Sweet Fellowship

Oh how sweet it is to find a group of people who get you, huh? People with whom you can enjoy meaningful fellowship. On a professional level, I’ve found this with Fellowship of Christian Writers, the writers group I meet monthly with in Tulsa, and also through writers conferences. On a personal and spiritual level, I’ve found this throughout my life with other believers in Christ, whether through the local church or a ministry or mission group.

Today let’s consider and rejoice in the fellowship we share as God’s children. As we read the following Fellowship acrostic, let’s thank God for each aspect of fellowship made possible because of our bond in him. And let’s fellowship!

Finding others with common passions and goals and joining them.

Enjoying time together and encouraging one another in every way.

Listening to the burdens as well as the delights of fellow members of the body of Christ.

Learning from others’ knowledge and experiences and sharing your own.

Owning possessions with open hands and giving liberally to those in need.

Worshiping the Lord together in song, in prayer, and in words of testimony.

Serving alongside one another to minister to others and share the love of Christ.

Helping each other in time of need or to achieve a common goal.

Inviting new folks to join in your activities and groups.

Praying together for needs, common concerns, and for people to come to faith in God.

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3 

*What aspect of fellowship do you most enjoy? Which aspect do you struggle with the most?

The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Flickr photo by Pepe Pont, Creative Commons License

I’ll Be Your Wall

6076879792_800b7d9c5b_zDizziness. Vertigo. An injured foot or leg. Any one of these things can find us reaching out to someone or something for support. I’ve been there before, and I’m sure you have, too.

A friend of mine, in fact, copes day in and day out with a medical condition that makes it challenging for her to walk at times. Not long ago during an outing together, a bad spell struck. The distance to a nearby bench loomed large, but with great effort and the help of the cane she carries for just such times, she managed to make it.

After resting for awhile and taking some medicine to ease the symptoms, she felt ready to attempt the next leg of our journey. I had parked the car as close as to the building as possible, but now it felt miles away. Once again, with concentration and slow steps, she moved forward.

At one point, she paused to regroup and said, “If I just had a wall…” I answered instantly, “I’ll be your wall.” I knew she just needed a steadying influence on her side without the cane. With her characteristic good attitude, she made light of the situation, and I joined in. By the way, no matter what we get ourselves into, it seems we always end up laughing about something. I love that about our friendship.

I was glad to be her wall that day. Happy to be her steadying influence. Heaven knows, she’s been mine time and again. But I guess that’s what friendship is all about, isn’t it?

And let’s not forget, we have another Friend always ready to be our steadying influence, always standing by. Next time a bad spell of discouragement, heartache, or pain strikes you, just turn your thoughts to Him. I bet you’ll hear Him whispering, “Don’t worry. I’ll be your wall…”

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10 KJV

*When has a friend been a wall for you?

*Hope you were blessed by this encore post from Sept. 2009!

*Flickr photo by Jens Rost, Creative Commons License

Sweet Engagement Photo with Your Favorite Pooch

11875968776_9ddc4d8a5d_z*Giveaway winner announced below!

Mother of the Bride, does your daughter or her beloved have a dog they love to pieces? If so, they might want to think of ways to include their favorite pooch in part of the upcoming festivities.

One way they can include—and remember for posterity—their own “man’s best friend” is to ask their photographer to include the dog in one or two of the engagement shots.

I love the way the shot above is done with the freshly groomed furry friend in the foreground of the shot and the couple kissing in the background. Especially love the bokeh effect. A shot set up and taken like this ends up being both cute and romantic at the same time, doesn’t it?

So MOB, if your sweet couple are dog lovers, be sure to share this idea with them. Even if the doggy doesn’t cooperate, they’ll still end up with some sure-to-be funny shots—plus new memories made in the process!

*You might also like to read Man’s Best Friend as Ring Bearer and Cute Engagement Photo Idea: Include the Dog!

*The winner of the Kick Off the Holiday Giveaway is Joanna! Merry Christmas, Joanna! I’ll put your copy of Mother of the Bride along with the Starbucks gift card in the mail today!

*Flickr photo by Ryan Smith Photography, Creative Commons License

Guest Jeneal Rogers: From My Front Porch

jeneals-dawn-2

Today I’m happy to share a beautiful piece written by my dear friend Jeneal Rogers. Sit back, relax with Jeneal on her front porch, and let her words usher in peace and beauty. Let them transport you to the thin edge of dawn.

From My Front Porch

It’s the thin edge of dawn. I sit in the rocking chair, on my front porch. Crickets and tree frogs still harmonize. A squirrel scolds emphatically. I wonder. Is it her children she so passionately lectures? Or has her mate somehow unwittingly incurred her wrath?

I watch a spider scurry up the post in front of me. Hurried. Intent. Eager, perhaps, to begin her morning weaving.

Birds start to tune up for today’s concert.
Coos, chirps, and twitters.
Tweets, whistles, and caws.
The rapid percussion of a woodpecker, searching for his breakfast.
An arrogant cardinal warms his voice, “pretty, pretty, pretty bird.”
I listen for the satiny call of the owl, asking his perpetual question. “Who? Who? Who cooks for you?”

Leaves, twigs, and acorns fall from the huge oak.
Plunk
Pop
Tap
Announcing Autumn’s arrival as surely as the air of chilled fog.

How blessed I am. My weekend filled with warm love and laughter.
Friends sharing
Meals
Stories
Hopes
Dreams
Pieces of their lives, graciously offered
Gratefully received.

A beautiful gift, wrapped up and adorned with this sweet symphony of nature, received on my front porch, this early morning, at the thin edge of dawn.

Writer and visual artist Jeneal Rogers of southeast Missouri enjoys writing essays, short stories, and poetry along with creating visual arts of all kinds. An illustrator for Armonia Publishing, Jeneal is currently working on creating an illustrated book, New Wings For An Old Bird, which will combine her love of written and visual media. Jeneal invites you to keep your eye out for the book.

*Photo above by Jeneal Rogers

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. One current or new subscriber will win a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble so don’t miss out. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Summer Photo Fun: My Book Launch Party!

IMG_6652Summer Photo Fun wouldn’t be complete this year without featuring one of the most exciting events of my summer—my book launch party!

To be honest, this summer has been an intense one for me, filled with all the work necessary to help launch and market a book. So when Mother of the Bride finally made its way out into the world, believe me, it called for a party!

So today, friends, enjoy a few shots from that special celebration. I’m still in awe and still praising God for allowing me to share Mother of the Bride with the world. May it bless many!

IMG_6670Visiting with long-time friend Pam and my husband’s cousin Lyssa.

IMG_6684Heather, a friend from church, looking at my website.

IMG_6655The cake turned out great! Thanks, Becky!

IMG_6690My dad, flanked by long-time friends Lynn and Diane and Larry and Paula, chose one of the door prize winners.

IMG_6719I read a chapter about the father of the bride to help keep the men in the crowd interested :)

IMG_6807Signing books was part of the fun. Thanks, Norma, Janet, and Becky for coming!

IMG_6761Teri, Cara, and Phyllis looking at the my book with interest. Yay! :)

IMG_6791Two of my sisters, Janice and Carolyn, live within driving distance so could come celebrate with me. I also talked them into serving the cake and punch!

IMG_6738A huge thanks to my daughter Kristin and son-in-law Shawn for being my tech-team extraordinaire throughout my publication journey and also for allowing me to share so freely about their lives in my book. My mother of the bride experience started with them! (Since my other daughter Kelli’s due date is drawing closer, she and her husband Jake couldn’t travel to be with us.)

Thanks for sharing in my joy today, friends!

“Rejoice with those who rejoice;” Romans 12:15a

*How can I celebrate with you? What blessing has come your way this summer?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter comes out next week. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Photos by Shawn