Monday, January 31, 2011

Just About Anything Can Inspire...

The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

William James

Friday, January 28, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ A Thousand Days are But a Day

Our Creator would never have made such lovely days,

given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought,

unless we were meant to be immortal.

- Nathaniel Hawthorne

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Focus

Hebrews 12: 1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Up Ahead

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Worship

Romans 12: 1-2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Even If

Habakkuk 3

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ My Prayer for You Today

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Life is Hard, God is Good

Hebrews 13: 5-7

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Reminders

So in case you are wondering why I'm posting pictures and verses and the thoughts of others... I thought the beginning of a new year was a good time to focus on truth outside of myself and my thoughts.

I get tired of my own thoughts and the spinning of said thoughts. God is teaching me, growing me and reminding me. So I'm going to spend the rest of the month sharing the reminders He passes along.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ He Knows

Psalm 139:1-5

You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Tune Up

Faith is a bird that feels dawn breaking and sings while it is
still dark.

- Rabindranath Tagore

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Take It.

Faith isn't the ability to believe long and far into the misty future.
It's simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.
- Joni Erickson Tada

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Be Encouraged

James 1:16-18

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ My Prayer for You Today

Ephesians 3:17-19

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,

may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,

and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the
measure of all the fullness of God.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Have a Blessed Monday

‘“The LORD bless you

and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6: 24-26

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Got a Dessert Recipe? Here you go....

Fiction Writer Vicki Hinze’s “Just Desserts” Contest for New Book

Deadly Ties releases on Feb. 8

Vicki Hinze, under the sponsorship of The Book Club Network, is seeking the best dessert recipe to celebrate her latest release Deadly Ties (Multnomah, Feb. 8). The winner will receive a free copy of the book along with a $100 gift certificate to a high-end cooking supply store.

The “Just Desserts” contest is free and open to anyone. Dessert recipes, sweet or sugar-free, should be sent to by Feb. 11. A reading group in the TBC network will have a cook off of the top three recipes to pick the winner.

Hinze takes on the global issue of human trafficking in Deadly Ties. Main character Lisa Harper is looking for her mother with security expert Mark Taylor, who’s loved her from afar, when Lisa is abducted and becomes one of several young women being trafficked to Mexico. This is the second in a series about the Crossroads Crisis Center, featured in Hinze’s Forget Me Not. Fans of Terri Blackstock, Dee Henderson and Iris Johansen will enjoy this gripping romantic thriller where both characters and readers learn that when everything else fails, faith stands fast.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Serials and Scenarios ~ Dale Cramer's Paradise Valley ~ Reviewed

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Paradise Valley
Bethany House (January 1, 2011)
Dale Cramer


Dale Cramer was the second of four children born to a runaway Amishman turned soldier and a south Georgia sharecropper's daughter. His formative years were divided between far-flung military bases, but he inherited his mother's sense of place—

He took on small construction projects at night to help make ends meet— "and to preserve the remainder of my sanity," he says. While building an office in the basement of a communications consultant, a debate over labor/management relations turned into an article on mutualism which found its way into an international business magazine. It was Dale's first published article, and he liked the feel of it. He bought books, studied technique, and began participating in an online writers' forum, writing during the boys' naps and after they went to bed at night. Before long he was publishing short stories in literary magazines and thinking about writing a book.

Three storylines vied for Dale's attention when he finally decided to write a novel. His first two choices were commercially viable secular stories, and a distant third appeared to be some kind of Christian saga about a broken-down biker. The process of determining which novel to write was settled by a remarkable encounter with his youngest son, a lost set of keys, and God. His sense of direction was suddenly clarified. In 1997, Dale began work on Sutter's Cross, which was eventually published in 2003.

His second novel, Bad Ground (July 2004), while it is not autobiographical, contains a great deal of material drawn from his own experience as a construction electrician.

He and his wife and two sons make their home in northern Georgia.


An Amish settlement in Ohio has run afoul of a law requiring their children to attend public school. Caleb Bender and his neighbors are arrested for neglect, with the state ordering the children be placed in an institution. Among them are Caleb's teenage daughter, Rachel, and the boy she has her eye on, Jake Weaver. Romance blooms between the two when Rachel helps Jake escape the childrens home.

Searching for a place to relocate his family where no such laws apply, Caleb learns there's inexpensive land for sale in Mexico, a place called Paradise Valley. Despite rumors of instability in the wake of the Mexican revolution, the Amish community decides this is their answer. And since it was Caleb's idea, he and his family will be the pioneers. They will send for the others once he's established a foothold and assessed the situation.

Caleb's daughters are thrown into turmoil. Rachel doesn't want to leave Jake. Her sister, Emma, who has been courting Levi Mullet, fears her dreams of marriage will be dashed. Miriam has never had a beau and is acutely aware there will be no prospects in Mexico.

Once there, they meet Domingo, a young man and guide who takes a liking to Miriam, something her father would never approve. While Paradise Valley is everything they'd hoped it would be, it isn't long before the bandits start giving them trouble, threatening to upset the fledgling Amish settlement, even putting their lives in danger. Thankfully no one has been harmed so far, anyway.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Paradise Valley, go HERE.

My Review:

I’m not a fan of Amish fiction. I know it’s all the rage in Christian Fiction right now, but, enough already.

That said. I do like Dale Cramer (Bad Ground = very good read) which is the reason I agreed to read and review Paradise Valley. Fortunately, the Amish details share space with plenty of 1920 era Mexican details and these add a whole new layer to an interesting story. Plenty of drama -- bandits, forbidden love, snakes, arrests and children taken from loving parents are some of the themes within this well-written novel. I found it fascinating that this story was based on factual events and is part of Cramer’s heritage. Cramer also writes some breathtaking prose interspersed with the "Jah’s" and the prayer kapps. Amish fiction fans should find much to love, and the rest of us can find a good story within these covers, too.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Non-Resolutions

I made no resolutions this year.

I rarely do. But this year was even more low key.

We shared spiritual, emotional and physical goals as we toasted in the new year.

Mine were simple.

Spiritually : I want to grow more in faith, knowledge and wisdom which will require spending time with God both in prayer and absorbing His Words.
Physically: I want to continue, one step at a time, making healthy choices, embracing a healthy lifestyle, helping my body to live long and prosper.
Emotionally: I want to keep my eyes, ears and heart open to the growth and changes I need to be emotionally healing and happy. I want to observe those around me and note the things that I do not want to perpetuate upon my near dear ones, and note the things I'd like to incorporate into my life. And then avoid or embrace those things.

I want to laugh, love and live this life. So in 2011, I will make steps to do those very things.