Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Relaxing Control

Now that I'm home after an autumn of traveling to book festivals, I can focus on Christmas.  I've realized something amazing.  Jesus was born in conditions that would have had me, an American woman, wigging out.  I mean, don't we do that?  If we check into a hotel room and find that the sheets haven't been changed or the bathroom is dirty, we call the front desk in a froth while we grab our hand sanitizer.  At all costs, we must keep from getting sick.  It's a form of control that makes sense to a point, but consider this: Mary had to deliver her baby in a stable. 

She and Joseph had no choice but to make the best of bad circumstances.  The inns were crowded out.  The baby was coming.  Put yourself in her place.  You have to take shelter amidst dust, mold, and manure.  You have to lie on dirty straw, exposing your body and your baby to such germs.  No soap, no hot water, no clean towels, no hand sanitizer.  How clean could the swaddling cloths they used to wrap the Newborn have been, packed in a saddle bag that traveled along arid roads with dust kicked up by a donkey? 

But did God allow Mary or Jesus to suffer infections?  No.  He saw to it they came through and stayed healthy.  What's more, I believe He allowed His son to be born in that stable so that the shepherds who rushed to see what the angel had told them would have access to Jesus.  Had He been born in an inn, no sane innkeeper would have let strangers parade in to his establishment to view a baby, putting his other guests in an outrage and risking his inn's security.  He would have locked out the shepherds the way he locked out Mary and Joseph.  But what happened instead?  The angel gave the shepherds a sign and they hurried off and found it true. "You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."

This little reflection doesn't mean I'm going to blow off good health practices and let my house go to pot.  It's simply a reminder that when things go beyond our control, we can trust the LORD of heaven and earth to keep His hand on us and bring about His purposes.  We can relax our control and trust in His, instead.

This makes the angel's song about Jesus' birth all the more personal.  "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" Luke 2: 14 NKJV 

Thursday, October 3, 2013


What an absolute thrill! My fantasy novel Children of Angels won GOLD in the YA Fiction - Religion/Spirituality category. Thank you so much, Moonbeam Awards, and congratulations to all winners! It's been a big year for my publisher, WinePress Publishing. WP author C. E. Edmonson won SILVER for "Fall Down Seven" in the YA Fiction category and WP authors Mike and Carol Wyrick won SILVER in the YA Fiction - Religion/Spirituality category for "A Miracle for Micah." Thanks for helping us create winning books, WinePress! We couldn't have done it without you. 

And, of course, all praise and thanks to Jesus, Lord of heaven and earth! Ps. 103


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dad's in Command

To my very pleased surprise, Children of Angels won Honorable Mention, Spiritual category, at the 2013 Hollywood Book Festival.  I thanked God and the judges and made a rushed trip to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony on Saturday night, July 20th, in the art deco elegance of the Roosevelt Hotel.

I drove a rental car in downtown Hollywood on a Saturday night through the craziest traffic in the U.S.  At the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine, one block from the Roosevelt, the "walk" light came on as I sat at the red.  Tickle Me Elmo and Zorro crossed the street in front of me amidst a throng of tourists in the crosswalk.  Dozens of costumed re-enactors earn tips giving photo opps in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.  On any day or night, you'll see Superman, Snow White, Darth Vader, Cinderella, Marilyn Monroe, Spiderman hanging off light posts...!  Only in Hollywood!

Understand: I was raised in Small Town Minnesota.  Now I live near the Twin Cities.  I said near, not in.  I'm not used to Los Angeles freeways and famous streets, so-o-o frightening for their speed, aggressive drivers, and crowding.  But I was fine all the way there and back home.  

See, I felt the way I did when I was little.  My family vacationed in wilderness.  If we were on huge Lake of the Woods and a storm came up, I never worried about getting back to our resort.  Dad was driving the boat.  If we were hiking in vast Beltrami State Forest, I never worried about getting lost.  Dad was leading us.  My father had worked and played in the northern Minnesota wilds all his life and was well experienced at handling anything a lake or a woods could throw at him.

So, all by myself  human-wise, I wove my way through Hollywood knowing that I'd find the Roosevelt, wind up the evening safely at my friends' house in the South Bay, and make my flight home on time.  I was on my toes, hyper-alert, but I wasn't scared and I was never alone.  What's more, I had fun.  God the Father was with me and warmly letting me know it by His Holy Spirit.  Jesus the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace kept me calm and safe.

My heavenly Dad was in command.

Romans 8: 14 - 16; Isaiah 9:6

Monday, August 5, 2013


CHILDREN of ANGELS won Honorable Mention in the Hollywood Book Festival contest, Spiritual category!  The winning author in that category was Angie Schuller Wyatt, granddaughter of Dr. Robert Schuller, so I was in worthy company.  I accepted my award in the Art-Deco elegance of the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood on Saturday evening, July 20th, thrilled to be there and to make more good friends in the publishing and film industries. 

Just getting to the Roosevelt was a miracle of God and His angels!  It's far cheaper for a Minnesotan to get to L.A. via Las Vegas, but my flight was delayed by a thunderstorm in Chicago.  I was supposed to arrive in Vegas at 10 pm.  Would you like to try 4 am instead?  I picked up my rental car, checked in to my Vegas hotel, and made it to bed by 6 am.

Up again by 10:30 am so that I could make it to Hollywood in time, I drove the mad race that is Interstate 15 through the Mojave going on God's strength and adrenaline, which carried me through changing for the awards ceremony in a California Pizza Kitchen bathroom and wriggling through Hollywood traffic on a Saturday night.  I knew God was in charge, protecting me and guiding me.  I'll do a "real blog" about that soon.

The struggle was well worth it.  I'm utterly grateful to the Hollywood Book Festival and to my Lord Jesus who made all of it happen.  I can still barely credit the truth: I'm an award-winning author!

Everybody say "Alleluia!"