Showing posts from 2011

For What Reason?

The day after Christmas, sometimes, brings shoppers back out the door for a fabulous deal at the mall or their favorite store.

Me? I breathed a big sigh of relief and am now hanging out at home with my daughter. For the first time in months we have a day with absolutely no expectations of us and we are thoroughly enjoying it. From the time we woke up on Thanksgiving morning, until last night, at the end of Christmas day, our life seemed to be a whirlwind. Besides my birthday celebration and the fun book signings, added to the normal activity was, number one, shopping for those perfect Christmas gifts, and then there were the fun Christmas parties we attended. There are also a lot of things to go see around town. There are lights here and lights there and lights everywhere. Who wants to miss seeing them? No matter where you go it’s a beautiful sight to see Christmas light exhibits. But in the midst of all of that fun and frenzy, there is a greater light that shines brighter than any Ch…

Happy Thanksgiving

After a wonderful day of spending time with family, before turning the light out to go to sleep, I'd like to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who reads my blog.

I hope your day was wonderful and you were with someone you care about.

My prayer for you would be, no matter where you are in your walk of faith, that God reveals Himself more and more clearly to you. And you are able to see one blessing after another throughout your day. And that God would perfect all that concerns you today.

And if you are a Black Friday shopper, may you be blessed!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Enemy Roars

It was a beautiful morning. My daughter and I stepped out the door to be greeted by a fall breeze and a touch of sunshine. The air smelt fresh and the leaves were finally falling from the trees. We both were in awe as we started the walk to our car. When we reached the spot on the sidewalk near the very active bee hive in the ivy, our perspective changed a bit. We covered our heads and moved quickly to the car. Just a few days before a bee from the nest had landed in Sarrah’s hair and stung her finger as she fought to get it out. It was not the best experience for us and we had learned to cover and move fast. As soon as we were safe in the car and relieved none of the enemies, (Mr. Bee) didn’t sting us, we started to enjoy the beauty of the morning again. I mean it was an incredible fall day. Leaves in the colors of red, orange, and yellow hung on the trees, some of them had fallen to the ground and lined the streets. And the air was nice and crisp. We didn’t stop talking about it until…

Book Signing November 12, 2011 at Crown Books from 4 - 8 PM at Westfield Mall



Today, visiting us at the fencepost is a fellow OakTara author, Sherri Wilson Johnson.

Sherri Wilson Johnson is a former homeschooling mom, a writer and a speaker. Writing has been a hobby of hers since she was a little girl. As a young adult, Sherri began writing Inspirational Romances, which quickly became her favorite pastime and grew into a calling. Her debut novel, To Dance Once More (OakTara), is a special project originating from her love of pure romance. It is set in Victorian-era Florida, bringing the romance of the beach and debutante balls together. Sherri hopes to prove that true love still exists and that it is worth the wait. She speaks candidly of the purity of not only her heroine but of her hero, as well, and desires to point others to Jesus through her words.

To Dance Once More
April 1886 -- Debutante Lydia Jane Barrington lives a carefree, protected existence on Live Oaks Plantation in Florida. But while her sisters happily learn the traditional tasks of women and t…

It’s time for the Spook's

Today many people dressed up in costumes before they headed off to work. Many are planning to attend parties and lots of kids are looking forward to trick – or – treating this evening. Along with all of this fun, comes the scary side. Witches, skeletons, goblins and ghosts are hung up as decorations. Haunted houses are visited around town. People walk through them and they are scared out of their wits by things jumping out at them in the dark. Usually, a person will leave one of those places, exclaiming, how in one way or another, something terrified them. It’s a time to tell stories that make your skin crawl or watch a movie, that can even make a grown man, not want to turn the lights off at night. The holiday is full of the spooks. I used to love to get scared. I would spend this time of year at the scariest haunted houses and watch scary shows. If anyone was into a super terrifying movie, it was me. At the time it was exciting. All that spooky stuff lost it for me years ago. And it’s…

A New Twist on the Changing Season

Fall is normally my very favorite time of year for one reason: in the Pacific NW, some of the trees turn beautiful colors of orange and red in the midst of evergreen trees that stay green all year long. It's incredibly beautiful, especially, when you take a drive down the gorge, around Mt. Hood area or even up around the Olympic peninsula.

Not that a person has to go for a drive in those areas to be in awe over the beauty during this time of year. Pretty much each street will be painted in vibrant colors as the leaves change color before dropping.

Besides being beautiful, fall is so cozy. The weather cools just enough to be able to wear old comfy jeans and, at night, to put on a favorite sweater or sweatshirt.

And high school football is underway. So a person can have fun huddling with other fans on cold rock-hard bleachers on a chilly night watching the game. I have some sweet memories of doing that when my nephews played football and when I was in high school. Now some of my fr…

A Friend at the Fence

Today, visiting us at the fencepost is a dear writer friend of mine, Sylvia Stewart.

Her book "Kondi's Quest" has just been released by OakTara. I can tell you first hand Kondi's Quest is a great book. So enjoy.

In 1946, a few days before my sixth birthday, I landed in Stanleyville, The Belgian Congo. I remember the palm trees flying by as our old propeller plane taxied down the dirt runway. We stepped out into muggy heat as we crossed to the terminal.

From that day, Africa has been my second home – as dear to me as my birth home in Oregon, U.S.A. As I grew up, my one desire was to “go back home” to Africa.

My mother taught me first and second grade. Then I went to Rethy Academy, 350 miles and 10 hours’ drive from my parents. I began to learn to think for myself, to be independent and to rely on my heavenly Father.

I especially remember one moonlit night, lying on my back in my dorm room’s top bunk. Loneliness crushed my…

The Shepherd

The LORD is my shepherd I shall not want. Psalm 23:1 I remember lying in bed as a young girl trying to memorize the 23rd Psalm. Every night before I went to sleep I worked and worked on memorizing it. Finally, one day it stuck in my head. I’ve repeated it often and I’ve heard it often since that time. It’s a very comforting verse, as are quite a few of the Psalms. Now many years later, I am doing a Bible study on the author of that Psalm, David. And during part of the study I looked up this verse again. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1. I know the LORD is my shepherd. He watches over me, protects, feeds and steers me. I have no doubt about that. The LORD is my shepherd - very comforting words. I shall not want.REALLY? Okay, if only I could say, I didn’t have a want list. It’s hard in this world, and the way things are in our economy, it can be hard to not have a want list. I’ve been in times where I didn’t think about the economy and how it affects me and still I had want…

Fascinating Peter

The apostle Peter's life fascinates me.

From the day that Jesus approached Peter and said, “Follow me.” Peter did. He just dropped his net and followed him.

Peter was one of the three who escorted Jesus into the house of the little girl that died and Jesus rose from the dead.

He also was the one who, one minute had the right answer, Jesus is the Christ. And soon after he pulls Jesus aside and rebukes him for what Jesus is talking about. Jesus tells him to get behind him, Satan…

Still, Peter is one of the three who witnessed the transfiguration and was afraid and wanted to make a tabernacle for them.

And my favorite, it was Peter who got out of the boat and walked on water to Jesus. Yeah, he stopped focusing on Jesus and stopped walking. Instead he began to sink. But as soon as he called for help, Jesus hand was immediately there to help him. And then Jesus walked him back to the boat.

Peter just put himself out there in his walk with Jesus. And in putting himself out there h…

Thy Will Be Done

Whenever I read the story about the crucifixion on Good Friday, it makes me sick to think of all Jesus endured.

Even if I don’t read the part about them beating him, or putting a crown of thorns on his head, the whole crucifixion in itself is bad enough. Just the fact that He actually had a nail pounded into his hands and feet is enough to unnerve me and break my heart. Not only that he hung by those nails. His back had open wounds and rubbed against the wood on the cross. The whole thing is unthinkable and I’m just giving a mild picture of all he suffered.

When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane he was in deep anguish. He knew what would happen to him after he got arrested. Since Jesus was in a body just like ours it must have been horrible for him to face the reality of that whole torturous scene. Yet, he did face it. He said the words, “Let your will not mine be done.” And then submitted himself to be taken away by the Roman soldiers. He even healed one of their ears when P…

A Blob Of Clay

There was a time in my life when I was more active than I am now. I ran, played tennis, and rode bikes.

I still remember when I first started running and had certain goals to meet. It would seem the last stretch would be a killer on my body, but I knew if I didn’t quit, the accomplishment would be worth it. So I’d press on.

Then after being involved in a car wreck I wasn’t able to do those things like I did before. I’ve had to work at building physical strength and agility.

Sometimes, while I’m working at the physical goals I re-injure an area I had hurt before and have to back off, only to have to start over again.

Because of that and how busy life is the progress has been slow but steady.

It reminds me of when I first became a Christ follower. I’d enjoy learning what the Bible said about God, I loved singing the songs, getting to know the people, and watching amazing prayers get answered.

Then something happens in life where the answers from prayer don’t come so quick. Or the answer is a …

I'm Waiting

There was a time in the Bible when the apostles couldn’t cast out a mute spirit from a guy’s son. When Jesus appeared, the man explained what had been happening to his son since childhood. It was some pretty horrible things. The man ended with saying to Jesus…"But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

Jesus didn’t rebuke him for his unbelief rather he rebuked the unclean spirit. He helped his unbelief.

Ever been in a place in your life where you believe in Jesus with all of your heart. I mean you don’t doubt that Jesus can take care of the situation, but…you’ve been praying a long time and you’ve suffered loss in the waiting for an answer. You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus could speak and there would be healing, everything would be fixed, if only…and as you wait …

One Man's Sin

Chapter seven in the book of Joshua starts out right after a huge victory over Jericho. God did an amazing thing for the Israelite army.

Then, the Israelites went and spied out the region. They sent a couple thousand men to go whip “Ai” and instead they got trampled on by the small amount of men in Ai.

They cried out to God and tore their clothes, asking, why He would bring them out to this place to only let them get delivered into the hands of their enemies.

God answers by letting Joshua know that someone had gone against his commands and now they couldn’t be victorious until they had removed the sin from among the people.

Wow! Joshua and his army went from seeing victory, because God was with him, to defeat. Joshua didn’t know that one of his men had disobeyed God’s command and all the Israelites felt the effects of his sin.

Some sins are just plain obvious and some are secret. Hidden sins that nobody knows someone has done or is in the act of doing.

How do these secret sins affect a pers…

Is God Asleep?

Standing outside the doctor’s office door, my heart tore to pieces as the screams of my, then, two-month-old daughter filled the hallway. Unable to stand it any longer I rushed into the small office. There she was on her Daddy’s lap. My husband had the tough job of holding her while a nurse gave one shot after another. For the first time in her life she was being introduced to unexplainable pain.

I walked over and touched her face, when she looked up at me, I could see relief fill her eyes as she recognized me. The screams started again as the nurse did another injection.

I cried while she suffered, but knew that it would be worse if I interfered. She had no way to comprehend why her Daddy and I were allowing this to happen. She couldn't comprehend that the injection, causing her confusion and extreme discomfort, were meant to protect her from far greater suffering than what she was experiencing at the moment.

With no way to explain all of this to her, I waited for the first opportun…

Walking The Wonderful Path Of Forgiveness

About 12 years ago, if I knew I had to stand in front of a group of women with a microphone in my hand, it would have terrified me. I’d be picking myself apart and I’d believe that everyone would see all of my flaws.

For many years I led worship for children, or participated in the puppet skits either by being the actor or a puppet. Even though it was fun, getting in front of the kids and teachers was very stressful for me. Up until the very moment I stood in front of the children I would be fretting and going over and over what I had to do.

Now, God has brought me to a place where I can’t wait to get the microphone in my hand. It’s exciting to me, to be used by Him, to encourage others.

What made the change? Let me start around the beginning.

Right after I prayed to ask Jesus into my heart twenty some years ago I had an overwhelming love for God. When I heard God calling me, I came from a really messed up place. I was amazed and grateful that God would call me, Linda, from the dark h…

Happy Fathers Day

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful Dad who is always there for me and shows me love everyday! I love you!
And Happy Father's Day to my husband who is a wonderful daddy to our daughter!
Also, to my brother's who do an incredible job with their kids!
All of you are great at being Dad's and your kids love you!
I love you too!

Distorted View

One Sunday morning at church, our pastor showed the congregation some pictures. He prefaced showing them with an assignment, we were to determine which one best signified our personal view of God.

To start out with there was a picture of a child held safe and lovingly in her Father’s arms. I immediately thought that is how I see God.

A few scenes later, a little boy sat in a corner, and his arm covered his head as if to fend off a blow. It surprised me when my heart pounded and I realized this picture portrayed my true perspective of God. I was waiting for Him to let the other shoe drop.

My husband and I had been through a tough season with a bunch of trials where one thing happened after another and without realizing it, my view of God had become distorted.

I took another look at who He really is in the Bible. One day, he showed me something in the very familiar story of Adam and Eve. I doubt there are many people who haven’t heard Adam and Eve’s story. Most know Eve ate the forbidden fr…

Remember Them

My dad’s younger brother, Bobby, was a marine in the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it home. He died the day before my sister’s eleventh birthday, on October, 26, 1965, at the age of 18, fighting for the freedom of others.

Even though my memories aren’t clear of that day, my heart still remembers the news. And since that day, I’ve always believed my Uncle Bobby to be a hero.

It affected my family, like it affects the millions of Americans who lose someone in a war. As I’ve grown older I’ve been able to hear how it affected my grandparents, when they were informed of the news their son had died, and how it affected my parents, older sister and my cousins.

About six years ago, my sister went to Washington D.C and she went to the Vietnam Veteran Memorial. It was a very emotional time for her to see our Uncle’s name on the wall.

The next year, my parents went to Washington D.C. with my brother and his family and they were able to see my Uncle Bobby’s name on the Memorial.

The Korea…

Name Tags

Usually when I go to an event I am handed a name tag to wear. Sometimes I’m handed a pen and told to write my name down and then I put the sticker on my shirt.

My husband and I were having a discussion about when we introduce ourselves to people and say our name, sometimes we are quick to blurt out our label. Such as,“Hi, I’m Linda. I’m having a bad hair day.” Or “My dress is tight.” Or “I don’t feel comfortable.”

Labels can become our identity. I’m divorced, out of work, drive a hot car, drive a beat up car, live in a big house, live in a small house, wear expensive clothes, shop Goodwill, yell at my kids, had an abortion, have a college degree, don’t have a college degree.

If you were handed a pen, what would you write down on the name tag. What is your description of you?

The other day, I was reading my favorite book, and it said that we are loved. John 3:16. Is that my first description of myself?

I am loved.

It also said I was fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14. When I look i…

Things That Are Good In A Tough Day

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brother, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right; whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. NIV

I was reading Philippians this week and came across this verse. I remember this verse from when I first began memorizing scripture and learning to apply it to my life.

I had a new job. Newly trained and moved over with my boss to his new office. I soon discovered pretty much everything I had learned in training was not applicable to what I would do at the new place.

On top of that my boss wasn’t the easiest person to work with, at all. He was highly intelligent, quick on his feet and quick to react, very work driven and spoke directions in quick mumbled tones before he would turn and leave to do what was next on his list.

Many times after he had left I would go over and over what I thought he had said to me in his mumbled tones. He had made it clear to pay attention …

Happy Birthday Mom!

So today is a wonderful day! It's my Mom's birthday. I promised not to write about her on my blog, but I can't help myself today. So Mom, I'm breaking my promise just to say, I hope you have a wonderful, Happy Birthday!

My mom is so full of energy and keeps herself healthy. I really appreciate, that I can trust how well she takes care of herself and my Dad. When I was growing up she was the same way, very energetic and on top of things.

I love you, Mom, and so blessed to say Happy Birthday to you!

At The Glass Door

Scratch, scratch, clunk.

I glanced up from my reading, to look toward our sliding glass door to see what on earth was making that noise. I caught a glimpse of something, but couldn’t make out what it was, before it dropped down. Thinking to myself, it was either a bird hitting the window or a pine cone falling from one of the evergreen trees I went back to my reading only to be interrupted again by the noise. By the time I looked up I missed what was causing it.

Then I saw a bird fly up to the gutter above the door. Oh, the bird must be getting things off the cement of the patio for its nest and hitting the door in the process. The bird flew over and sat on the fence surrounding the patio and started chirping. Then she surprised me and flew directly into our sliding door. She hit her beak at the door and flapped her wings. She worked hard to get through that window.

She stopped and flew back to the fence only to try again and again. I imagine she couldn’t possibly know what was…

Turning to Him

One morning while doing some reading and prayer time I came upon something interesting in the book of Haggai. During this time of experiencing unemployment in our home I am constantly throwing up prayers for provision and a blessing of a good income with job security. I am always amazed at the continual answers to those prayers of provision.
In the book of Haggai, God said so many interesting things to his people, regarding the work of their hands, in that one particular thing stood out to me today. It was at the end of a sentence…”yet you did not turn to me.”
I thought to myself. I pray. I turn to God all the time. So why are we having such a hard time with job security? Then a really interesting question came to my mind. Do I really turn to God?
I pray.
But then I tend to still worry and fret over things. I sometimes get anxious and fearful, then find myself laying awake stewing over everything.
So when I pray, do I really turn to God? Do I trust Him? Do I stand knowing and believing He…

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is a very special day! My dad is 79 years old. My family is getting together at the end of the week to celebrate.

Normally, Sarrah and I go over to my parents house and see him on his birthday. I wanted to bring him over a chocolate sundae but, my daughter had a cold and we stayed home.

Special moments like that are hard to miss and can hurt the heart, but being able to say "Happy Birthday" and "I love you," to my dad, even over the phone is very wonderful.

I am blessed to have such a wonderful man to be my Dad.

If you happen to catch this blog, "Happy Birthday Dad and I love you."

The Author Of Life

One of my favorite past-times is to listen to a good story, read a good book or watch a movie. Normally, I get emotionally involved and love it when I get to laugh and cry over what happens to the character in the story.

As an author, myself, when I write a story, I get attached to the characters. It may sound funny, but I cry while I write a scene that affects one of my characters negatively, and I laugh and clap my hands when an exciting or good turn of events is happening. Even though I want all of the people in my stories to have sweet happy endings it really wouldn’t make a realistic story. I write with the belief that every fiction story has a grain of truth in it and I also take true life experiences and work them out through the pages of fictitious people’s lives. My stories may not really happen, but they could happen.

I just recently finished one of the most difficult and painful scenes I’ve ever written. The first time I worked on it, it was so emotional for me I just wrot…

From A Cup Of Coffee

I read a saying on a coffee cup; Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles it empties today of its strength. Hmmm. Then this story came to mind. It’s a very familiar story to me.

Once upon a time there was a girl who couldn’t sleep because she worried about the next day. God said to her, “Do not worry about tomorrow.”

The girl was so delighted to hear God say those words, she decided to listen and rolled over and went to sleep.

The next day everyone heard the good news God had said to the girl. Do Not Worry. She skipped through her day. Eventually, everything worked out, not how she planned, but it worked out.

Months later, the girl couldn’t sleep because; she worried about her troubles again. God said to her, “Do not worry about tomorrow, be still and know that I am God.”

The girl was delighted, choosing to believe she didn’t need to worry, rolled over and went to sleep. The next morning she reported to everyone about what God had said.

That afternoon she opened a letter tha…

Believe The Report Or Believe and Don't Be Afraid?

When I opened my Bible today my eyes fell on some words I had underlined, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Then I read the entire sentence. “Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
Who did Jesus ignore I wondered?
When I reread the passage I realized it was the story of Jesus walking with Jairus to his home because Jairus’s daughter was dying. Jairus had pleaded earnestly to Jesus, to please come to his home and lay hands on his daughter, so that she will be healed and live.
So Jesus, his disciples and Jairus are on their way to Jairus home. Jairus is bringing home the answer to his little girl’s illness. He knows if Jesus lays his hands on her, his little girl will be fine.
But, then they are interrupted.
A woman in the crowd had touched the hem of Jesus garment and received healing. Jesus stopped wanting to know who touched his garment. His disciples were like, we’re in a crowd anybody could have touched your garment. Still, Jesus stopped…