LIGHTWEIGHT PROBLEMS IN PERSPECTIVE by Jeanne Gowen Dennis

Lightweight Problems

Lightweight Problems

Losing Weight at Last

For thirty years, I complained that I couldn’t lose weight. “Eat less. Exercise more,” people said. It never worked.

Then suddenly last fall, the inches started coming off. I can only attribute it to cutting out gluten and other foods that disagree with me. Getting more sleep. Drinking more water.

And possibly spending a month in Southeast Asia. There I fell in love with fresh vegetables. Vegetables with small amounts of meat for breakfast. And for lunch. And for dinner. I walked almost everywhere I went.

Keeping It Off

Here at home I cook more variety of foods, but I’m still losing weight. I don’t walk nearly as much as I did in Asia, but I exercise several times a week. Because I don’t want to gain the weight back. But now I’ve developed some new problems.

Lightweight Problems

For so many years, I looked in the mirror and dreamed of wearing a smaller size again. I never believed I would. I never realized how many more wrinkles would appear on my face when I did.

In March, I needed a smaller size in jeans. By June, I had to buy the next size down. The March jeans didn’t even show wear. Then because none of my better clothes fit, I purchased new ones for a convention. It was beginning to get expensive!

Now I’m altering my favorite clothes so I won’t have to replace them all. And that requires a huge expense of time.

Who would have thought losing weight could cause so many “lightweight” problems?

Real Problems

All of these small issues come into proper perspective when I observe the real problems happening all around us:

  • Hurricane Harvey and the incredible heartache and devastation it has caused.
  • The plight of persecuted Christians all over the world.
  • And those precious children whose bellies bulge like a woman eight months pregnant. Because they’re starving or filled with parasites.

How dare I complain about anything? Anything! All of my problems are lightweight compared to those.

The Solution

So I’m going to do what Scripture teaches. “By prayer and supplication with thanksgiving” (Phil. 4:6), I’m going to make my requests known to God. I’m going to thank Him for His faithfulness and for my small problems. And I’m going to:

  • Plead for those who bear the heavy burdens of grief and suffering.
  • Intercede for those who feel too hopeless to pray for themselves.
  • Pray for the lost who need the sure hope of salvation found only in Jesus.

I’m turning over my lightweight problems – and their heavy ones – to the only One who can truly help.

Would you like to join me?

“Live your faith. Pass it on.”

Author Jeanne Dennis

Author Jeanne Dennis

About Jeanne: An award-winning author of a dozen books, Jeanne Dennis hosts Heritage of Truth TV at https://jeannedennis.com. She is a commissioned Colson Fellow and Centurion. Through her writing, speaking, original music, and online ministry, she encourages families to live biblically in our spiritually confused culture.

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Your Words Matter

MaryAnn Diorio

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD

by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD

 

“I believed, and therefore I have spoken . . . .”
(2 Corinthians 4: 13)

If you want to know what you believe, listen to what you say. Your words reveal what is in your heart, for the Word of God says that “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12: 34).

God created the entire universe with words. Made in His image, we create our personal universe with our words.

So, what words are you speaking?

For the next 24 hours, listen closely to what you are saying. Are you speaking words of life or words of death? Are you speaking words that build or words that destroy? Are you speaking words that heal or words that wound?

Your words control your destiny. The Bible tells us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18: 21). The words you choose to speak will create your future. Just as God created the universe with words, so do we create our future with words.

Choose now to speak only words of life. In so doing, you will be imitating your Father in Heaven.

______________________________________
Copyright 2005-2017 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio writes riveting, compelling fiction that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. Her latest novel, RETURN TO BELLA, is Book 3 in The Italian Chronicles Trilogy and is scheduled for release in December 2017. You may learn more about MaryAnn at her two websites: www.maryanndiorio.com and www.maryanndiorioministries.com.

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Hello Canners!

Hope you are able to truly rest and be blessed from your labors this weekend. We have two praise reports to share this week!

MaryAnn Diorio has learned that her latest children’s picture book, The Dandelion Patch, has won the designation of “Best Book in the Category of Juvenile Fiction” in the 2017 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards Contest. She gives God all the glory for this award saying, “It is He Who called me to write and He Who has sustained me throughout the years. Praise the Lord! The book deals with the topic of Eminent Domain and is available through Amazon. 

Congratulations, MaryAnn! What a wonderful achievement!

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And here’s more good news from another CAN author:

Kathleen Rouser has won the 2017 Bookvana Award in the religious fiction category for her debut novel, Rumors and Promises. The sequel,Secrets and Wishes will release on October 2nd.

We are super excited for you, Kathleen! What an honor for your debut novel 🙂

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Who is a Hero?  by Darlene Franklin

Hero

Who is a Hero?

Who is a hero? What makes a hero? I never saw myself in that light until I faced my own hero’s challenge. I had to battle back from a month-long hospitalization. I had never fully recovered from the crippling weakness and arthritis which had led to my moving to a nursing home.

On my first day of therapy, my physical therapist worked with my lower extremities and core strength. The occupational therapist focused on “activities of daily living.” Could I raise my arms enough to brush my hair? Dress myself? We had a hundred days (according to government mandated guidelines) to accomplish the task.

Weakness and pain nibbled at my motivation. In one of my first sessions, my physical therapist asked me to stand up.

I pushed myself to my feet and tottered there for a few seconds.

“Sit down. Don’t plop.”

I reached for the wheelchair arm and carefully lowered myself into the chair. I was spent.

“That was good.” She applauded “Do it four more times.”

Every muscle screamed with pain. I adapted the mantra of the winner of The Rock’s competition as my own: “I will not let pain or fear defeat me. I will stop only if I’m physically unable.”

I stood four more times. I learned an essential lesson in facing an overwhelming task: success has more to do with attitude than with ease.

My health continues to fluctuate. I’ve just completed another hundred days of therapy.

I will not let pain and fear defeat me. I began with enthusiasm, drive, and a definite goal: to walk around the nursing home.

More lessons headed my way.

  • Accept a different normal.

Another hospitalization reminded me congestive heart failure has created problems for my other organs. They pick and choose when to work. I decided to stop waiting for things to get better.

  • Do it anyway.

So what if I’m sore and tired? Go ahead and write. Sing. Attend church. Live life in the now, because that’s all I have.

And sometimes. . .

  • Miracles happen.

For four years, I’d worked to improve range of motion in my arms. We’d worked as hard on it as much as we’ve worked on everything else, but nothing had changed.

Until one day this session, my arms lifted a few inches higher. I can wash my hair and tie on a chin strap.

  • The miracle you receive may not be the one you wanted.

My arms can move farther but I can’t walk around the building. My legs will support me but my lungs won’t.

A hero is a person who is admired for. . .courage.

A lifetime has taught me courage is not the absence of fear, but acting in spite of fear.

In that case, maybe I am a hero. Maybe you are too.

 Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. Mermaid Song is her fiftieth unique title! She’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears in five monthly venues. Other recent titles are Wilderness Weddings and Opposites Attract. You can find her online at: Website and blog, Facebook, Amazon author page

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Here’s this week’s CAN accomplishments and three book reviews to check out!

Jane S Daly recently attended the Oregon Christian Writer’s annual summer conference. Each year, OCW encourages writers to submit their work for the annual Cascade Awards. The submissions are narrowed down into three finalists in the twenty-two categories. I was honored to receive an award in unpublished contemporary fiction for The Girl in the Cardboard Box, and for published nonfiction, The Caregiving Season.

Congratulations, Jane!!!

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Baker Revell author, Linda Evans Shepherd, was named Writer of the Year by the 34th annual Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s conference, not only for her many bestselling books, but because as Marlene Bagnull the conference director explained, “No other author has done more for ministering to and connecting Christian women authors as has Linda.  She brought the Christian women authors together through the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.”

Linda also receive an Excellence in Editing Award from the The Christian Editor Connection at the SoCal Christian Writer’s Conference for Winning Your Daily Spiritual Battles, edited by Vicki Crumpton (in-house editor), published by Baker Revell.

Linda also recently appeared on the cover of Today’s Christian Living. Linda’s latest book is Winning Your Daily Spiritual Battles.  You can read the article at:  GotToPray.com

Wonderful accomplishments, Linda!

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Check out this interview with Karen Whiting on the Homekeepers TV Show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-2sKBvEjWs

She talkes with host Arthalene Rippy about instilling faith in children and her book 52 Devotions for Families.

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A Heart’s Gift by our Can author, Lena Nelson Dooley, won the the Faith, Hope, and Love Reader’s Choice (formerly the Inspirational Christian Reader’s Choice) Award for Long Historical. Here’s a review of the book:

A Heart's Gift by Lena Nelson Dooley

Romance is the name of the game. This book delivers what we all want more romance and excitement in our life. I am very well pleased with this book. This book had me unwilling to put it down until I turned the last page as I was so enthralled with the plot. The author knows how to deliver the good in this romance novel. Would I recommend this book to other people? Yes I would. I absolutely think this is great book. All opinions are my own and they are not influenced by anyone. ByCrowlady

(This review is the latest on Amazon.)

Congrats on your win, Lena!

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BOOK REVIEW: The Gift of Bread by Karen Whiting

There is so much I adored about this book and the author. This author has a passion for making and sharing bread that reflects her heart and faith. The author explains the threefold purpose of bread, “Sustenance that meets the need for nourishment, fellowship found in breaking bread together, and our covenant relationship with God.”

The author describes her feelings about bread, “…when the inviting aroma of bread fills the air, it beckons people to sit and enjoy a relaxing time at the table. Nothing seems to warm hearts and open conversation as well as fresh-baked bread…. “For me, faith and bread will always be linked together. Bread has always been a passion for my family and me. My grandmothers and mother taught me to bake bread, I, in turn, passed on my joy of bread making to my five children.”

Sprinkled throughout the book are Food for Thought segments that make the reader think. Each chapter has a “Lovin from the Lord” that talks about a Bible verse and story related to subject being discussed; followed by a bread recipe. At the end of every chapter is a “Leaves with a morsel of bread” like this one “Give Jesus, The Bread of Life, a Special Place in your Heart.” Again, this sentence/quote/verse reflects the chapter discussion.

There is so much I adored about this book and the author. This author has a passion for making and sharing bread that reflects her heart and faith. The author explains the threefold purpose of bread, “Sustenance that meets the need for nourishment, fellowship found in breaking bread together, and our covenant relationship with God.”

The author describes her feelings about bread, “…when the inviting aroma of bread fills the air, it beckons people to sit and enjoy a relaxing time at the table. Nothing seems to warm hearts and open conversation as well as fresh-baked bread…. “For me, faith and bread will always be linked together. Bread has always been a passion for my family and me. My grandmothers and mother taught me to bake bread, I, in turn, passed on my joy of bread making to my five children.”

Sprinkled throughout the book are Food for Thought segments that make the reader think. Each chapter has a “Lovin from the Lord” that talks about a Bible verse and story related to subject being discussed; followed by a bread recipe. At the end of every chapter is a “Leaves with a morsel of bread” like this one “Give Jesus, The Bread of Life, a Special Place in your Heart.” Again, this sentence/quote/verse reflects the chapter discussion.

This author encourages and feeds the readers body and soul. I liked that the author included semi-homemade recipes which gave ideas for entertaining unexpected guests. The four recipes I tried were easy to make, had easy to find ingredients, instructions and my family loved them. I was thrilled the bread recipes turned out to look lovely and taste great. It was a win win for me. The ones I tried are Honey-of-an-egg Whole Wheat Bread, Sally Lunn Bread, Cinnamon Raisin Bread and Judy’s Zucchini Bread. I can’t wait to try more. I was so surprised that every recipe worked without a bread machine and there was no long extensive kneading process required to make them.

I highly recommend this book for anyone that wants to share the gift of bread and have the bread of life honored in your home, at the dinner table, and in your heart.

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A Small Town Kind of Love

A three book novella collection by Darlene Franklin

Darlene Franklin

Darlene Franklin

Review by Trixi Oberembt

Plainsong

While going to a baseball game with her friends, Michelle Morris meets Joe Knight on a chance encounter. Their whirl-wind romance is straight out of a fairy tale, but will it fizzle when reality invades?

He seems to hide behind his insecurities by his gregarious and outgoing personality. She thrives on order and her feet planted firmly under her. They both have a lot to learn if they’re going to make a go of the relationship. I really enjoyed knowing they both have a strong faith in God and rely on Him to make a way, and how they grew when they began to give full control to Him. A sweet romance featuring two people struggling with real life issues and finding their way with God’s help.

Hidden Dreams

Fleeing her hometown in NYC after learning the mob killed her father, Marabelle, aka Mary Anne, runs into Wallace Tuttle in Maple Notch,VA…literally! His family graciously takes her into their home and she quickly finds security & comfort under their roof. The longer she stays, the more she doesn’t want to leave. Can this be God’s plan for her life?

I liked getting to know Wallace and his family. They are warm-hearted people who have a lot of love to give. Mary Anne is a quick learner and soon finds herself helping Wallace with the wildlife book he’s commissioned to write. They both have the shared pain of losing their parents and begin to help each other overcome grief. Finding comfort in God, His word and each other, they eventually fall in love as in any good romance book. I enjoyed the journey they took to get there. This one has a touch of suspense at the end when the mob catches up to Mary Anne. I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what will happen! I enjoyed this story of faith, family, shared interests, and falling in love.

To Riches Again

Elyssa travels on the Orphan Train helping deliver the children to their adopted parents along the rail line. Farm owner and single man Bill Ward is one of those who wish to adopt a sister and brother, Ian and Bridget. Having nothing to go back to, Elyssa longs for something more and Bill has been praying for a wife and mother for his new children. Perhaps God has answered their prayers already!

This was my favorite story in the collection! I love reading about the Orphan trains and watching as new families unfolded and forged strong bonds. Ian and Bridget were a delight to get to know and added their own bubbly personality and charm. This was a quick short story but it didn’t lack depth to me. Watching as Elyssa and Bill fall in love in almost a marriage-of-convenience type theme satisfied my romantic heart. They find their strength in God and their faith sustains them in hard times. I really enjoyed watching this story unfold & family bonds form between strangers.

 

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