When unpolluted oceans bristled with life as He walked in the garden with Adam; when He created strange-looking creatures just for the sheer enjoyment of creating; when sunsets danced to colors our eyes cannot see and waterfalls beat to the pulse of His heart before we broke it; when rocks proclaimed His glory and flowers sang His praises; when life was found in everything and death did not exist; a world we have never known -- at least not yet.
A world that was and a world to come, joined by a tiny thread of love woven through the fabric of time. A remnant of His perfection is hidden in our DNA. The crust of earth beneath our feet gives hint to His creations from ages past. The stars that shine as angels in the night sky proclaim His lordship over every living creature. The winds that mount on eagles' wings fill the earth with His spirit of redemption. Even the animals know.
"Ask the animals and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you, or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind" (Job 12:7).
God longs to live within our heart. He shouts to us in our suffering. At the crossroads of who we are and who God desires for us to become, we are either consumed by evil or we are conquered by love. If our sinful thoughts lose their grip, evil will lose its power.
Some day God will fill in all of those cracks. But during our time here, He wants to prepare us for a better place; a place where we will be perfect, even as He is perfect.
God delights in the process of molding us. I take comfort in the fact that God wastes nothing and uses everything. Truly, no eye has seen or ear has heard what God has prepared for us. Our deepest hurts and failures will become God's fertile soil for something far greater than we could ever have imagined.
"...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us (Romans 5:3-5).
LINKS TO BOOK PAGES TO ORDER
- Seventh Dimension - The Door, Book 1, A YA Fantasy
- Seventh Dimension - The King, Book 2, A YA Fantasy
- Seventh Dimension - The Castle, Book 3, A YA Fantasy
- Seventh Dimension - The City, Book 4, A YA Fantasy
- Children of Dreams, An Adoption Memoir
- Seventh Dimension Inspirational - Am I Okay, God?
- Food for Thought: Quick and Easy Recipes for Homes...
- The Donkey and the King
Monday, December 5, 2016
Monday, November 28, 2016
A man tried to sell a one‑ounce Maple Leaf on a beach in a prominent section of town.
"Will you buy this gold coin for $50?"
"No, I don't have any money."
He approached a woman, "Would you like this Canadian coin for only $25?
"I don't have $25."
"Suppose I offer this to you for free, will you take it?"
The woman turned it over and examined it.
"Do you want it?"
No one recognized the value of the coin worth over $1,100. Have we become so fooled by paper money that we believe the counterfeit is worth more than gold?
A look at history might reveal a clue. During the Great Depression, governments around the world abandoned the gold standard. In 1933, Congress and President Roosevelt banned private ownership of gold and asked citizens to turn in their gold at the rate $35 per troy ounce-essentially robbing Americans of their wealth.
Although it became legal to own it again in the 1970's, the money changers (Federal Reserve Bank and central banks) suppressed its value to bolster the dollar and manipulated the system to their advantage.
Gold became worth less than the counterfeit because it was not considered currency. This enabled the Federal Reserve and the central banks around the world to control the vast money supply.
Gold, a precious metal, has been used by man since ancient times for commerce. He recognized it for what it was-rare and valuable; but today, gold can't even be identified on a beach by passersby.
The yellow brick road in "The Wizard of Oz" symbolized gold. It carved its way through a beautiful fairyland called Oz inhabited by Munchkins, but the fabled Land of Oz was overshadowed by evil witches. Perhaps today they would represent the self-serving money-changers, the greedy capitalists, or the Washington bureaucrats who recklessly spend our money but are mortgaging our children's future.
While counterfeits abound, God never abandons the true believer. The Good Witch of the North, Glenda, loved the Munchkins. God has given us His Holy Spirit.
"The mysterious Wizard of Oz might be able to help you to return home," Glenda and the Munchkins told Dorothy.
So Dorothy set off on the yellow brick road to meet the Wizard of Emerald City. Along the way she greets three friends who join her-sojourners in search of a brain, a heart, and a nerve.
But when they meet the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy discovers the horrible truth. The Wizard was an imposter. The dog Toto exposed him as a fraud.
Today, as in "The Return to Oz," our yellow brick road is crumbling, paved in green fiat money as financial establishments teeter on the brink of collapse.
In heaven, no longer will we be standing on broken yellow bricks. Our eyes will recognize the intrinsic worth of God's creation and the counterfeits of man-the idols, the liars, and the fakes. All except the pure will have vanished-not destroyed with water but with fire, as gold is refined by fire.
I hope to be like a Munchkin, but even more so. Heaven won't be inhabited by evil witches but angelic creatures that serve a risen Savior. God will be our King, not a cowardly wizard hiding behind a curtain. He will be dressed in kingly garb as He bathes us in His light. Neither will ruby slippers be able to bring us home. A deeper magic, more costly than gold, more valuable than riches, hewn from wood and thorns, will transport us. The counterfeit world left behind, Jesus will welcome us on a real yellow brick road richly paved in gold.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
If you would like to help me to win in the winner's phase that would be awesome. Again, just click on the link below and then on the page where the names are listed the little dot beside my name.
If you would like to re-read my article, or you didn't have an opportunity to read it previously, here it is again.
My love for writing began with a homework assignment in third grade. The teacher asked us to write a short story. Fifty-plus years later, on occasion, I’ll pull the old, faded, handwritten story out from underneath my bed and read it. I still remember writing the words.
In fourth grade, I wrote poetry.
In fifth grade, my teacher accused me of plagiarism in front of the class. My father went to the school and talked to her. He never once questioned my integrity.
By the time I was in ninth grade, I had written two unfinished books. Yeah—I didn’t know how to finish them.
When I was thirteen, my parents gave me a guitar for Christmas. The next few years my writing waned as classical guitar took up most of my time. I loved the attention and self-worth it brought me as I performed at many major events.
When I went to the University of Georgia my freshman year, I rediscovered my love for writing. Since I grew up in a family business, however, English wasn’t on the list of “qualifying” majors; maybe physical therapy or business administration, but not English. No starving authors were allowed in the Roberts’ family.
Then, as often happens, I fell in love.
I hit a crossroads. What was I going to do with the rest of my life? In a moment of insanity, I threw my college degree out the window, and at my parent’s urging, agreed to go to court reporting school. My future husband promised someday I could go back to college.
As a court reporter, I was writing, if you can count thousands of pages of depositions writing. I imagined how many books that would be, and I longed to write something different.
When my husband finished medical school, we moved to Gainesville, Florida, where he began his residency in radiation oncology. I enrolled in college and earned my two-year degree towards a bachelor’s in journalism. I took my first creative writing class, and my writing appetite was whet once more.
My life changed forever when tragedy struck. I discovered my husband was having an affair and had gotten his girlfriend pregnant. Not only was I devastated because I loved him, but I had sacrificed a lot for his career. My dreams were just beginning to be fulfilled, although my inability to get pregnant caused me great depression. My hopes of becoming a mother, earning my college degree, and writing books evaporated overnight.
I cried oceans of tears and didn’t want to live anymore, but God heard my desperate wails. I sought counseling, began to read the Bible, got involved in a local church, and started attending a prayer group. Most importantly, I recommitted my life to Jesus Christ.
Perhaps the hardest part was accepting God’s will. I had to go back to work as a court reporter since that was the only skill I had. I had dreamed of so much more.
While it took some time, God gave me new dreams and better opportunities. I obtained that elusive college degree, and in the process, did quite a bit of traveling that included studying in England, Israel, Italy, and Australia. On a whim, I got certified as a scuba diver and made over a hundred dives around the world.
However, my longing to be a mother remained unfulfilled for eight more years. Then, on May 8, 1994, on Mother’s Day, I arrived home with a three-year-old Nepali girl. Five years later, over Christmas, I adopted an infant girl from Vietnam.
|Manisha a couple of months after arrival.|
|Joy in Vietnam When I Adopted her|
Reading picture books to my daughters unexpectedly rekindled my love for books and writing. We made frequent trips to the library, and I would come home with armfuls of books. We read hundreds of books together, even into their teens—one of the best things about homeschooling.
Not surprisingly, the first book I wrote was a children’s picture book, The Donkey and the King. When I finished it, God told me something I didn’t expect. He wanted me to wait until my children were older before I wrote more books. My passion for writing was all consuming. As a single mother, my daughters needed me when I wasn’t working—now as a broadcast captioner.
I waited four years to write my memoir Children of Dreams. I was afraid if I waited any longer, I would forget my daughters’ adoption stories. I wanted them to know how God had brought us together as a forever family.
After writing Children of Dreams, my passion for writing grew. However, I only knew how to write picture books and nonfiction. How could I learn to write fiction? I remembered those two books I wrote as a teen—the books I never finished.
At the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference, I heard about a Masters in Creative Writing degree from an accredited online college. I later enrolled at the spry young age of 53. When I completed my Masters, the book I wrote as part of my thesis became a best-selling book in Christian fantasy on Amazon. Three years later, Seventh Dimension – The Door is still listed in the top twenty Christian fantasy books (I eventually made it free on all eBook platforms).
Following Seventh Dimension - The Door, I wrote three more books in the series: Seventh Dimension - The King, Seventh Dimension - The Castle, and Seventh Dimension - The City. Currently I’m working on the fifth book in the set to be published next year.
What drives me to write? I write for an Audience of One. God gives me the desire to write, and He gets all the glory. I feel God’s pleasure and spiritual insights I can’t explain.
As I look back, I’ve learned I needed to live a little so God could teach me much. God has shown me He never wastes anything and limits the feasts of the locusts. They can only eat what He allows. It is never too late to start writing, and it’s always too soon to quit. If we commit our way to our heavenly Father, God will multiply our time, effort, and ability. If my writing can change a life—even if it’s only my own—then I know I’m in God’s will, and really, isn’t that all that matters?
Monday, November 7, 2016
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Book Review of Seventh Dimension - The Door, A Young Adult Fantasy: Screaming Within Me a Love for Layers of Meaning and Deeper Truths
Monday, October 24, 2016
Friday, October 21, 2016
I just spent three hours today captioning post-debate national/international news, and my heart is sickened. The news pundits are liberal, biased, and blind. I'm just saying.
They have already elected Hillary and are discussing her presidency as if it's a foregone conclusion. Maybe they are right, but my mother sent me this email and it's worth considering.
If you are open-minded, undecided, or willing to listen, please read. I believe in my heart Trump is the man for such a time as this. I don't know who wrote the thoughts below, so I can't give credit. But maybe that's the way God intended it to be. A voice crying in the wilderness of corruption, a voice crying for reason, a voice crying for hope for America....in the last hour before the election.
This may be the best and most honest political promotion statement you will ever read. It decidedly does not brush objections aside. You hate Hillary? READ it. You hate Trump? READ it. You think there's no choice? READ it. And, read it with your grown-up hat on. We've all been dealt huge responsibility with this election. The first step toward accepting responsibility is accepting it, and the first step toward accepting it is recognizing it. READ THIS. Read every single word. It'll take you about three minutes.
Are you sickened and despondent with the current campaign and upcoming presidential election?
I consider myself a conservative and do truly believe our country is at a political / economic / moral / social crossroads. I need to let you know I could/would never vote for Hillary Clinton to lead this country. A trustworthy, personal friend worked at the White House during Bill Clinton's administration.
The tales you have heard regarding Hillary published or reported by right wing/conservative media are mild little anecdotes compared to reality. She is a deceitful, manipulative, self serving, mean spirited, callous, angry, power hungry woman with absolutely no love of country or desire to see American traditions preserved and continued.
My opinion is based on first hand, direct knowledge....not upon rumors in the media. To me, she represents everything that is wrong with our current political structure. On the flip side, I look and listen to Donald Trump and I cringe at every rude, insulting comment he makes.
If you find yourself in a similar state of mind, please read the following article:
A Message For Christians About Donald Trump
I am a Jew turned evangelical Christian. I am also a passionate supporter of Donald Trump. I have a message for Christians who don’t like Donald Trump: “YOU’RE MISSING THE BOAT.”
Christians have Trump all wrong. God sends messages in many forms. You’re just not listening. God is talking, but your eyes and ears are closed.
Here’s a famous joke about God and how he talks to us.
“A deeply faithful Christian man is stuck on roof at home with massive flooding up to the 2nd floor. Rowboat comes. He says “No, I’m waiting for God. I prayed and I know he’s coming.” 2nd Rowboat. “No, I’m waiting for God.” 3rd Rowboat. “No, I’m waiting for God.”
Water rises. The man drowns. Now he’s meeting God in heaven. The religious man says, “Where were you God? I prayed. I was faithful. I asked you to save me. Why would you abandon me?”
God says, “Hey dummy, I sent you 3 rowboats. Are you blind?”
Did you ever consider Trump is our rowboat?
Maybe God is trying to tell us something important--that now is not the time for a “nice Christian guy” or a “gentleman” or a typical Republican powder puff. Maybe now is the time for a natural born killer, a ruthless fighter, a warrior. Because right about now we need a miracle, or America is finished. Maybe the rules of gentlemen don’t apply here. Maybe a gentleman and “all-around nice Christian” would lead us to slaughter.
Or do you want another Mitt Romney, Bob Dole, John McCain, Gerald Ford or Paul Ryan? Did any of them win? Did they lead the GOP to “the promised land?” Did they change the direction of America? No, because if you don’t win, you have no say.
Paul Ryan couldn’t even deliver his own state, Wisconsin! And as leader of the House, Paul Ryan rolls over to Obama like my dog rolls over for a scrap of food, or a steak bone. Nice, but obedient. I mean Paul Ryan…not my dog. My dog is actually a pretty good defender and loyal.
Maybe God is knocking on your door loudly, but you’re not listening. Maybe God understands we need a "war leader" at this moment in time. Maybe God understands if we don’t win this election, America is dead. It’s over. The greatest nation in world history will be gone. Finished. Kaput. Adios.
And with one last breath, maybe what we need to save us at the last second, is someone different. Someone you haven’t ever experienced before-- because you weren’t raised in rough and tumble New York where nothing good gets accomplished unless you're combative, aggressive, outrageous, on offense at all times, and maybe just a tad arrogant too.
Someone with a personality you’ve never seen on stage at your church. Maybe, just maybe, being a nice gentlemanly Christian would not beat Hillary and her billion dollars, and her best friends in the media who will unleash the dogs of hell upon the GOP nominee.
I guess you think God is only nice and gentlemanly. Really? Then you’ve missed the whole point of the Bible. When necessary, God is a pretty tough guy. When necessary, God strikes with pain, death and destruction. When necessary, God inflicts vengeance.
Maybe you think God couldn't possibly be associated with someone like Trump. Trump is too vicious, rude and crude. When we won WWII, was God "nice?" Were we gentlemanly when defeating Hitler?
Were we gentlemanly when firebombing Germany? Were we gentlemanly when dropping atomic bombs on Japan? Is God ever "nice" on the battlefield? Or does he send us vicious SOB’s like General George S. Patton so the good guys can defeat evil? It’s pretty clear to me God sends unique people to be "war leaders." That’s a different role than a pastor or church leader. God understands that.
And maybe it’s time to re-define “nice.” Maybe Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan aren’t nice at all--because they led us to defeat. And losing again would mean the end of America. And God can’t allow that. Maybe Romney and Ryan mean well, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Or maybe they’re just jealous they had their chance and blew it. Maybe they’d rather help elect Hillary than allow a Trump victory that would make them look weak, feckless and incompetent.
God is about miracles. We don’t need a “nice guy” or a “gentleman” right now. It’s the 4th quarter and we’re losing 14-0. We need a miracle.
So let me repeat my message to Christians: “YOU’RE MISSING THE BOAT.”
I believe Trump is our miracle. I believe Trump is our rowboat. Except he’s more like a battleship!
No one is saying Trump is perfect. No one is saying Trump is a perfect conservative. But he is a patriot. He is a warrior. He is a capitalist. He is the right man, at the right time. Yes, he's a bit rude and crude and offensive. But that may make him the perfect warrior to save America, American exceptionalism, capitalism and Judeo-Christian values. The choice should be easy for Christians. It’s Trump…or it’s the end of the American dream.