Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I Marvel...

Easter 2017. I marvel at the message the cross – I’m challenged to love others with the incredible love I’ve received.
I marvel at the message of Resurrection. Because of it, I live with expectation and joy that dying is simply changing addresses. This assurance of eternity ends fear.

I marvel at Jesus. He endured being humiliated, betrayed, scorned and scourged with non-stop compassion.

I ponder Him, my hero and example, Jesus who lifts people up. In His honor I want to be a lifter-upper of others not a drain-downer.

I marvel at the idea of living Easter, spreading this Resurrection message all year.  Keeping Jesus in mind when I go through the McDonald’s drive-thru or chat with a store clerk – finding words to express their specialness, being other-focused, a person who walks through life helping people, as Jesus did. Pointing always to the Father and exalting the work of the Holy Spirit.

I marvel at God’s Creation - buds formed to burst, flowers unfolding, children laughing in play. Signs and sounds of new life are everywhere if I look and listen.

I marvel at Easter truth. In Christ, through Christ and for Christ all things were made including you and me [to live forever.] How awesome!  Colossians 1:16


I appreciate your prayers as I speak this month at Christian Women's Connection events in Peoria, IL and Bloomington, IL. If you live near these areas and would like to be in touch with the contact person e-mail me for contact info .

Man in Command continues to be my most popular ebook - men find and order it thru amazon without any advertising! It’s packed with practical suggestions for having a God-honoring, joyful family life today.

                                               Blessed Easter!

Monday, February 13, 2017

A Topsy-Turvy Time

Dear Friends,

What a topsy-turvy time emotionally in our country with way too much anger and hate floating around.  As a psychotherapist I’m seriously concerned about personal mental and emotional health. Anger raises blood pressure, constricts circulatory vessels, creates inner stress, releases cortisol, ages us. Bad stuff!

How can we eliminate this anger and frustration?  Knowing history helps. I’m blessed by currently reading the Old Testament, which helps me keep kings and rulers in perspective: they come and go.  Studying other periods of history is equally helpful.

What also helps me is researching current issues and making up my own mind. For example what Trump did re: immigration is similar to what Bill Clinton advocated in his 1995 State of the Union to applause. Obama himself picked the seven nations under scrutiny. Muslims from other countries were not blocked. This was not anti-Muslim or a religious ban! Just one small example of how changeable politics can be. I urge everybody to study both sides, do your own research and form YOUR OWN OPINION based on facts.  

My experience of being hit by an illegal on my daughter Pam's birthday, August 8, 2015 formed mine. Her car broadsided me when she failed to stop at a stop sign going 35 mph and ran right into my passenger side as we drove the speed limit 45 mph. She was nicely dressed, Hispanic, around thirty, driving a nice car, but had no driver’s license and no insurance. Waiting for the ambulance to take me to the hospital, she stood unhurt less than ten feet from me but never inquired if I was hurt or apologized. Fortunately there were eye witnesses. The woman seemed disdainful and annoyed she was being detained. 

I spent the next year in physical therapy and chiropractor sessions, couldn’t play golf for a year, have not played in my tennis league since and still must do half an hour of back exercise every morning to avoid debilitating back pain. Even so, I am never completely pain free.  It took over two months to repair our car. The woman who ran into us received two citations and was ordered to court for a third violation she never showed up for or paid. This was her second offense. I received no compensation for any of my expense, trauma or time lost from my life. The police and insurance company tried to contact her but she disappeared. We are a nation of laws and have a generous immigration program –how I wish this person had come here legally, gone through driver’s ed training and lived by the laws designed to keep us ALL safe.

LOVE AND RESPECT FOR OTHERS is always right and just. Isn’t it sad what’s happening –relationships between friends and colleagues are fragmenting. This is so wrong and unnecessary. We’re to respect every individual, listen and discuss different viewpoints kindly. Each person can respectfully present personal ideas. To withdraw from discussion with family and friends isn’t love or helpfulness, but a self-centered need to be liked, or agreed with rather than connect in a healthy way. We can commit ourselves to avoid foolish arguments,  and CIVILLY agree to disagree.

I LOVE YOU if you hate Donald Trump or if you like him. I hope you can still like me if I like him.  Jesus is on the throne, not any political leader. We can stay calm, breathe deeply, and relax. What a relief!

These biblical principles in Romans 13 apply. (The Message) 1-3 Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear…Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders.

Writing and Speaking Update: I have a big chunk of time for writing this month and next. I’m working on my next mystery novel, Shattered Trust. Then back to my speaking with 18 events between April and the end of the year. It’s going to be fun meeting the delightful Christian Women’s Connection gals in WI, IL and MN –Wayne enjoys being my chauffeur. You may recall I’ve had macula hole surgeries and can’t see signs well enough to drive on unfamiliar roads.

February Offer: If you’d like to receive Tommy Smurlee and Dunster’s Camp of Mystery and Inventions my inspirational mystery fantasy for boys and girls ages nine and up as a gift ebook in exchange for an honest review please send an email to my address  The book is being launched with a new cover and needs reviews on amazon and Goodreads. The first fifteen people will be selected.  Thank you in advance.

When all else fails, there’s nothing like a dog to bring you peace and calm. We need more dogs in the world!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Happy, Holy Christmas!

2016 Blessed Christmas 
And Going Deeper

     Don’t you love Christmas! It seems utterly amazing that the one and only God, the power force behind all that is, would love us without our “goodness” first earning His love. That He treasured each of us before we knew Him and could return His affection seems incredible. He was willing to enter this world with all its darkness and self-absorption to boldly declare “I LOVE YOU” and forever fill the longing within our hearts and satisfy our yearning to be cherished through eternity.

     It’s taken us a lifetime to understand love like this that would endure torture with poise to show the world death cannot hold us and no longer has power.  This is huge! Christmas is the starting point for the Resurrection,  the greatest event that occurred on earth.  Jesus entered as a Babe, became the Teacher modeling the way of truth and life, and the suffering Savior who set us free from fear and emptiness. He infuses us with hope to face any challenge with deep peace. We love and are loved by Him! This is what we celebrate during these sacred days.

     We started Christmas celebrations early in Door County with our sons Dan and David and daughters-in-law Kathy and Stephanie and twins Joshua and Anna. We look forward to having the entire family together for Christmas at Pam and John’s home with their adult children DJ, Steven, Katie and her husband Alex. David won’t have to travel four days by car to attend. He moved his family back to WI last July. Yay! Our daughter Tamara is flying in from Florida and her son Dr. Jack from Michigan. We’re happy to report all is well with our four precious sons and daughters and their spouses and our delightful seven grandchildren.

     We currently enjoy three winter months in Florida and the beauty of Wisconsin the rest of the year spending time with family playing board games, hiking, biking, and golfing. On the writing front, I’m still at it. Never Tomorrow, my third Christian mystery novel, came out this year. The third Tommy Smurlee Christian mystery fantasy book for older kids will be available by spring. My thanks to all of you who read my books and leave reviews. Wayne continues to be my first and best editor. We met many new friends this past year at book-signings in WI & IL and speaking to Christian Women’s Connection groups through Stonecroft ministries.

     Words can’t do justice to saying how much Wayne and I appreciate the gift of our connection with you -whether you’re family, friends of many years or new acquaintances. We treasure relationships more than anything in our life. With all our hearts we wish you the best, most blessed Christmas ever.

      “His love endures forever; His faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100, Verse 5.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Grateful For Encouragers...

I’m grateful for the people who have encouraged me – literally put courage into me - sometimes with words, other times just by being there for me. Encouragers help me think right – remind me success is in the doing, not necessarily in winning or mastering a situation.
When I faced eleven months of non-stop Interferon therapy to eradicate the Hepatitis C destroying my liver, my husband encouraged me that I could ENDURE.
A few years later he encouraged me that I COULD stay facedown for three weeks at two different times to recover from two macular hole surgeries, which saved me from becoming legally blind.
Knowing my man loves me forever encourages me to step out boldly in all I do. 
Who has encouraged you?
Parents are usually the first. When we learned to walk, they say, “Yay! Your first step. Oops, down you go. It’s okay. Try again.”  I urge parents to never give up this role. A chapter in my men’s books, Man in Command (ebook) and 52 Ways to Keep Your Promises As A Husband and Father (print version) called “Being An Encourager” reminds dads their role as encouragers never end. God our Father is always our best encourager!
Perhaps this Thanksgiving it would be fun to go around the table expressing thanks for someone who has encouraged you. Or maybe a spontaneous Thanksgiving play like the one pictured above of our grandchildren and nephew acting out praying after arriving in the New World.
TommySmurlee and Dunster’s Camp of Mystery and Inventions received a new cover to excite ages eight to adult. If your children or grandchildren haven’t met Tommy yet, I strongly encourage you to give them the opportunity this Christmas.
The story of God’s miraculous healing of our son David is back in print titled TriumphingOver Cancer, A Miracle Story plus 40 SurvivalStrategies. Get it at Barnes and Noble or through amazon.
I enjoyed meeting readers and making new friends speaking at several Christian Women’s Connection events and two book-signings this November. Now I’m ready for my winter hiatus to do some intensive writing! But first - my favorite time of the year – being with family Thanksgiving through Christmas.

1 Thess. 5:11 (NIV) “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Isaiah 35:3-4 (NASB) “Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not.”