July 25, 2014 | 0 comments

Two articles caught my attention in the last few days.  One, in a Christian magazine, reported how many college students are losing their faith and leaving the church.  The writer suggested that we not even allow our college age kids to leave home unless they are firmly grounded in scripture.  The second was a newspaper editorial on how we are raising a generation of over-protected kids.  There seems to be a connection here.

First, I will tell you that I would have qualified as a helicopter parent.  I had them in a co-op church pre-school. I drove all three children back and forth to elementary and high school.  I volunteered as an adult chaperone and stayed up all night with them at the prom.  They went to church, VBS, youth group and church camp.  And I will also tell you that, paradoxically, none of my hovering squashed their “independent thinking” (as a school counselor told me during one of my many visits on behalf of one child or...

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July 21, 2014 | 0 comments

Rick had to take his car in for service. Rather than sit in the waiting room, reading crumpled newspapers and year-old magazines, we decided it would be more fun wandering around Healdsburg.  This is one of my favorite towns in Northern California and was the inspiration for Haven.  I mixed things up a bit, moving theaters and schools, diners and hair salons, but the river is right where it belongs and so is the bridge spanning the Russian River. 

We drove up and down the streets with their eclectic mix of architectural style and ended up at the local museum to see their new exhibit on Utopian Communities that started (and ended) in our area.  Northern California is beautiful and attracts all kinds of interesting characters. 

The Icarians, an egalitarian commune based on the French utopian movement found by Etienne Cabot, spent a few years here before members awakened and drifted away.  Another short-lived Christian-socialist community (...

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July 11, 2014 | 0 comments

I’ve been waiting a long time to share the news that Redeeming Love will be made into a movie.  It was an announcement that needed to come from Cantinas Entertainment first before I could jump in and start talking about it.  Over the years, my agent has fielded numerous offers to make the novel into a movie, but none was the right fit until now. Our agreement keeps me in the loop.

This book has always belonged to the Lord.  The story comes straight out of the Bible from the book of Hosea which had a profound impact on my life and the course of my writing.   So I have always been deeply concerned about relinquishing any part of it to anyone.  I let my heart lead once and over eight years passed with no progress.  This time I needed to employ both heart and head, as well as listen to wise counsel.  It helps to have two trustworthy, knowledgeable agents (one in Chicago and one in Los Angeles) and a lawyer who knows how much...

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July 4, 2014 | 0 comments

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.  It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

(George Washington)

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.  Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.  Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

(John Adams)

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.  For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.”  (Patrick Henry)

“We have forgotten God.  We have forgotten the...

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June 27, 2014 | 0 comments

In the 50s, when I was in grade school, my mom was one of the very few mothers who worked outside the home.  Back then, I wished my mom could be like other mothers.  I envied the friends who didn’t walk into an empty house.  Mom was a nurse, Dad a police officer, both very responsible. There was always an emergency plan in place.  We knew who to call and where to go in case of trouble. There was never a question of whether my brother and I were safe. They always made sure of that. 

Even so, I was a latch-key kid.  The key was under the front door mat.  My brother had friends in the neighborhood and things to do.  So when he got home from school, he grabbed his bike and took off.   I did homework (sometimes), wandered around the house and lived inside my head.  Imagination is a wonderful thing, and I had plenty of time on my own to exercise it.  I had an imaginary friend and we carried on lengthy conversations –...

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June 19, 2014 | 0 comments

Last year, we booked another bucket list dream trip, this time for a Mississippi River cruise on the American Queen.  Last week, we flew with friends, Mac and Loretta, to New Orleans a day ahead of embarkation.  Loretta knows good food and where to find it, and we said please make reservations wherever she wanted to go.  We ended up in the Garden District at the Commander’s Palace and ate like royalty.  The next morning, we all walked to Jackson Square.  We only had a few hours to look around before we would be boarding the American Queen.  So we succumbed to the humorous solicitations of George to climb into his carriage and allow his trusted mule Sugar Daddy to carry us around the French Quarter.  We had a blast!  Before hoofing it back to the hotel, we wandered the French Market and paused to sit and devour beignets in a corner café. 

It was a hot and steamy river walk.  We sighed in the hotel air conditioning for...

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June 5, 2014 | 0 comments

We all have close calls, those times when we know we have come face to face with eternity. Our heart rate skyrockets and adrenalin kicks in to reaction quickly.  Sometimes we look back and wonder how we survived our childhood, considering the dangerous risks we took just for the fun of it.  Sometimes we look back and see how we were plucked out of situations that could have ended disastrously.

My husband, Rick, has had numerous close calls in his life.  When he was a boy and living in Jordan, his family scheduled a photo safari in Kenya.  At the last minute, they had to cancel because Dad Bill got a call from the airline he directed that he was needed.  The Mau Mau Uprising sent tribesmen on a rampage, killing every white person they could find in the same area where Rick and his parents would have camped.

When Rick served in Vietnam, he stood guard duty one night.  He stepped down and headed into a bunker when a rocket hit exactly where he...

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May 28, 2014 | 0 comments

I have learned through experience not to trust movie critics.  If I listen and go to a movie that receives their thumbs up and rave reviews, I inevitably come home wanting to take a shower and kicking myself for wasting $10 on a ticket.  So – when I hear critics hate a movie, especially if they curse it with snide remarks about “faith-based”, I don’t listen.  When secular critics are livid, I hurry to see it because I know it’s going to be good and they’re in haste to get it out of the theaters before anyone could be “polluted” by its message.  (Critics usually miss the message.)

Shannon and I went to “Moms Night Out”.  I haven’t laughed that many times in a movie in a long, long time.  And the rest of the audience, and my daughter, were laughing, too.  This is a movie I’m going to buy the minute it comes out on DVD because I will watch it again and laugh just as hard.  In fact, I’ve already pre-ordered it!  “Moms Night Out” is a...

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May 23, 2014 | 0 comments

My father-in-law called me “Mouse Protector” or “MP” for short.  Why?  Because I sprang the traps he set up to catch a mouse that ventured into the family fruit bowl and took a tiny bite out of an apple.   The poor mouse had to eat, too, didn’t he?  Dad Bill gave me mouse gifts for Christmas each year; a mouse in a boot to hold toothpicks, a mouse curled up sleeping. 

I just heard about Harry the Mouse who loved to ride in big rigs.  He would appear on a dashboard and ride with the trucker to the next stop, then disappear, only to reappear in another truck heading off to another destination.  All the truckers knew about Harry the Mouse. Some gave him bits to eat.  Apparently, he didn’t like waffles. 

My daughter, being somewhat cynical about these kinds of stories, said Harry probably got together with Harriet and infested a dozen truck stops with their offspring.  Not so!  Harry apparently became ill one day...

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May 9, 2014 | 0 comments

A month ago, Boko Haram terrorists stormed a secondary school in the village of Chibok near the Cameroon border and kidnapped over 200 girls.  Other attacks and kidnappings have gone on since then in the village of Warabe in the Borno state of north-eastern Nigeria as well as other places in the country.   Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, boasted in a recent video, “There is a market for selling humans…” 

Many of us are well aware that is sadly true, and the kidnapping and enslavement of young women is not limited to Nigeria, but happening in our own backyard.   Sex trafficking is spreading in America.  Predators abound and vulnerable young women are finding themselves entrapped and sold in hotel rooms and hide-away brothels.

Many of us have been watching the news focused now on Nigeria and praying for the girls kidnapped by evil men.  Boko Haram means “western education is forbidden”.  This group targets Christian and...

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