. Another time he found a piece of styrofoam in a box. He broke it into small pieces and spread it around his room. It looked like it had snowed in there.
But this mess I didn't expect him to clean-up. I cleaned it up with a shop-vac. Even though Trenton was responsible, he couldn't reasonably pick-up all that styrofoam with his hands, especially the way styrofoam sticks to you.
I believe God deals with us in much the same way. There are some messes we make in life that we can and should clean-up. But there are other messes we make that we can't fix ourselves that God, in his grace, will clean up for us.
By mess I'm really talking about the consequences of our sin. Maybe it's a word spoken to someone else out of anger, or perhaps the effects of a sin that's become a harmful addiction. Either way, God desires to first clean-up the mess in our own souls, damaging lies we've believed that led to the sin. God also provides the grace to help us clean-up the damage our sin causes in relationships. Whatever the issue is, call on him today to bring his cleansing truth to where the lies are in your life.
Friday, August 25, 2006
August 25, 2006
Guest Blogger: Charles Gibson
In the year 2000, I went on a short-term mission trip to France. I wrote about it in my second U-Turns story, Leaving Luggage in France (God Allows U-Turns: The Choices Teens Make, p. 138). During the week and a half our team from Minnesota remodeled a building for Toulouse International Church in Toulouse, France, I shared a room with Andy, the only teenager in the group.
Now Andy talked fast. Really fast. In the story, I wrote that “Andy rattled off words with the tempo of a machine gun. His statements gave new meaning to the term run-on sentence.”
There was also the issue of the Suitcase.
Everyone on the team brought tools on the trip. Since tools are heavier than clothes for example, people on the team spread their tools around between their suitcases and carry on luggage to distribute the weight. However, Andy didn’t do this.
The story opens this way (story text in blue):
“I need a hand with this suitcase.” Andy struggled to move the heavy weight from the trunk of the car to the ground.
“How heavy can it be?” Charles yanked on the handle and the suitcase barely moved. “What’s in here, lead weights or a bag of cement?”
“Nope, tools actually.” Andy was serious. “I brought hammers, hacksaws, screwdrivers, a cordless drill, tape measures, a tool belt, and duct tape. I want to be ready for any job.”
Charles shook his head. “You put all your tools in one suitcase? We have a long walk to the train station.”
…While most of the team’s luggage could be wheeled around, Andy’s was awkward. He carried the suitcase, dragged it, heaved it up on his shoulders, [and] shared his burden with others.
The latches on the suitcase were broken so Andy had wrapped it in multiple layers of duct tape to keep it shut. It stayed shut. The problem was trying to get it open once we arrived in Toulouse (story text in blue):
As Andy tried to hack the tape off his Samsonite using a pen, keys, his teeth, and anything else he could find, he took a step back and said,”Duct tape sure keeps a suitcase closed. It’s gone halfway around the world and I still can’t get it off. If I could only get my saw out. I could cut a hole in this thing. But I guess that wouldn’t work, either. I couldn’t get all my stuff back home with a hole in the suitcase. Maybe I could cover the hole with duct tape. Wait, here’s a pair of scissors.” Andy started tackling the tape. Things are sure a lot easier to open if they’re not wrapped so tight.”
Andy didn't realize it, but he was wrapped as tight emotionally as that suitcase was with duct tape. Many difficult experiences in his life had led to anxiety and a desire to control what was going on around him. Taking a risk in going to France, stepping out in faith and being part of a supportive team, helped him leave not only the suitcase and his heavy tools in France, but much of his anxiety about life as well.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
August 24, 2006
Guest Blogger: Charles Gibson
As a college student, I had a part time job working on campus as a janitor. It was two nights a week. The building where I cleaned was called Nazareth Hall, an ornate structure that was the oldest on campus. In that building was the college chapel, which was a beautiful marble sanctuary that was booked with weddings every weekend, and the college banquet hall, the Blue Room, which was cleverly painted (you guessed it) blue.
Sometimes I would work Friday nights, which often meant that we, the work-study janitorial crew, could look forward to whatever food was left over after a banquet, usually chicken with plum sauce and rice pilaf. But if the function was hosted by the college president or board of trustees, then the steak and lobster (our crew was in tight with the "chefs" that prepared the Blue Room meals) was the culinary highlight of the year, at least for college students living on mac and cheese and top ramen. After all the guests in their suits and dresses had left, we would file in with our t-shirts and blue jeans, park our vacuums, and partake of our own feast. It was food that would have gone to waste anyway. Why worry about sending it to hungry children in China, when you have starving American college students to feed?
Then we would vacuum the Blue Room afterward of course.
Sometimes in the midst of the work of cleaning up the messes of life and seeking to become like Christ, God gives us a welcome respite, a break, even a small taste of heaven. For college students who were taking a full class load, working, and trying to figure out life at the same time, it was good to have a somewhat extravagant meal every now and then.
Often the path that God calls us to is hard, but in his grace, he will always give us that good thing at just the right time. Maybe it's a nice meal, or a gift, or time with friends, but often it's more intangible than that.
The greatest gift that God has given us is himself, and sometimes what we need is to experience his presence. Those times when he "shows up" unannounced in a way that seems to have nothing to do with the events of the day. Yet we can look back on those times and realize that the experience of his Holy Spirit is exactly what we needed.
One such time happened in college when I was walking from the dorms to another building for a class. It was an intense time. I was in the middle of breaking free from my family of origin and establishing my own life and identity. Though I never participated myself, multigenerational bondage to the occult on both sides of my family of origin had led to generational strongholds that were very entrenched. My determination to follow God and experience freedom in Christ, led to a prolonged spiritual battle.
I don't remember what I was thinking about at the time, but I can still picture the exact place on the sidewalk and the time of day when God intervened and lifted some of that conflict off of me. Not all of it. I don't know how to explain it other than it felt like some of the load I was carrying was taken away. He had his purpose in using the spiritual battles I was going through to build my character and help me learn to take every thought captive. But I know he didn't want me crushed under the weight of it either. Why he picked that particular place on a Tuesday afternoon, I don't know. There were other times I felt much worse and cried out for him to remove the conflict from me. But he moves in our lives based on our needs not our wants. He wants to build our character more than give relief or comfort. God uses even the respites of life to make us more like him.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
August 23, 2006
Guest Blogger: Charles Gibson
Mr. Shobe was the teacher for my Current Events class my sophomore year in high school. He was in his fifties with shorter hair (his name wasn't Chuck though, I don't think), and a product of the depression/WWII generation. He was no nonsense and very straightforward. I can't remember what this assignment had to do with current events, but he wanted us to write down a profession that we thought was dishonorable. In my view, as a 16 year-old, that was a garbage collector. All the stink and mess, how yucky to deal with all that stuff. I wrote down garbage collector expecting him to agree with me. What honor was there in dealing with trash?
Mr. Shobe, to say the least, took issue with my choice. He didn't say "I understand why you feel that way" or " let's look at this from a different perspective." He simply wrote on my paper that I was wrong. That being a garbage collector (meaning someone that drives a garbage truck and picks up the trash, not a dumpster diver) is honorable because civilized society cannot function without the removal of the garbage it generates.
I was a little bit shocked that day, because I wasn't used to being confronted directly, even if only on paper. I think Mr. Shobe wanted something like drug dealer or mafia kingpin, someone who harmed society. I remember little else about that class, but that confrontation was burned into my soul, and the Lord has reminded me of it many times since. There is honor in hard work and honor in cleaning up messes. Not just cleaning up physical messes but beliefs and thoughts that are garbage and lies as well.
I believe that much of the work of us becoming like Christ is about taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (II Cor. 10:5) and not conforming to this world but being transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2).
As I wrote yesterday, I became a Christian when I was 16. It was during the first semester of my sophomore year. It was exciting for about two months. The most immediate change was an instant desire to start going to church every week. I had mostly hated going to church before that. I think it was God's grace that I was not saved until I had my driver's license and could drive myself to church. My family was very sporadic with church attendance, and my growth may have been snuffed out before it started. I went every Sunday, even if the rest of my family was still in bed.
As soon I hit the second semester of my sophomore year, the Lord started to confront my sense of protectiveness and the smug, quiet arrogance that had grown around it. I believed I could pretty much look out for myself. I thought I had life figured out more then the rest of my family, at least spiritually.
Then on January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded. My experience of that event, watching it on TV while working on a geometry assignment in the high school library, was the subject of my first God Allows U-Turns story, published, as I said before, in the American Moments volume.
The explosion was a shock to the nation and to me personally. Here's some of what I wrote (in blue):
"It blew up! The Challenger blew up!"
I was in my high school library when the librarian shouted her announcement. I had been engrossed in a geometry assignment. I liked geometry because it made sense to me. I could apply theorems and corollaries to arrive at a final answer--definite proof. Proof that the world made sense, that I could bring order to my existence.
When the Challenger exploded, I was a new Christian. I knew where I would go when I died, that I would spend eternity with God, but I wasn't sure about much else. Many of my illusions about security in life were shattered in an instant. If one of the most sophisticated machines ever built could erupt into a ball of fire and smoke, then what about my weak attempts to figure out this life? What guarantees exist short of heaven?
When I walked into my geometry class, I quickly saw I was the only one who saw the explosion on TV and knew that all the astronauts had died. I had a choice to make. I could have stayed anonymously quiet, like I had in the past, or just say what I knew. I told the whole class what I had just seen. Out of that event, I had the chance over the rest of the semester to form some friendships and talk about my new faith in Christ. It started with the fact that I rejected the lie that I had nothing to offer and chose to do something different. It was the beginning of allowing God to be my protection.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
August 22, 2006
Guest Blogger: Charles Gibson
When I was about 8 years-old, some of my friends and I decided that we wanted to dig a hole in my backyard. My parents said we could, so we got shovels and started to work. You see we thought we could make a lot of money doing it. This other kid who lived up the street, who was a 4th grader and two years older than us, said there was this guy, an old mining prospector, who would pay a lot of money for bedrock, which was supposedly really valuable. All we had to do was dig down to the bedrock below the dirt and this guy would pay us like $500 a pound for the stuff. We knew that $500 would buy a lot of candy and matchbox cars. We dug and dug in my parent's backyard in a spot right behind the house, until the hole was deeper than we were tall. The thing we exposed was not bedrock but part of the foundation of the house. The biggest financial implication of our labors was not money for bedrock but a flooded basement that came from a thunderstorm that night. It was a failed venture and my parents were unhappy to say the least.
It was all a lie. It was also a bitter way to learn that ordinary rock buried deep in the ground isn't worth any more than the same rock above ground. After my punishment was meted out, I was angry enough to confront the 4th grade kid about his "advice." He continued to insist that the "old prospector" paid for bedrock, we just didn't find real bedrock.
Growing up, I knew I wanted things like candy and matchbox cars. But the thing I wanted most was peace, I just didn't know it at the time. But looking back, many of the things I did were an attempt to find peace in the midst of often chaotic circumstances.
A chatterbox as a toddler, I started to withdraw more and more from other people as I got older. As me and my siblings tiptoed around my mom's anger, I learned fairly early that I couldn't count on my dad for protection. He seemed more interested in "keeping the peace." Every so often he had had enough and would verbally rip into my mom while I silently cheered him on, but those times were few and far between, and my dad spent the intervening times doing penance for his outburst. After all, my mom was justified because of her own chaotic childhood, at least that was the message that I received. I became scared to express my own feelings or problems, because I never knew what would set my mom off. Her pain and anger from her own childhood was never far from the surface, always ready to boil over with any elevation of emotional temperature.
I realized by the time that I was six or seven that I had to protect myself. My strategy was to bury who I was and retreat from the world, and I did just that whenever possible. I loved reading (and still do) and I buried myself in Hardy Boys books and a set of 1977 World Book Encyclopedias. That's right, encyclopedias. If the Hardy Boys books were about trying to figure out the mysteries of my world, then the encyclopedias were about trying to understand the world beyond my little life. I especially loved reading about geography and history. I wanted to visit every state capitol and every country in the world after that. I learned the encyclopedias so well that I became a much sought after trivia game player. I still remember that the 1977 population of Tokyo was 11,856,000, or something like that.
By the time I was twelve, after more painful and confusing events in my family, I realized I would have to figure out life somewhere other than from my parents. I became involved in the youth group at the church we were attending. It was the first church we had gone to where the gospel was actually preached and the Bible was taken literally, not metaphorically. The graceful atmosphere of that youth group was the first place I ever had a taste of true peace.
It wasn't until I was sixteen, four years later, that I found true peace, or at least the beginning of it. On a youth retreat at another church, I experienced the overt presence of the Holy Spirit for the first time. I didn't know it was the Holy Spirit, I just knew I had found what I was searching for and was moved to ask Christ into my life. It was a very emotional experience. I felt him enter my heart. I felt it physically in my chest. It was like He was so excited that my heart was finally open to Him that he rushed in to my life.
A few months later, the space shuttle Challenger exploded seconds after liftoff. It was an event that had a big impact on me as a new Christian and became the focus of my first U-Turns story. More about that tomorrow.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Day One of Seven
August 21, 2006
Guest Blogger: Charles Gibson
Actually I go by Chad. But my legal name is Charles and I've been published as Charles, so we'll go with that.
As a kid, I didn't like the name Charles, because then I would get called Chuck or Charlie, which I liked even less. On the first day of class every year, the teacher, seeing that my name was on the class list as Charles, would inevitably ask for "Chuck" when taking attendance for the first time, and every year I would look around in curiosity with the rest of the other students wondering who Chuck was and waiting for him to say "here." Then after a few moments of silence in the class, I would realize "oh, the teacher means me." Then I would raise my hand and say "here, but I go by Chad."
And I'm still saying that today. Except now I like the name Charles, but don't call me Chuck or Charlie. Nothing against those names, they just don't fit me somehow. I guess in my mind, Chuck is someone from the fifties with a buzz hair cut. Although I do know several nice guys named Chuck, some even with longer hair.
Enough of my ramblings about my name. I'm appreciative of Allison for giving me the opportunity to post on her blog this week. For that matter, I'm thankful for all the opportunities she's given me in the last four years. I've had two stories published in the God Allows U-Turns series, and have participated with Allison in several book signings. My first story was published in the American Moments volume and is about how I was impacted by the space shuttle Challenger explosion. The next story, released this year in the Teens volume, is about the experience of a 17-year-old on a missions trip to France. I'll get to the stories later in the week, probably tomorrow, but I wanted to tell you a little bit more about me first. You can see some of my other writings at www.chadgibson.blogspot.com.
I've been married to my wife, Tricia, for 12 years and we have a little boy named Trenton, who’s almost 3. We live in Centerville, MN, about 15 miles north of St. Paul. My wife and I have actually known each other for 17 years since we dated for 5 years before getting married, which is quite an accomplishment considering that the first three years we were both at a private Christian college, where the pressure to date for 1 year, then get engaged is very intense. It’s very interesting. We simply outlasted all the questions of “are you engaged yet?” We weren't going to get married until we were ready. My wife, however, who married someone still very much under construction, wished at times we had waited another 5 years to get married.
We also waited to have kids. We believed that God had his own timeline for us. Often people have their own ideas of how things should be. I know there were those who thought we waited to have kids simply so we could both establish our careers and make more money, but the main reason was so that God could finish some of his "construction work" in me. It had taken me several years and a lot of hard work to deal with the effects of a passive dad and a mom prone to fits of rage.
I knew my wife would make a great mom, but I also knew I was still too passive and didn't want to have our child deal with a passive dad. It cannot be said too loudly that passivity is a curse. In her classic book, War on the Saints, Jessie Penn-Lewis wrote that "the chief condition, therefore, for the working of evil spirits in a human being, apart from sin, is passivity." My family background, in fact, was very cursed. With generations of deep-seated sin and occultism, there was involvement in everything from spiritualism to witchcraft to freemasonry. I went through a lot to break the curses of my ancestors and was determined that my children would not receive such a demonic inheritance as I did. My son will hear someday about the bondages of his ancestors and what his dad went through to overcome it and it will feel very removed to him. I thank God for that. More about my story tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
A special thank you to our recent Celebrity Guest Blogger, Eva Marie Everson. I hope everyone enjoyed her postings last week, and that you’ll pick up one of her latest books. Eva writes both non-fiction and fiction, so there’s something for everyone available! Visit Eva’s web site to see her recent books as well as to find out more about what she has in the pipeline.
Speaking of pipeline…I’m working on a book proposal as we speak and must get back to it. I’m feeling a little like the baby in the photo above.
That’s what’s on my mind today,
Friday, August 11, 2006
By: Eva Marie Everson
I awoke to some startling news this morning. As my husband slipped into his shoes before leaving the house for work and I sipped on my coffee and groggily stared at FOX News, he said, "I think there will be no more carrying cosmetics on planes. You'll have to leave your lipstick at home."
I immediately woke up--fully awake this time--and watched in horror as women (and some men) standing in long lines at the airport, tossed their lovelies into those horrid little "Rubbermaid" bins. For some, the cost of the hair products and perfumes were higher in price than the cost of the ticket to fly to wherever they were flying off to. I'm left to wonder what these women will do when they hit their layovers, which were designed by men but upgraded by women as a time to primp in the ladies restroom, which is--of course--why the lines are so stinkin' long and extend out into the hallways of the concourse!
Because I fly a lot--heading here and there to speak to women's groups, etc.--I am often met at the airport by a woman from the group who has seen my photo but has never met me in person. And, let's face it. Most of us don't look a thing like our pics! Especially airbrushed ones....
So, I usually say something like, "I'm wearing a black travel suit and a cute little baseball cap with the High Maintenance written across it in Swarovski crystals."
Now what will I say? "I'll be the ugly one without lipstick getting off the plane?"
Eva Marie Everson
Picture: Eva Marie (in cap) with granddaughter, Jordynn.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Day Four of Seven
Written by: Eva Marie Everson
A friend came by for a visit yesterday. She is also a writer and makes her living working in the sports section of our metro newspaper. Pretty cool stuff, I'm thinking.
We talked about how much we both love to read and we talked about reading the classics. She mentioned something about the Babysitter's Club and that's when it hit me that she is a great deal younger than me! Turns out, she's a year older than my youngest daughter. Who cares! Friends are friends at any age and we shared some great laughs.
I had a bit of an emotional evening though. One of my dearest friends in the whole world was "laid to rest" back in March. I gave the eulogy. The editor of a magazine was there and asked if he could print the eulogy in an upcoming edition of the periodical and I said that of course he could.
The magazine came in the mail yesterday afternoon. My article, titled "Daddy's Hug" took up two pages, filled with the same words I'd spoken and two impressive photos of my father, who would have been 75 years old this week had he not stepped through Heaven's Gate five months ago.
I miss him so much.
One major regret I have: Daddy never got to read the second novel in the Potluck series! (Amazon.com: The Potluck Club: trouble's Brewing: Books: Linda Evans Shepherd,Eva Marie Everson ) Daddy, who said he'd not read a novel that he could remember since high school, couldn't put the first book in the series down. I got quite tickled at him and my mother, who had long ago divorced, talking on the phone like old friends themselves (and I guess they were), saying things like, "What page are YOU on?" and "Did you read the part about Goldie getting mad at Jack yet?"
So Daddy didn't get to find out "what happened next," but that's okay. Something tells me he's pretty happy where he's at!
Eva Marie Everson, Author/Speaker
U-Turns Guest Blogger
Photo: Eva Marie sitting high atop the world on her daddy's shoulder
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Wednesday August 9, 2006
Day Three of Seven
Written by Guest Blogger:
Eva Marie Everson
My 25-year-old daughter Jessica and I have now written two books together. The first one, Sex, Lies and the Media (Amazon.com: Sex, Lies And the Media: Books: Eva Marie Everson,Jessica Everson ) is a look at media's influence on youth culture. We have spent several weekends over this past year traveling from city to city to speak to parents on this subject only to discover that the parents who come are the ones already hardest hit by the effects and not those who want to know what to do to help their children when the effects hit. Bottom line is: they think it can't happen to them. They believe, as I once did, that because they live in the Christian home and raise their children with Christian values, the world won't come knocking at the doors of their children. Or, that if it does, their children won't answer.
Jessica and I are living proof that this simply is not the way it works and we talk about it as honestly as anything you'll ever read in our book. The world knocks and even Christian kids answer. The key is to help them to be IN the world but not OF it. To function normally. To survive.
For example, my granddaughter and I were shopping in the mall a few weeks ago, buying school clothes for her and maybe a baubble or two for me. A song on the overhead sound system was one that even my 8-year-old granddaughter knew was inappropriate, as she calls it. Did we run out of the mall screaming? No. I used it as a teaching moment and we talked about it.
Jessica and I discuss how to do all this in our book. We've been on The Coral Ridge Hour (Coral Ridge Hour Broadcasts) and several other shows. Yesterday we traveled to the Tampa Bay area, leaving early in the morning and returning late in the afternoon, to film HOMEKEEPERS
(Christian Television Network ) with Arthelene Rippy. Our hostess, a lovely woman of God!, was so enthralled by what we had to say, she asked us to stay and film a second show. A third show featured "just me" talking about my speaking ministry (Eva Marie) ...which was fun, too. Before we left she asked that we come again when our next book, Sex, Lies and High School (Amazon.com: Sex, Lies, And High School: What Your Teens Are Learning And Aren't Telling You: Books: Eva Marie Everson,Jessica.. ) is released.
A half hour after I got home I was teaching our homegroup Bible Study.
All in all...a pretty good day's work. But I'm tired....
So, until tomorrow....
Eva Marie Everson
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Day Two of Seven
Written by Guest Blogger: Eva Marie Everson
Tuesday August 8, 2006
My Sabbath falls on a Monday.
Like many in my “profession” (a.k.a. ministry), my weekends are usually so filled with travel for speaking engagements, speaking, etc., in an exhausted heap I decided to designate Monday as my 7th day of the week.
Fortunately for me, I attend a church with seven services each weekend, the last one falling on Monday evening, so as part of my Sabbath, I enjoy an evening in praise and worship and a time of hearing the Word of God preached by some of the best. It’s the perfect ending to—what I always hope will be—a perfect day.
These are days for reading books and watching sit-coms in syndication. I putter around the house. I take a long walk, a short nap. I pore over the Word of God. I languish in the shower and take my time putting on my makeup. Some Mondays I schedule coffee at Starbucks with a friend or lunch at Casey’s Grille, that kind of thing. Because my nickname is “Eva Diva,” I like to think of it as a real Divine Diva Day.
This is an opportunity for my mind, my body, and my soul to catch up to each other.
Too often we post modern men and women of the church ignore that deep-rooted need inside us. We push ourselves beyond our own boundaries and then wonder why nothing is ever done well enough. We look at even our good accomplishments and think, “It’s just not good enough.”
Recently I turned in a book titled “Oasis; a Spa for Body & Soul” (Revell, 2007) in which I explored the elements of our physical bodies vs. our spiritual bodies. The chapter in which I wrote about “napping” and such really struck a chord in me. I realized even as I was writing that at one time I’d been so good to myself and then I just let life take over, push me to the rear, push God to the rear….
But taking a Sabbath on any day of the week allows us time to drink in the refreshment of the Lord. It allows us to survive the rest of the week, quite frankly.
And Day One of the rest of the week, for me, begins tomorrow.
Until then, I am…
Eva Marie Everson
CLOSING PS FROM ALLISON (Aka: Ali-Diva) We'll be featuring "Oasis: A Spa for Body and Soul" on our web site as a free contest give-away in spring 2007. Make sure to stay in touch with us!
Monday, August 07, 2006
Day One of Seven
Written by Guest Blogger:
Eva Marie Everson
I have kept a diary my entire life yet have yet to catch hold of the "blogging" craze. Sure, I have done it. I've blogged. I tried it at my website for a few days, felt overwhelmed, and then stopped. Eventually I developed a "journal" page, which is, right now, as I type, hopelessly behind. I've got a few pics up and every day I promise I'll add more, but I don't. Actually, I'm waiting on Allison for that. She has my pics. Allison is awesome for taking photos at events so I don't have to do a true panic at the thought of having left mine at home. I only have to pretend to panic.
So, here I am "guest blogging." Now there's something I never thought I'd hear myself say. "Hello, my name is Eva Marie Everson and I am a guest blogger." But, Allison insisted. "You have to do this," she said. "You have to be my guest blogger."
Anyone who knows Allison knows well that you rarely can say no to the woman.
"What do you want me to blog about?" I asked, thinking that surely nothing in my life could possibly be interesting enough for others to read about.
"Anything," she answered. "But be sure to mention a U turn."
Sure, Allison. Be sure to plug your ministry in the middle of my blog....
All kidding aside, I love Allison and I love her for allowing me to do this. Over the past few weeks (okay, months) I've been thinking about what I would say or could say or even should say about U turns. Then, today as I was helping my husband rip away the dropped ceiling in our kitchen (in a few weeks I'll have a stunning new kitchen, he says) I realized that nearly every day of my life, some U turn is going on somewhere.
Take today for example. This morning I woke up, shuffled into the soon-to-be-new kitchen and poured myself a cup of coffee, then shuffled on into the living room where I turned on the TV to watch a bit of news. The situation in Israel is the headline. I thought about my friends who live there and my upcoming trip there to work with Miriam Feinberg on our book "Falling Into the Bible" (W Publishing, 2008). My husband says Hezbollah has wakened a sleeping lion and the lion is fighting back. I like that, but I am sad none-the-less, that this great nation, Israel, is under such attack. I wish everyone loved her as I do.
Then I watched Father of the Bride with Steve Martin and remembered that the first time I saw it, 1991, I had yet to have one of my daughters fall in love and marry. Seeing it now gives a whole new perspective.
After that, I worked on the fourth novel in the "Potluck" series I'm writing with Linda Evans Shepherd http://www.sheppro.com/potluckclub.htm. One of my characters is about to make her own U turn...and it's not a good one. What Linda and I have done with our characters is show the kind of women we come in contact with when we minister at churches. Women today--even good Christian women--are hurting. Some are making positive U turns and some are not. Our novels, we pray, will give all women hope and point them toward the One who loves them not only in spite of their weaknesses, but also because of them.
In between all this, I helped my husband with Project New Kitchen.
I guess you could say that our kitchen is making its own U turn. Let's hope we survive it to tell its story to the very end.
Eva Marie Everson