Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Encourage one another...

Cross-Posted from 4:12 LIVE! today. But I will give my conference update soon...

The UPS man just knocked on my door with a case of The Encore, my brand-new book on his shoulder. I didn't accost him like I did the poor UPS guy who came with the case of my very first book.

Me: Do you know what this is? Do you know? (in high-pitched squeals only a girl can make)

UPS guy: Uh, no Ma'am (fear flickers across his eyes)

Me: My book! My very fist book! I actually wrote a real book! (I resist hugging him here and probably sensing that he shoves the fifty pound box at me and takes off.)

It's still exciting and wonderful and kind of unbeliveable though. I flipped through one off the fresh stack and inhaled the smell. (If you smell books - you'll know why I did it - if you don't smell books then there's no point in trying to explain it anyway.)

It's something I never thought could happen. God's like that. He takes something that seems impossible and makes it real. He takes something that lingers in our dreams and gently pulls it into reality.

Except in cyberspace (and my fabulous husband - speaking of dreams coming true)I really don't have very many people to celebrate with. Lots of people around me, well, they just don't get what I do. It can be hard, but it also forces me to remember the One who moves me to do it all in the first place and sense His pleasure. What dad wouldn't be excited for their daughter? I can be sure that He celebrates with me and today - well, that's enough for me. He gets it.

I wonder how many of you don't get much encouragement in your calling. I wonder how many of you labor almost in secret. I'm sure you do. We live in a world where we don't naturally encourage one another, we have to learn how and prcatice it often. So if you have need of encouragement I have two suggestions that have helped me:

Become an encourager - be someone who looks for ways to encourage those around you, whether it's a friend, a sibling or even your mom and dad. Or a stranger at church whose smile brightens your day. Or an author whose books... (whoops - never mind;)

And remember the One who sees all you do. Keep in mind that Christ doesn't just hang around us to keep us out of trouble, He hangs around us because He loves us. He weeps with our pain and celebrates in our victories. Nothing you do is ever a secret from Him. The more you get to know Him - the more you'll be content with only Him knowing your sacrifices.

Of this I am completely convinced - He loves you more than you can imagine!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

24-7 Prayer

Last night was the first night of Awaken the Dawn. Oh how I wish you all could have been there. You wouldn't have had anywhere to sit of course, since the place was packed out at more than 1,000 people, but I wish you could have caught a little taste of the passion of Pete Greig.

I want to gather my notes and give you some of the meat of what he talked about later but since I have to head back to the conference in just a little while, I'll tell you what I came away with:


We too often grow weary of praying, grow discouraged with the silence or lose faith that God is hearing us. But we can't do that - it is perseverence in prayer that proves our faith. No matter what the circumstances look like, we can trust God.

You see, I myself have been in a long season of silence. Praying about many things, yet nothing has changed, for a long time. The Word last night encouraged me because throughout this season I have felt God calling me to a deeper level of faith. Not always an easy thing for someone who can grow weary. I want to see progress and well, we just can't see faith rising. I have to trust that God is working in me for a reason - and persevere in the midst of it all.

So if you have grown weary of praying, look to God's face for a fresh perspective. God is always at work, even when we feel like He's forgotten about our circumstance. He hasn't. But He is probably more interested in our hearts than that circumstance.

We live in an amazing time. Our Bible Study has been looking at Esther - "for such a time as this".

It's no accident that you are who you are at this particular point in history. Nothing that happens to you takes God by surprise. But I know I need to learn to lean on Him alone. To not trust my eyes, but let my heart see my Father at work.

Faith is rising:-)

Check out Pete's Book: Red Moon Rising

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Creativity, the Church and a crazy-big conference.

I'm speaking at a conference this weekend. I'm not one of the main speakers (though the fact that all the main speakers are male could instigate a whole other topic that I will resist and not broach right now). But I was asked to teach a workshop and I am pretty excited about that. I felt God's leading from the title to what I am going to share on. The title is: Releasing the Artist Within: Creativity in the Body of Christ.

I know I will only be able to share a small portion of what I want to because all that I am reading and studying is just stirring up that passion again. I've been reading books, the Bible and my copious Act One notes from my month long immersion in artistry. It was Act One that made me realize that God created me as an artist - and I didn't need to be ashamed of that.

So it's all good - I'm studying, seeing what I need to say and then I find out that they have almost 1,000 people registered for this conference.


I had no idea it was going to be that crazy-big. Plus, the messages I share tend to be a little, well, different from the typical things they talk about at these conferences. So I already kind of feel like I'm trying to make a case for artistry and professionalism in the church. To convince people to not simply tolerate it but see it for it's value in reflecting beauty and truth. The arts are for us all because they reflect God's very nature.

I'm not sure how it's all going to go over. And I know I'll spend a great deal of time fielding questions from confused conferees about why I would write fiction - since fiction is "just all lies" anyway. Ay-yi-yi.

But no matter how I feel, I know it will be a great conference because I know God is at work. Maybe I can talk them into having Barb Nicolosi come speak next year. Now wouldn't that be fun:-)

So if you think about it, pray for me. I'm gonna need it.

Find out more here!
Awaken the Dawn:

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Back it up, baby!

For a long time I never backed up my computer system. It's not that I like living on the edge like that - it's just I felt like I didn't really understand how to backup or what to do with it. But lately, I've been reading a lot of messages about viruses and back-ups and computers crashing. I started feeling that little push from the Holy Spirit to do something about it.

Oh I am hemed, and I hawed about it. Quite a bit. Tried to convince myself that that would never happen to MY computer. So much for invincibility.

I went to Best Buy and stood in front of racks of incomprehensible equipment until, near tears, a blue-shirted teenager asked me if I needed help.

Was he kidding? Could I bring him home with me without being arrested?

He calmly showed me what I would probably need. (He told me I probably only needed the 100 gb one but bigger is better right? I went with the 200 gb one.) It's a Maxtor One Touch External hard drive. I plug it into my USB and hit a button and it backs up my computer - I hope, I mean, this is the theory anyway, and I really don't want to have to actually test that theory.

I still don't really understand the whole thing. But once I was "backed-up" I felt this sense of calm and peace - like my world wouldn't come crashing down if my computer doesn't boot up one morning.

Of course, that was all until last night when a computer geek friend asked me what kind of a backup it did because there were different kinds.


I don't know what it does - I plug it in and it does it.

So now, well, I'm a little worried about the whole thing again. Especially since now I have to dig through all my junk and try to find the manual and figure out what this piece of equipment is really doing.

Cause I have no idea - in case you haven't figured that out...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Get Lost!

So if you haven't actually been watching Lost you have a chance to see one of the best episodes to date on Wednesday night - 8pm. It's a repeat of the "23 Psalm". Yes, a network television episode is named after a Scripture. Not only that, the entire verse is spoken at the end of the episode.

But that's not even really the best part. I seriously have to wonder who the writers for this show are - because there is an awful lot about faith,
redemption and forgiveness. The Bible shows up regularly.

We got to see the backstory of Mr. Eko - played by (I had to look this up) Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. It brilliantly tied together the Boone-killing plane of last season to this season. (Plus the radio broadcast that the "tailies" and Boone heard when they checked out the radio.)

Spoiler Warning.

There are so many amazing things about Mr. Eko's story that would take me several posts to explore. But Eko's life is a picture of what Christ does for us. Eko gave up his life to protect his brother, then later, when his brother is killed, Eko is given a chance to be born-again, to become someone new. We don't know how he ended up on the LA bound 815 flight but Eko assumed the identity of his brother the priest and claims to be one. It is what Christians are - we have assumed the identity (Christ) of one who is better than we. His death gives us the chance of new life. Eko became a murderer because he had to - his soul was dead. But when given the chance to put it behind him (at the cost of his brother's life), he didn't hesitate. Eko doesn't "deserve" the second chance, and neither do we, but by all his interactions in the island we can see his choice to not be the man he once was.

It's brilliant, really. And I'll probably watch it again because there was so much more going on than just that.

So get lost - you can always catch up through I-tunes:-)

Monday, January 16, 2006

Miracle of Life

I've been through this so-called miracle of life three times and let me tell you, the view is definitely better when you're not the one actually giving birth! When I was having my babies, well, I suppose I was focused on doing what I needed to do to have the baby while dealing with all of the pain we were handed during the curse.

But a few days ago I was given the awesome privilege of acting as a doula - or labor assistant- at a birth. The picture is of Eden and I just a little bit after she was born.

Wow! How amazing is it that God designed women to give birth and nurture life? I have so many thoughts about it all, but for now, just wanted to let you know where I've been the last couple of days.

Bless you all in this life He's granted you!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Book Review: Leave it to Claire

Leave it to Tracey Bateman to create a reluctant hero like Claire to mine some of the deeper issues of life. While the book is fun and laugh-out-loud funny at times, I particularly enjoyed seeing Claire face the obstacles and challenges of real-life. She not only deals with her house and her body and connecting with her kids, but spiritual issues like forgiveness, love and letting go. It’s a read so refreshing you won’t even realize at first just how much there is to ponder and apply to your own life. Readers will be able to relate to the so-not-perfect Claire as they cheer her on throughout the story. I’m so glad there will be more Claire to come from this great author

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Hope really does float...

Hope is a funny thing. Now that my screenplay is safely in Hollywood (by the deadline I might add) I am left here to...wait. I have to do this a lot in the publishing industry. I feel like I am in waiting mode 75% of the time. Boards have to make decisions, people take their time and I sit at home and wait to hear something.

But during the waiting hope comes and goes. It probably depends on my mood more than anything - feeling positive - I'm hopeful - feeling depressed - my career is over before it ever started. There are days I think no one will ever offer me another contract ever. And days that I think it's just a matter of time (and the right project).

It is the same thing while I wait and wonder about the contest.

How many entries did they get?
Who is reading my screenplay?
What do they think of it?

I can't know the answers to these questions yet I still obsessively think about it. The deadline, though, is mercifully close. Quarter finalists will be announced February 1st. I'll either hear or...

How do they contact the finalists?
Do they call?
What does it mean to be a quarter finalist?
How many quarter finalists will there be?

See, I'm just driving myself nuts now! And why is January so long anyhow? Do I even have a shot at this thing or am I being completely delusional?

At least there's a new LOST on tonight. I can comfort myself with JJ Abrams' brilliance and get through one more day of waiting...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Fade Out baby!

Yee-haw - I have a full and complete screenplay!

Yes, I'm sure there are errors in it.

Yes, I have to edit it.

But I have Fade In, Fade out and everything in between!

Think what I could accomplish if I didn't leave everything until the absolute last minute!

Count right now before my marathon editing session - 109 pages...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

And the count is...

53 pages!

I've been writing like a mad-woman. And I have the bloodshot eyes to prove it. It's funny how we can push everything aside when we are forced to. I've been ignoring our Christmas decorations (it can wait till this weekend). I've been ignoring my workouts (it can wait till this weekend). I feel like I'm having an affair with my computer lately (though with such a supportive husband, I need not feel guilty:-)

I am showering, thank you very much and I'm feeding and playing with the children but that's about all.

I am determined to finish this screenplay - the sooner the better.

It all has to be in the mail on Friday - the postmark deadline for the contest.

I do need to be more careful with my eating though cause it's really easy to just sit here and eat without thinking while my mind is focused on my little fictional universe. I'd like to finish the screenplay without completely blowing all my hard work for the last month.

New rule: No food at the computer.

Okay, no more blogging...

must write...

must write...

must write...