Archives for July 2012

Summer Photo Fun Continues: Dessert-Fest!

I’m not sure what comes over us, but when my girls and I get together, we go dessert crazy. We love to have fun when we’re together, and part of that fun is spelled C-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e! And if we’re forced to branch out, any S-W-E-E-T will do :)

My visit to my daughter Kristin’s a couple of months ago turned into a regular dessert-fest. One evening we settled for some Breyer’s ice cream with some of my homemade brownies, but the next couple of evenings we went all out—two large gelatos (Butterfinger and Belgian Chocolate) from a neat little Italian place there in Little Rock and then cupcakes from a yummy speciality shop. The cupcake flavor? Chocolate, of course :)

The photo above shows how proper we can be with our forays into dessert splurges, but the photo below comes closer to capturing our true selves :) Hope you enjoy this peek into my chocolate weakness. I didn’t think Summer Photo Fun would be complete without it :)

“A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul . . .” Proverbs 13:19a

*Time to fess up. Do you have a chocolate weakness, too?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in August. Sign up is free and to the right!

Summer Photo Fun Is Back!

It’s that time again—Summer Photo Fun is back! The weeks get pretty crazy when my husband is off work between summer school and the fall semester. One way I deal with it is by changing things up a bit here on the blog.

It’s time to take a break from posts that require more focused thought and offer some photos that are fun, unusual, beautiful, or meaningful in some way. Don’t worry, though, I won’t be able to resist offering you a morsel from the Word of God as I end each post. After all, I still want you to be refreshed and nourished when you drop by—though photos and captions can be pretty refreshing and soul-nourishing in themselves, huh?!

To add to the mix, I hope to feature some photos from a few of my artist/photographer friends in the coming weeks as well. Some are friends I know in person, and others are online friends I’ve met through blogging. I feel so blessed to be acquainted with such amazing and creative people. They challenge and inspire me, and I hope they’ll do the same for you.

For today, though, I’m kicking off Summer Photo Fun with the funny and unusual shot I took above. Not often you see a bird and a cat hanging out together, is it? But this is exactly what I spied one morning across the street from us. (Several feet actually separate the roofs, but it’s hard to tell that from this shot.)

Let’s have some fun with this photo. If you had to write a caption for it, what would it be? Let’s see if we can give each other the giggles. Can’t wait to see your suggestions! :)

Hope you enjoy Summer Photo Fun here on the blog—and hope you are enjoying your summer as well!

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4a

Battle Prayer

Anyone in the throes of spiritual battle? Take heart. You’re not alone. I’ve struggled—and continue to struggle at times—as well.

I wrote the prayer below almost fifteen years ago during such a time in my life. I pray it will remind someone today to cry out to the One who alone can empower us to stand:

“Dear Lord, it seems like spiritual battles have been coming at me right and left, and I am finding out just how real spiritual warfare is. The enemy is definitely trying to bring me down.

I’ve noticed how the battle becomes especially intense when I’m trying to move forward with something you have called me to do. Satan really does attack. He really gets serious, and he really does want to stop me. I know he wants to ruin my witness, too. I guess I can take comfort in the fact that if I’m being attacked, I must be on active duty.

Oh Lord, help me to recognize and withstand the tactics of Satan. Some are easy to spot, like major temptations or doubting you and your Word. Others are more subtle, though, like time wasted on worries, fears, or feelings of false guilt.

Father, I know Satan wants to rob me of my joy in you and render me ineffective or even damaging to your work. If he can keep me preoccupied with myself, he will have accomplished much of his task.

Protect me from the evil one, O Lord, and help me to fight against him with all of your might.”

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

*What helps you during the midst of a spiritual battle?

*Flickr photo by Lel4nd

*As we celebrate our nation’s independence, let’s remember all those who have waged battle to win and maintain it. May God’s blessing be on them and on our great nation!

Let’s Talk Books — We’re Past Due!

We usually talk books here on the blog a couple of times each year, but it’s been a little over a year now. (I posted my Want-To-Read List then.) I’d say we’re past due for another book conversation!

I’ve read five of the seven titles from the list I posted last summer. And yes, I’ve read a lot more than just five books this past year :) I tend to get side-tracked by other books that grab my attention or somehow become available to me. Anyone else have that problem? :)

Among the books I’ve read so far this year, the fiction titles I’ve most enjoyed include  Into the Free by Julie Cantrell, Stardust by Carla Stewart (a writer friend of mine who is a great storyteller and can really transport you to another time and place), The Doctor’s Lady  by Jody Hedlund (based on a real woman from history), Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings (based on the story of Ruth from the Bible), and the classic Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

Most of the non-fiction I’ve read this year have been books on writing and publishing. Some were disappointing, but there are a couple I would highly recommend. Unleash the Writer Within is by Cec Murphey. Cec is an author of over 120 books and is also a well-loved writing mentor. I’ve had the priviliege, in fact, of meeting and learning from him. Cec shares so much wisdom in this book. I love his honesty and invaluable insight.

The other writing/publishing book that rated high with me is Platform – Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt. It is chock full of good information and tips for any artist, writer, musician, speaker, or entrepenuer. If I implement even part of the advice Michael gives, I’ll make strides in the right direction.

Also, I don’t want to forget God’s Word. What have you been reading in the Bible lately? Right now I’m reading through the Psalms and also working through my blogging buddy Elaine Olsen’s Peace for the Journey Bible study. I’ve found soul-sustaining inspiration and spiritual nourishment from both.

Let’s be sure to leave God’s Word at the top of our Want-to-Read list year round. I don’t know about you, but I never tire of reading it. It’s ever fresh and life-giving, isn’t it?

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

*What books have you read this year that you’d like to recommend? What would you like to read in the coming months?

*Flickr photo by CCAC North Library