Saturday, July 27, 2013

Thank you for the reminder Pinterest!

Hello all!
This is Baylee. She's our 3 year old black lab and she has absolutely nothing to do with this post. She's just cute...

Next week I will attempt to post the events - pictures and text - from my 50th birthday week. Yes, week. It seems that I have been celebrating in various ways for about a week. I love it. After all, I will only turn 50 once. I may have to call in reinforcements - you know who you are ;) But for now, just a little silly something I'm thankful for...

While perusing Pinterest tonight, I saw something that struck my fancy and attempted to pin it, when a little friendly reminder popped up that read, "It appears that you previously pinned this to Random." Well, to say I was happy would be an understatement. Apparently I am easily pleased. I can't tell you how many times I have seen something on Pinterest and thought, "that is so cute; I must pin this,"only to find that I had already pinned it 4 times.

Thank you Pinterest for this great reminder tool. Some of you are wondering, why on earth would anyone be happy about something like that? To that I can only say, "just wait, my friend...just wait!" ;)

Seriously though, I do pray often that God will keep my mind sharp and healthy and focused on Him.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Writers block or fear??

I hope this post finds you well and blessed!

I came across the following post just now and it really struck a chord with me. I wanted to share it because this year I began writing a book (finally!).

This year at the Lamplighter Guild I was in John Fornof’s script writing class.  I really enjoy writing–especially books.  What he said applied to any kind of writing, not just script writing.  He told us about how to get past writer’s block, which is a big thing for me.  He said, “The block comes from the editor, which is in your brain, trying to edit your ‘seedling’ before it is ready.”  We need to write with our heart because that is where the writer is.  Out of the heart the mouth speaks.   When we are in a close relationship with God He will use our writings to encourage, teach, and show others His great love, with creative excellence.

 I have been a freelance writer for nine years, but now I aspire to be an author. I didn't think it would be too much of a stretch since it is a non-fiction work and I already do that, but oh how wrong I was! I kept wondering why I was being pulled and distracted by so many silly things. Things that were keeping me from writing. I really wasn't any more busy than I was before I decided to write the book. I prayed often that God would give me the time to write.
In June, I spoke with a close artist friend of mine who was having difficulty taking time to paint. She realized that she wants her work to be perfect, and if it can't be perfect, then she won't paint at all. She had a fear of imperfection. I didn't think that that was what was going on with me though. After much deliberation together, it hit me. The was fear that was rearing it's ugly and destructive head with me was the fear of making myself vulnerable to rejection.  All my writing up until this point has been essentially, for someone else, with a deadline and a performance expectation. I had to do it (of course, I love any opportunity to write and it is a part of me out there on the paper), therefore, it got done. Well, a book is entirely different. It's just me...writing...creating...risking... The fear is, "what if they don't like it?" "What if nobody reads it?" As a painting is to an artist, one's written word is to a writer. So whether you are a sculptor, a business person, a mom, or a writer - When you pour yourself into something and put it out there for all to see (and critique), and the response (if there even is one) is, "eh, it's ok..." Gasp! That is a serious blow. 
I found that, the few times I worked on the book, I was second guessing myself and editing as I wrote - things I never do. I usually just write freely and then edit later. This paralysis of sorts was very new to me. Then the attacks came in my mind... "Who do you think you are writing a book?" "You don't have anything to say." "No one will read it." "You don't have any skill." etc. etc. How easily I believed those lies that were clearly from the enemy. 

Then, just this week, another dear writer friend of mine (I must say, I am so blessed to be surrounded by so many talented and wise friends), asked this poignant question, "how much time do you spend in prayer before you write?" Well, as I said earlier, I pray often for time to write and clarity of mind etc. But, as she pointed out, I was not praying for protection as I wrote so that God could work through me as I write. I never thought to pray for protection. After all, it's just puny ole me writing a little book...why would I be under attack? Well, I don't know and I don't need to know, I just need to know Him who knows it all!!

I hope this is an encouragement to anyone needing it. God gave us talents, gifts and passions to use and pursue to glorify Him and bless others. So, let us pray fervently for one another as we serve Him!

Be well. Live well. Love abundantly.

P.S. I have no idea why those silly horizontal lines are at the top of this post, nor do I remember how to get rid of them, sorry Sarah ;)  Please forgive my ineptness at this computer stuff...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day

July 4, 2013

I absolutely LOVE fireworks - always have. Waiting for the show to begin brings back memories of being a young child waiting with anticipation and excitement all day long for the display to illuminate the night sky. By the time the show started at Islip Speedway, we were all exhausted from the days' activities - swimming, playing, eating - As night fell, us kids, in pajamas with sun-kissed faces, joined the other families in the neighborhood who were gathered in driveways on lawn chairs or on front stoops, in preparation for the fireworks show that always followed the races. With lightning bugs flashing and mosquito's nipping, we stretched our necks to see the beautiful colors exploding over the "woods." Great memories, indeed!

We celebrated this holiday last night with our traditional trip down to Calvary of Albuquerque where they graciously  put on a free and fabulous fireworks show. It was truly spectacular, as always. This year was a bit different, however, in that we had to wait out the rain. We were ever so pleased to do so, given our current drought. We passed the time away listening to a Brad Stein comedy CD (Conservative Unleashed), which was quite hysterical, I must say.

I pray that you all enjoy your families, your freedom and the sweet smell of rain today.

God bless you in the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Visit to hear Skip's Gospel message and view photos of the entire Independence Day event.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Patriotic Hymns

July 2, 2013

Todays post is an article I wrote for a friend and author, Alicia Willis, to be featured in her newsletter. Please take time to visit her website at She is an exquisitely talented writer. 

My Favorite Patriotic Hymn
Jeanne Drennan

I must confess that, until Alicia asked me to write about my favorite patriotic hymn, I never gave the subject much thought. Not because I am unpatriotic in any way, but rather the opposite. I consider myself quite patriotic and extremely proud to be a citizen of these United States of America, enthralled by our Christian heritage and thankful for the godly men and women  who scarified so much to make this country free. I wondered, as I pondered this topic, why I had never given patriotic hymns much thought. Do others think on such things regularly, or even occasionally?
I decided, at last, that my dilemma was really no dilemma at all. These hymns that Americans love have always just been a part of who I am, woven into my being as a tapestry. You see, when I was a child growing up on Long Island, NY in the sixties and seventies, we were allowed to sing about and speak of God in school. Learning and performing these hymns were an integral part of, not only our music program, but also our daily classroom routine - right after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.  As a young, naive child, singing these hymns about America, however, I never considered them to be anything more than a display of American pride. I never appreciated the depth of their meaning or their unbroken bond to our Christian heritage.
As I was reading over some of my favorite patriotic hymns, I was struck by the outcry to God that they revealed. These hymns are prayers of thanksgiving, prayers for protection and for wisdom;  praises to God for delivering them from the hands of their enemies and for blessing them with such a splendid and magnificent land. The words in America denote a righteous and God-honoring pride of country.

Our fathers' God to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing,
Long may our land be bright,
With Freedom's holy light,
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King.

In  America, The Beautiful, there is a cry to heal and sustain our land and a salute to those who shed their blood and gave their lives so we could be free.

America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!


Who more than self their country loved,
and mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine!

These verses exemplify faith and a reverence for our Creator that is discernibly palpable! While they are obviously patriotic, conveying a deep love of country, they also display an undeniable acknowledgement that without God, America would not be possible. Their desire was that God receive the glory and honor for any success or gain achieved.

While I love these hymns of which I wrote, by far, my absolute favorite patriotic hymn is, The Battle Hymn of the Republic. I cannot sing it without tears welling, I can scarcely read the words without chills running up my spine. This hymn draws crowds to their feet. It causes chests to swell with pride and tears to fall for those who gave their lives for another. Young and old instinctively sing loudly and proudly the powerful words of this hymn.

 After Julia Howe visited a Union Army camp on the Potomac River during the American Civil War, she was led to write The Battle Hymn of the Republic the following morning. The words are straight from the pages of scripture. They affirm that God, His truth and His day are marching on, reminding us to be alert, because the time is near.  I see the hymn as an encouragement to continue fighting the good fight, literally, as it was during that war, and figuratively for us now, fighting the battles that are formed against us. And, being confident that, in it all, God is sovereign and completely in control. His plan was set before the creation of the world and it is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant my feet;
Our God is marching on.

This cherished hymn closes with a sweet promise for all who call upon His name in repentance and faith, and put their trust in Christ as their precious Savior:

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!...

Let this Independence Day have new significance in our lives. Let it be a day of thanksgiving to our God for the freedom we enjoy; a remembrance of those who sacrificed so much, and a confirmation that God's plan for us is perfect.

In closing, let the final verses of our National Anthem permeate your heart:

Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us as a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the
home of the brave!

God's richest blessings upon you all!