Monday, November 26, 2007

A Final Word on Thankfulness

716045_handsI know, I know. You’re most likely tired of the subject by now. Thanksgiving is over. We’ve seen plenty of posts about it, but I want to bring one more dish to the table before it’s cleared.

Thankfulness for our unbelieving spouses.

Sometimes this is incredibly difficult, or nearly impossible, but I do believe it to be vital. Our human nature tells us to do the opposite—to hold a grudge or to even be justifiably judgmental. Especially in situations where we’re criticized or ridiculed for our faith. However, I believe there is a deeper meaning to why we are to give thanks for all things, including our trials.

Read the rest at SUM.

Monday, November 19, 2007

What’s God Up to Now?

799092_iwu_chapel_entranceYou’re not going to believe this. Or maybe you will. Saturday evening I heard a still soft voice.

“Invite him to church.”

I paused. Or should I say, I froze. “Huh? Lord, is that you?”

“Invite him to church.”

“But why? He’ll just say no. Or laugh at me.”

“Invite him to church.”

“Well, okay. Whatever you want.” I laughed. Like Sarah when she heard God (appearing as the trinity) tell Abraham that by the time next year she would bear him a son.

Can you still hear me laughing?

Read the rest at SUM.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

And Getting Older

Another birthday has come and gone, celebrated with family, calls from friends, and an inbox full of e-cards and special notes.

I am truly blessed. A huddle of cards sit on the table, surrounding the area I sit at each morning to do my quiet time. I intend to leave them there for at least a week as a reminder of how many wonderful people God has put in my life.

First, here's a little trivia about the number 42:
  • Level 42, the British pop and funk band, formed in 1980 and became my absolutely favorite group as I entered my first year of college. Anybody remember the funny blond dude in the clown outfit in the music video. Ah, such memories of MTV when it was gooooooooooood.
  • According to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42. (I'll get back to you on that in about 364 days.)
  • According to Wikipedia, 42 is also the second sphenic number to be bracketed by twin primes. (Yeah, I just cut and pasted that one in.)
  • The Orion Nebula Messier 42 (M42, NGC 1976) is the brightest starforming, and the brightest diffuse nebula in the sky, and also one of the brightest deepsky objects of all.
  • As of October 18, 2007, iGoogle was available in 42 languages.
  • The Gospel of Matthew lists 42 generations (names) for the genealogy of Jesus.
  • The number of months the Beast will hold dominion over the earth according to Revelation 13:5.
Now what I'm thankful for:
  • A merciful and loving God who claimed me for his very own.
  • A wonderful, loving, and passionate man who married me over twenty years ago and has stuck by my side no matter what.
  • Two beautiful and talented daughters who amaze me everyday that I could have had anything to do with it!
  • A circle of friends, specially picked by God to uphold me in prayer, encouragement, and love.
  • That I can pray, encourage and love that circle of friends mentioned above, and have the honor of being a part of their lives.
  • That everyday is a new opportunity to do living and loving even better.

May God bless you richly with his love and mercy, and never, ever let you forget how much HE LOVES YOU!

Blessings :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Growing Younger

708892_insipite_storms_1I've taken to daydreaming lately. In church as I sing during worship, I imagine my husband standing next to me, singing slightly out of key. As I read my Bible, I imagine him asking me about what I'm reading and a lively discussion ensues, both of us enrapt by the Word of God. I picture taking communion by his side. I wonder what his baptism will be like. What words will he share about his journey to faith?

And, oh, what a testimony it will be.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Still Time to Win!!!

There's still time to win a copy of Sandra Glahn's Informed Consent (original post). I just finished this book last night and really enjoyed it. So leave a comment if you'd like to enter the contest. Blessings!

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Most Dangerous Prayer

PrayingIt’s birthed in the deepest recesses of our hearts, then moves with our silent yearnings to the hidden places in our thoughts. We dare to think it, until we finally submit and give words to this most dangerous prayer.

“Lord, do whatever it takes to bring my husband/wife to Christ.”

Among the unequally yoked there is an unspoken enormity to this prayer. And we understand the journey it takes deep within ourselves to finally speak it—to pray it with sincerity, knowing full well we have no idea what we may have unleashed. It comes from a place of near desperation and complete trust in God.

We are willing to risk it all.

Read the rest at SUM.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Informed Consent by Sandra Glahn

Jeremy Cramer, M.D. is the next Einstein of infectious disease research. While working on a way to revive water submersion victims, he makes a breakthrough discovery in AIDS research that thrusts him into the center of a media frenzy.

But the publicity turns negative and his marriage reaches the breaking point when he accidentally infects a colleague and his negligence allows his son to contract a life-threatening disease. The viruses test the limits of his new formula and his ethics.

In his frantic efforts to save his son and his marriage, he must decide whether to allow his child to die or violate the rights of a young transplant donor. The choice forces him to stand face-to-face with the unfathomable love required to sacrifice an only son.

Sandra Glahn, ThM, teaches in the media arts program at Dallas Theological Seminary, where she edits the award-winning magazine Kindred Spirit. The author of six books and co-author of seven others, she is pursuing a PhD in Aesthetic Studies (Arts and Humanities) at the University of Texas at Dallas . She recently released her first solo medical suspense novel, Informed Consent (Cook). She is the co-author of three other such novels, which include the Christy Award finalist, Lethal Harvest.

What’s Informed Consent about?

Jeremy Cramer, the next Einstein of research, is a medical resident specializing in infectious diseases. While working on a way to revive water submersion victims, he makes surprising discoveries, while also living with massive guilt over incidental infections that occur (which he could have prevented). Even as his marriage teeters, his career continues to skyrocket. Then, with a few twists along the way, he finds everything he has fought for threatened by the most personal, most heart-wrenching, choices of all.

I love exploring bioethics, and this book allowed me to consider end-of-life issues, patient rights, a compassionate response to HIV-AIDS…lots of edutainment.

How did you come up with this story? Was there a specific 'what if' moment?

The story had a thousand or more “what if” moments. I’m pursuing a PhD in Aesthetic Studies, and I worked on the setting, characters, a lot of the plot, as well as my narrative voice during three novel-writing classes taught by a novelist who writes fiction reviews for Publishers Weekly. And I got some great feedback from fellow students who don’t believe in Christ about ways to address faith issues more naturally. I also took a Dante class, which influenced my choice to give my characters five of the seven deadly sins. (I’m saving the other two for a future work.)

But the elements in the plot designed to keep readers up at night came through a brainstorming session with medical doctor, William Cutrer, with whom I’ve coauthored three medical novels.

What made you decide to write a book that deals with AIDS?

The church in Africa is doing a fantastic job dealing with HIV-AIDS. The North American church—not so much. So I wanted to tackle some of our misconceptions, challenge some of our stereotypes, and hopefully help readers consider their own involvement with AIDS patients.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

Dr. Nate Barlow. He’s imperfect, but he cares so much for his patients. And he’s a good friend. He has every reason to be arrogant, but he’s oblivious to his own greatness.