Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Time to Pray

716045_handsHe said: "Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet." — Ezekiel 43:7a

Lord, we yearn for You to walk among us. We yearn to see your glory and your greatness. We long to be the garden where You may place the soles of your feet and reside in your throne. Create in each of us the Garden of Eden You intended from the beginning.

Please join us at S.U.M. to continue this prayer.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Jesus is…

966855_sacred_page_3At that time Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. — Matthew 26:55-56

I mentioned on Tuesday that I planned to read the crucifixion and resurrection stories in each of the Gospels this week. In reading Matthew 26, I was struck by the inevitability of it all. No matter how much the disciples refused to accept that Christ would soon die, they couldn’t change the course God had set in place.

Jesus was the only one who accepted what Scripture had long foretold. He didn’t resist or fight. He simply knew what had to be done. He walked through his last three years as a man on a mission, quiet in strength and passionate about those who were lost. And the stakes were incredibly high. The salvation of every human being—past, present and future.

I don’t mean to humanize him so much, but at times, that’s the Jesus I can relate to best. The one who felt the pain of each person he met, the one who cried over Lazarus, the one who suffered unbearable torture and crucifixion so that I can meet him one day.

And he even prayed for us before he faced his death:

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” — John 17:20-21

Jesus was a man of devotion, loyalty, steadfastness, and dedication. He was and is a God of love with a plan to save his children. He let nothing deter him from his mission then, and he still pursues us now, intent that none be lost. All that is good and perfect and true is He, and all that is noble and pure and faithful is his character.

He is our greatest example of steadfastness in the midst of inevitability. He is the ultimate representation of perseverance in the midst of suffering. He is the quintessential exemplification of obedience.

He is our Great Messiah.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jesus, My Hero

130858358_88a1879a2c_mI’ve heard so many people express a desire to make this week meaningful. Passion Week. Their words pricked a cord in my heart as well. For so many years this holiday has been about Easter baskets full of candy and chocolate bunnies. (Well, I did revert to chocolate crosses some years back. Had to get that in there somehow!)

For years I’ve relinquished going to church on Easter Sunday to keep my family together. And I was fine with that. I respected my sweet hubby’s wishes and the desire of my girls to be home with their dad. I knew God understood. After all, aren’t we as Christians, belonging to Christ, called to glorify him with each day of our lives, not just one day a year?

This year looks to be quite different though. Oh, there will still be Easter baskets full of candy and chocolate crosses. But the dynamics have changed a bit.

Read the rest at S.U.M.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Right Place

WeddingringssmallWhile reading a devotional yesterday, the writer highlighted Habakkuk 3:19. I hunted down this verse in my own Bible, then proceeded to write it on an index card.
"The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to go on the heights."
I don't know about you, but I need this reminder right now. I have a tendency to leave God's strength and start working on my own very limited reservoir. Inevitably, I run out, and right now, I don't need that to happen.

Read the rest at S.U.M.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

An Interview with Camy Tang

She’s funny, writes awesome stories, and knits up a storm. She’s the fabulous Camy Tang, here to tell us about her latest book, Only Uni, book two in the Sushi Series. One lucky commenter will win a copy of this book, so be sure to leave a comment. This is a great book.

Welcome, Camy! Now that you’ve tread the path of newly published with your first book, Sushi for One, how did writing your second book compare to the first?

Only Uni was SO much harder to write! I’m not sure why, although many published author friends of mine say the second book is harder for some reason. It shouldn’t have been, because I already had a skeleton plot and everything, but writing words was like pulling teeth with chopsticks. LOL

Now that you’ve finished book three as well (we’ll come back to that), who’s your favorite character in the series and why?

Venus is definitely my favorite, because she has kahones. I’m not that brave—I wish I was! I’m guessing that a lot of writers create characters who are what they themselves would like to be. I wouldn’t mind being as skinny and disciplined as Venus, either.

What moment in your life most resembled a scene from a chick-lit book?

I’d have to say it was my wedding. The months before, it was like organizing a meeting of the world leaders. We had all kinds of requests and suggestions to field from both sets of parents. (So I guess it kind of was like a meeting of world leaders. LOL)

On the day, it seemed like everything went wrong. It rained. Getting my dress to the car to drive it to the church was a major operation. My makeup lady charged extra after I’d left the house to go to the church.

I smiled so much, my lip was quivering, so I frowned in between pictures and people kept asking me if my feet hurt or something. It took forever for my relatives to get arranged for the large group pictures (how hard is it to stand there when the photographer says to stand there?).

I had to pee just before it was time to walk down the aisle (I almost missed my cue), OH and using the bathroom was a two-person show—luckily one of my bridesmaids had young children and didn’t mind (oops, is that TMI? Well, I don’t care).

There were other things that went wrong that I was blissfully unaware of until later—the videographer’s slide show was malfunctioning earlier (he got it working just in time, but I’m sure it shaved a few years off his life). There was some problem with the tables and the guestlist/seating arrangement, and I’m still not entirely sure what was wrong, but I know lots of my friends were running around like headless chickens for a good hour or two before we arrived at the restaurant. An entire table didn’t show up except for four people—four people to eat food for 10!—but luckily some of our friends were seated nearby, and they mooched off the extras.

And then after all the hassle of ordering a really scrumptious Chinese banquet dinner, I was too exhausted to eat! ME! Can you believe it? I was miserable because I was tired AND I couldn’t even enjoy the deep fried lobster balls! You can see pictures here.

If you were a character in a book, what kind of character would write for yourself?

I’d probably write myself totally NOT who I really am. I’d be Anne Elliot from Jane Austen’s Persuasion—calm, collected, faithful, forbearing—everything I’m not. Or Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice—playful, vivacious, clever—again, mostly traits I don’t have.

Tell us a little about book three in the series and when it’s due to come out.
(I've had a glimpse of this story and CANNOT WAIT to read the rest.)

Single Sashimi is Venus’s story, and it comes out in August. People who bought Only Uni will find the first chapter at the end of the book. Here’s the blurb:

Drake Yu. Why would Drake call her after … what, five years? Six? Venus heard in his voice that resonance that was almost a growl, that titanium-hard determination to get what he wanted. And he usually got what he wanted. The voice said: “I want you to work for me.”

Not this time… If it was a choice between Drake and McDonald’s—she’d choose french fries. She’d never work for him again. It would take an act of God.

Venus Chau is determined to start her own game development company and launch the next Super Mario-sized phenomenon. However, she needs an investor to back her idea. When Drake Yu, an old nemesis, approaches Venus with a contracting opportunity at his sister’s startup, the offer to become Chief Operating Officer tempts Venus to think the unthinkable.

Venus would rather throw away her PS3 than work for Drake again … except Grandma bribes Venus to do this favor for Drake’s wealthy family with a coveted introduction to the most respected investor in the game industry. It’s also a short job—only a few months—so Venus won’t have to stand Drake’s presence for very long.

But one wild youth group, a two-faced assistant, and Grandma’s determined match-making threaten to make them both fail—or go insane. With the encouragement of her three cousins, Lex, Trish, and Jennifer, Venus discovers that even a wounded heart can undergo a beautiful transformation …

Any parting words of wisdom or comedy?

Wisdom? This is me, remember?

BUT I do have something to let people know about—my huge website contest! I’m giving away five boxes of books and 25 copies of Only Uni! Only my newsletter YahooGroup members can enter, so JOIN TODAY. Contest info is HERE.

Thanks for having me here, Dineen!

*Remember to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Only Uni!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My Faithful Father

955606_water_dropsIn June of 2006, I wrote this post about my daughter recommitting her life to Christ. I shared how I had prayed for two straight years, blessing her everyday as she walked out the door to go to school, and then asking God to ignite a flaming fire in her heart for him as she headed down the sidewalk.

When I wrote this post, I thought God had answered my prayers. I couldn't imagine that he'd only just begun.

Read the rest at S.U.M.