Posted on December 13, 2013 - by Kav
Have you heard about of legend, The Night the Animals Talked? According to Norwegian folklore, the baby Jesus was born at the stroke of midnight with only Mary and Joseph and a menagerie of stable animals as witnesses to the sacred occasion. The animals gathered round and watched as the babe was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. And then an astonishing thing happened. God gave voice to the animals that night and they began to praise Him for the miracle they had witnessed. Their ability to talk only lasted a matter of minutes – until the shepherds came to worship the Savior. At their entrance the animals fell silent.
But the legend of the talking animals persists in Scandinavian countries to this day. It is believed that, at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, animals are given the gift of speech so they can praise God for the birth of His son.
Has an ardent animal lover I will confess to paying particularly close attention to the various dogs and cats in my life on Christmas Eve, hoping to catch them in mid-speech. Alas, I can’t claim any success, though I maintain that I’ve come close a time or two. J
So when I think of the nativity story, I imagine it from the viewpoint of the animals in attendance. And of course there would be a dog in the stable. Likely of a herding variety – in charge of keeping the peace and guarding the animals sheltered there. I like to think of their innocent acceptance of a new life. Their welcoming warmth and willingness to make room when the humans in town would not. All traits that we would do well to emulate any season, but especially at Christmas.
This Christmas will be the first one in twenty-five years that I won’t be celebrating with a special furbuddy. But I’ll still take out my book of Christmas stories and read about The Night the Animals Talked, imagining the hullabaloo my collective menagerie is making up in Heaven praising God on the most wonderful night of the year.
Posted on November 29, 2013 - by Kav
Richard Peck is one of my favourite YA authors and I just love the following quote which sums up my passion for both reading and writing.
- “I read because one life isn’t enough, and in the page of a book I can be anybody;
- I read because the words that build the story become mine, to build my life;
- I read not for happy endings but for new beginnings; I’m just beginning myself, and I wouldn’t mind a map;
- I read because I have friends who don’t, and young though they are, they’re beginning to run out of material;
- I read because every journey begins at the library, and it’s time for me to start packing;
- I read because one of these days I’m going to get out of this town, and I’m going to go everywhere and meet everybody, and I want to be ready.”
JENNIFER EDWARDS IS BACK HOME AGAIN…
When she traded small-town life for the bright lights of Chicago, Jennifer Edwards yearned to discover a world beyond Faith, South Dakota. So when her father’s illness calls her home to run their cattle ranch, she tells herself it’s temporary. Then why is she even thinking about a future with archaeology professor Brett Lange-the boy she left behind-whose life’s work is digging up the past?
Twelve years ago, Brett had a crush on Jennifer the size of the T-rex that put his hometown on the map. Now she’s a citified magazine editor who prefers designer duds to dungarees. Except that’s not the real Jennifer. Brett needs to make her see how a little faith can go a long way in uniting two perfectly-in-sync hearts.
Posted on November 15, 2013 - by Kav
Rambling is the way my brain works. Something sparks my interest and suddenly I’m befuddled with poignant memories until something else catches my eye and then I’m off on another nostalgic ramble. And it’s the oddest things that start the mind-darting off.
Like this new show:
Am I the only one up and moving at 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning? Because that’s when CBS’s Dream Team starts airing. Y’all know how much I love animals so you can imagine how giddy I was to discover Lucky Dog teamed with Dr. Chris Pet Vet back to back on Saturday mornings.
Blissful sigh. And of course watching these shows triggered all kinds of memories from my errant youth.
And remembering all this reminds me of a fantastic series I read when I was a kid. Hidden gems buried in the bowels of my public library. The World’s end series by Monica Dickens. Nearly orphaned children (mother ill in hospital and father sailing around the world) allowed to live alone in a rambling old inn which they turn into a refuge for stray and injured animals. Can’t you just hear my childish animal-lovin’ heart doing a happy dance?
And that memory bounces me to my current read: Love Inspired Sleigh Bell Sweethearts by Teri Wilson. The heroine inherits a reindeer farm in Alaska including a renegade ‘deer called Palmer who follows the hero around like a puppy. I’m seriously in full fur buddy swoon!
So…how about you? Are you as into animals as I am? In real life and in fiction?
Posted on October 31, 2013 - by Kav
Ways readers can support authors and books in general.
1. Buy them (the books, not the authors) :-) Obvious I know, but without our support the industry will continue to dwindle. Has anyone noticed the drift away from fiction in the Christian publishing industry? It’s not huge, but I know of at least one publishing house that is cutting out their fiction collection in order to focus on non-fiction. My own Christian bookstore has reduced the number of fiction shelves to make way for more non-fiction. This has me a wee bit alarmed. Given that some of the cut back might be due to ebooks but still…the fiction lover in me doesn’t get the draw of non-fiction over fiction.
2. Encourage your public library to purchase Christian fiction. I don’t know about where you live, but my city’s library had a very poor showing of inspirational fiction. They seemed to think they’d covered the genre with Beverly Lewis and Janette Oke. Libraries take title suggestions seriously. You are the demographic they are trying to keep as patrons. More book circulation means higher stats which means secure jobs. Don’t be shy in making your reading preferences known.
3. Try not to compare when you read. Just open your heart and prepare the way to be entertained and moved by the story the author has labored diligently on in order to share with you. Accept it for as a unique gift and enjoy!
4. Reviews sell books. They are a great marketing strategy for authors and publishers alike. Posting reviews on bookstore websites can help sell books. They can be a great boost for authors too. And check out Harlequin’s website makeover. It’s really easy to post reviews. Love Inspired titles could benefit from a shout out!
5. Spread the love. Share a book with a friend!
Posted on October 18, 2013 - by Kav
Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. John 4:35
I know that we usually associate harvest scriptures with bearing witness to non-believers but I have always been of the mind that some of the most important witnessing actually happens with in the walls of our own churches and when we are among the fellowship of other Christians.
Just because we have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour doesn’t mean we have reached the end of our journey. In fact, we are actually at the beginning of it. So for me, this harvest scripture from John also refers to a field of Believers ripe for the next word that will help them take another step in their faith journey. Because if we’re not stepping forward we risk falling back.
Christian fiction has contributed to countless steps forward that have contributed to the growth and harvesting of faith in my own soul. Take these two books for example…both deal with the complex issue of finding the way on your own personal faith journey.
These new releases confounded me the myriad of questions that came to my mind as I read.
Should you forsake the traditions of your family or do you cling to the familiar that has succored generations of your ancestors?
Is there room for a different kind of growth within the bounds of an existing standard of faith?
Is there only one true path to salvation or are there a myriad of forks in the road that lead to the same destination?
Lots of fodder for reflection that can lead to an abundant harvest for readers.
So, today I’d like to give thanks to the Christian publishing industry and the authors who fill bookstore shelves with faith-driven stories that encourage readers to excel. They are responsible for a wonderful endless harvest with their creative witnessing.
Posted on October 4, 2013 - by Kav
One of the definitions I came across for the word ‘social’ is “friendly companionship”. That involves more than a click of a mouse or a flashing cursor. And acronyms just won’t cut it. I’m talking about getting up close and personal; making eye contact while conversing in full length sentences. Being able to gauge a person’s emotions by their body language. LOL turns into a full-belly laugh that hits you in contagious waves. The tremor in a softly spoken word that prompts a consoling hug or understanding nod. It’s a connection that has nothing to do with how fast your router is or what kind of wifi you have. It’s a human connection that can’t be replaced by any amount of cyber ones.
This was really brought home to me recently when a joined a Living Healthy With Chronic Pain group. We meet for workshops in a downtown community center once a week and what a blessing the experience has been. No amount of Google searching and blog hopping had satisfied my need for understanding and information about my condition but the first time I walked into a room full of people struggling with pain just like me…well, the relief I felt was profound. We talked the same talk understood and commiserated and laughed at the same things.
Honest emotions expressed with real people who get it. That can’t compare to anything I find on my computer screen. Sometimes you just need the human contact. So don’t forget to unmask your cyberself from time to time and enjoy God’s most amazing creations in living colour!
Posted on September 20, 2013 - by Kav
Posted on August 23, 2013 - by Kav
So the Gaither Homecoming Bible arrived and I quickly became moonstruck. It reminds me of a really good bible study group. The kind where everyone is comfortable with each other and not shy about sharing how they apply the scriptures to their lives. Numerous insets written by Bill and Gloria and other Homecoming artists bear witness to the importance of scriptures today. Multiple testimonies of the power in the word of God to change lives. And interspersed with it all is the history and lyrics of 75 well-loved hymns.
Of course I had to google Gaithers. That led me to youtube where I discovered a treasure trove of inspirational music and worship. I was awestruck! Especially when I discovered Guy Penrod (I didn’t know who he was either! I was seriously missing out!) Guy is blessed with a voice that can move an audience to tears and he tells a story with every song he sings. The Spirit emanates from him; his music is like a prayer.
Which brings me to this week’s topic. Prayer. I know we’ve been talking specifically about school, but I thought I’d break out of the mold and expand our horizons a bit. So I’m sharing three of my favourite Gaither hymns featuring Guy Penrod. They are guaranteed to lift you up in prayer and carry you through your day, whatever it may bring.
- Watch Redeemed to the very end. I’m moved to tears every time I watch it. There’s a miracle taking place in the Homecoming group as they sing. Watch and you’ll see what I mean.
- Okay, this one packs an emotional punch as well. I tell you this man bears a powerful testimony through his musical talent.
- All I can say is to this one is: Amen!
Posted on August 8, 2013 - by Kav
I have been enjoying a lazy dazy summer. Emphasis on laze and daze. Heat does that to me. So do the ten months of the year that I run around like a chicken with my head cut off between my two jobs. It’s been heaven to just sit and stay put, venturing out into my garden in the early morning before the thermometer starts to climb. And having all the time in the world to write. Not to mention lounging around in the shade of the backyard reading voraciously. So, of course, I can’t resist sharing a few just released books that I’m eager to devour during my last few weeks of freedom.
Posted on July 26, 2013 - by Kav
When I found out that we were talking about influencers this time round the first word that popped to mind was:
They are the first blog I check out in the morning and I am continually amazed at how fresh and exciting each post is. These ladies — you can see them all right here. Hey, let’s have a contest. Can you name them all?
Anyway, as I was saying — I’m amazed not only by the content of the Seekerville blog but by the generosity of each author. They give so much of their time and talent in order to encourage aspiring writers. They are Encouragers with a captial E. Like this:
Looking for Contest info? Seekerville spoon feeds the information at the end of every month. And they highlight a contest diva too. Looking for honest, encouraging critiques? The authors offer them up on a regular basis. Want to know what an editor -really wants? How to find an agent? What self-publishing is all about? How to write a synposis? Find your brand? Create a tagline? That one was next to impossible for me but I finally figured one out. What do you think?
Then there was this past Monday’s post. Pam Hillman blogged about picmonkey. It’s a free graphic design site. Check out Pam’s blog here:
I was inspired. A little obsessed. Totally entralled. If the graphics above aren’t proof, check out these ones:
I was so thrilled when I discovered how to change the font colour!!!! Woohooo! I’m a techno whiz!!!!
And here’s a couple of August Romantic Suspense reads from Harlequin that are totally fantabulous! So much so that I couldn’t resist creating a special graphic for them. Cool, eh? I’ll let Simba sum it up:
And that’s why I love Seekerville.