Saturday, August 2, 2008

Waiting on the Lord

Isaiah 40:31 - But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (KJV)

I do believe I’ve traveled more in the past two months than in the last five years all put together. It’s been interesting. It’s been fun. It’s been nerve-wracking and tear-jerking.

It’s been an experience!

And I still don’t know where I’m going to be living. California? Texas? Oregon? Wyoming?


I know God has His reasons for making us wait for a home. Of course He does, otherwise we’d have been settled somewhere long ago – because Lord knows I wanted to be! So maybe He’s teaching me patience…and grace… and trust…and who knows what other virtues I’m lacking. Maybe He has some perfect, idyllic little spot picked out just for my honey and me, but it’s not ready yet.

What do you think? Does God do those kinds of things? Have you experienced having to play the waiting game while He worked out the perfect plan for your life? Hey, tell us about it! Use the comment link below and share your story. I’m sure there are others – myself included – who could benefit from hearing it.

Our Author of Note this month is Lena Nelson Dooley. I was the interviewee on Lena’s blog last month, and I enjoyed it so much I “borrowed” some of her interview questions and tossed them back at her. You’ll enjoy spending a few moments with this fascinating Christian romance author.

Rhonda Clark’s back with this month’s Devotional Notes. I loved having her on The Bookshelf in July, and she’s serving up more of those comforting cookies again this month. Whatever you do, be sure to pick yours up before you go!

I borrowed the Notes on Writing from an article by Rebecca Livermore. I’ve been meaning to use this for some time. I found the Idea Jar concept totally fascinating. Be sure to let me know what you think of it, or if you’ve done anything similar.

In the meantime, have a wonderful August – and don’t forget to meet me back here next month…same time, same place.


Author of Note - Lena Nelson Dooley

Welcome to The Bookshelf, Lena! I enjoyed my recent interview on your blog, and I’m honored to have you here to meet my readers. Let’s get right to it

What is th
e craziest thing you have ever done?

My goodness, where do I start? I was involved in several questionable activities when I was in college—with Jello, dish soap, and a missing mascot—but we don’t want to go there. Maybe speaking to a large roomful of women, none of which spoke a word of English, and I didn’t know Spanish. Speaking with an interpreter is different.

The Jello incident sounds intriguing! LOL Something to write about, perhaps… What made you want to be a writer?

God created me to be a writer. I just didn’t know it for a long time. I actually thought everyone wrote, until I married a man who didn’t. Then in May of 1984, God used several even
ts to show me what He wanted me to do. You can read about it at the bottom of the main page of my web site:

What is your latest release? Tell us about it.

Snowbound Colorado Christmas is releasing this month. This is a novella collection I wrote with Tamela Hancock Murray, Susan Page Davis, and Darlene Franklin. The marketing tag says, “Love Snowballs in Four Couples During the Blizzard of 1913.” These stories give an accurate picture of life during that time period. A fun book to write.

Sounds like a fun book to read, as well! How many books have you written, published or not?

I only have one book that hasn’t been published, but this book is my 18th book release. (Release numbers) 19, 20, and 21 will come out in 2009.

Wow, what a track record! How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Writers aren’t supposed to be sane, are we? Remember at the ACFW Conferences, Brandilyn Collins says that we writers must be aware of the “normals” around us. Just kidding.

The only way I can maintain a modicum of sanity is by centering myself into the will of the Lord for me. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Him more and on a deeper level. He helps me understand what’s going on in my life in the light of eternity.

He’s a good God, Lena – all the time! Are you a planner, or do you write “on the fly” (seat-of-the-pants)?

I call myself a “Souped-Up Seat-of-the-Pants” writer. I do some planning, but not to the level that many writers do, then I let the story take over and the characters develop.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Raising two daughters who live successful lives (in the Christian sense). Then being involved in the lives of my grandchildren, so they, too, know how to walk with God.

That is something to be proud of. What’s the one dream you’d most like to realize in your lifetime?

I’d like to accomplish everything God has planned for me. I want to live every minute and write every book and make every friend and touch every life He wants me to.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Early on, I had MY plan for my life, especially in the writing. The only way to overcome that roadblock is to surrender all of it to the One who gave you the gift. Now I recognize that if I touch a life, it’s one He wants touched. If I win an award, it’s one He planned for me. If I get a contract, it’s one He gave me. That puts everything else into perspective.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Listen to what the Lord is whispering into your heart. Follow His directions. If it’s writing, then write. Write some more. Write again. Connect with other authors and learn from then. Know that the editor is your friend.

Where can readers find you on the internet?

I’m all over the place, but specifically here: (where I interview other authors and we give away a lot of books)

Lena Nelson Dooley is a multi-published, award-winning, best-selling author. She speaks to women’s groups, writing groups, and conferences. She’s been married for 44 years to the love of her life.

She loves to mentor the writers God brings into her life. In 2006, ACFW honored her with the Mentor of the Year award. More than a dozen people have become published after spending time with her, and she’s very happy for each one of them.

Notes of Devotion - Rhonda Clark

God is the Sugar in the Cookies of Our Lives, (Part 2)

Imitation Ingredients

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. Matthew 7:15(NIV)

Have you ever had a sugarless cookie? The kind made with imitation sugar or saccharin. What about a chocolate chip cookie made with carob chips instead of real chocolate? They may be healthier, but they don’t taste the same. I mean, no offense to those who eat and enjoy those healthier cookies. I’ve just never acquired a taste for them. For me, it’s the real thing, or nothing.

While contemplating why anyone would purposely eat cookies like that, my thoughts turn to how many come as imitators of God’s children. They present themselves as ordained by God, truth seekers, and reformist. Their message is dynamic and often entertaining. They are so well honed it’s hard to know their true nature or agenda. Their words are smooth, they flow with precision timing, and we come away feeling so good we believe these imitators could only be sent by God. Those who refute these beloved leaders are shunned and dismissed as trouble makers.

That leads me to the question of how those false prophets can be identified. Let’s think back to our cookie made with imitation sugar and carob chips. When we inspect it, it appears to be just like all other chocolate chip cookies. Upon further inspection we notice the texture is not quite right, and the chips look different. If those signs don’t send up red flags, the taste will. A master baker may spot the imitations using only their sight, but others who are unfamiliar with baking, or (heaven forbid) have never enjoyed a real chocolate chip cookie, may not realize there’s something much better. In the same way the master baker spots the differences in the cookie, a child of God who studies His word will be able to spot a false prophet. Those who don’t meditate on Scripture will be less likely to identify the differences. Therefore, my dear friend, you must wrap yourself in God’s word as a hedge of protection against the “ferocious wolves.”

Dear Father in Heaven, as I study your word, grant me the ability to spot false imitators of You. Show me Your truth as I delve into Your promises. Fill me up with Your wisdom and knowledge, so that I may never be one of those false imitators. In Jesus Holy name, Amen.

(I failed to include Rhonda's bio in last month's newsletter. Rhonda, I'm so sorry! Readers, do take time to read this author's information - and visit her link. You'll enjoy you time with her.)

Rhonda Clark's sought-after articles have been featured in many e-zines, and on a story time radio show on station WHBK in Marshall, North Carolina. She has won commendations for her short, faith-based articles from

A quirky sense of humor combines with down home charm and allows her to connect to readers as a friend. Her ability with words puts a fresh twist on basic thoughts and Biblical teachings that brings new perspective to her audience. To find more of Rhonda's work go to

Review Notes

Healing Promises

by Amy Wallace

Clint Rollins is a strong man. A well-respected and courageous FBI agent, he loves his job, loves bringing down the bad guys. But then a gunshot wound brings him down…and coincidentally saves his life when routine hospital tests reveal cancer. Maybe…just maybe…they’ve caught it in time to prevent the worst from happening.

As an oncologist, Dr. Sara Rollins works with cancer patients on a daily basis, constantly striving to bring them hope in often hopeless situations. But when the deadly disease strikes the man she loves, her entire life spins out of control. In the midst of the chaos of chemotherapy, mood swings, and depression—her own as well as Clint’s—Sara struggles with diminishing faith and swiftly ebbing strength.

Clint insists on returning to work well before his doctors grant approval. Despite the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy, he’s determined to stop a serial kidnapper who likes to play God with the lives of little brown-haired, blue-eyed boys. He too struggles with discouragement and wavering faith in a God he’s always trusted implicitly.

For the kidnapper, Clint’s interference is a thirteen-year-old poison. He fully intends to see the detective—and his family—pay for everything he has lost.

Healing Promises is an emotional journey through the lives of very real characters with heart-breakingly genuine problems. It’s a lesson in trust, a vivid portrait of humanity in crisis and faith put to the ultimate test. It’s a picture of tenacity and triumph, of joy and sorrow. And it’s a beautiful example of learning to lean on a God who “giveth and taketh away,” who loves unconditionally and without ceasing—a God who is good…all the time.

Amy Wallace delivers in Healing Promises. Absolutely unforgettable!

Notes on Writing - Rebecca Livermore

(Note: I found this article at FaithWriters and loved it! Short, simple, to the point - and it sounds like such fun. I can't wait to try it! Let me know what you think of it...or if you've tried something similar. Delia)

Writer's Block Buster: Idea Jars

by Rebecca Livermore

Does writer's block ever get you down? Try putting together idea jars so that next time writer's block strikes, you'll be able to shake it. Here's how to do it:

1. Get two jars, or containers of some sort. (Don't obsess over this step! They don't need to be anything special, unless you want them to be!) Label one jar "ideas" and the other one "words."

2. Grab a newspaper or magazine, or head for your favorite news source online. Skim through the articles, looking for interesting stories, or a mediocre story with an interesting element. For instance, I just saw a story on MSN about two people being stung by scorpions on an airplane. In my view, that's an interesting story!

3. Jot tidbits of information and words on strips of paper. For the above story, I would jot, "man on plane bit by scorpion" and perhaps, "leg swells due to scorpion bite." I would also write some of the primary words on strips of paper such as, airplane, scorpion, bite, swell, venom, etc.

4. Put the words in the word jar, and the ideas in the idea jar.

5. Get into the habit of doing this regularly, as you read the newspaper, or even as you watch the news on T.V. Over time you'll collect a lot of words and ideas.

Next time writer's block strikes, grab the two jars and do the following:

1. Pull an idea from the idea jar, and pull three words from the word jar.

2. Set a timer for 30 minutes, and write like mad, using the idea and the three words you've drawn in your writing.

The fact that the words you've drawn may have nothing to do with the idea you drew is part of the challenge and part of the fun. The sheer silliness of it takes away from trying to "be serious" in your writing.

Don't worry about writing a masterpiece. You may not. But I'll bet this exercise will get you writing, make you smile, and perhaps got you out of your slump.

Copyright by Rebecca Livermore, a Christian speaker and writer from Denver, Colorado. Her passion is helping people grow spiritually. To read more of her articles, visit or her AC page at .


August Contest Notes

If you are subscribed to The Bookshelf, you will be automatically entered in the drawing each month - there's no need for you to do anything. How much easier could it be to be a winner?

How to subscribe? Use the icon on my website’s Home page, or the link in the website Navbar (right-hand column), which will put you on my e-mailing list. If you want the Bookshelf articles to come right to your inbox each month instead of receiving just a link, use the FeedBlitz link in the top left corner of this page (in addition to the manual icon subscription.)

AMY INHOLT won the July drawing. Congratulations, Amy! Her prize package included: With Endless Sight by Allison Pittman and a Goldeneyes T-shirt.


Healing Promises by Amy Wallace
(See my review, this Bookshelf edition)
Signed copy of A Bride So Fair by Carol Cox

Note: The Bookshelf contest is completely separate from the BIG Goldeneyes Contest Series on my website. Be sure to check that out—it’s a seven-month contest series with some absolutely fantastic prize packages—some with values well in excess of $100—to be awarded each month. Cory Dawson of Bakersfield, California won the July prize – Congratulations, Cory!