Judging by Appearances

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by Yvonne Ortega Oh, no, I need a nickel for my four pennies. I can’t leave the kiosk with one gallon of water in the two-gallon jug. The kiosk won’t take pennies.   I looked for well-groomed men and women, who walked in or out of the grocery store by the kiosk. I tried to get their attention. Why did they turn away from me? That morning, I took a shower, shampooed my hair, and wore clean clothes that matched. With the words, ma’am, or sir, I addressed each adult with respect to no avail. Maybe someone put a sign…

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God Uses Unusual Teachers!

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by Ava Pennington We always had dogs during our forty-year marriage. And every dog had a very distinctive personality, much like people. My current dog is no exception. But ever since my husband died several years ago, Daisy has raised her antics to a whole new level. Daisy is an eight-year-old boxer who is both a blessing to my writing and a curse. Well, maybe not a curse, but she can definitely be a trial. Don’t get me wrong, I love her and her antics. But there have been times when I’m in the middle of writing and the words are flowing…

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How a Cat Changes its…um…Fur

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Today’s edition of Fascinating Fridays comes from CAN member Robin Currie. Thank you for bringing us your animals’ eyewitness account of the Nativity story today, Robin! I published Eyewitness Animals, Christmas Story, (Standard Publishing, now out of print) in the summer of 1997 about the Nativity story though the eyes of seven different animals who may have been there. They did not talk to humans but observed them and made internal comments. The animals all had names that described them. The usual ones were Clomper, Donkey, Wooly Lamb, and Sandy Camel. Then I added Twitter Sparrow observing angel activity in Galilee,…

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Getting Skunked

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            Getting skunked means to be overwhelmingly defeated in a competition, such as “We got skunked, 72-10 in the basketball game.”              And then there’s the literal meaning.             I had been prayerwalking for many years in my small town in the Sierra Valley that cold morning I headed out my front door and down Main Street—bundled up in gloves, coat, and hat that pre-dawn morning. I had forgotten my flashlight but wasn’t concerned when two doors down I heard rustling in the bushes to my right.             Just birds.             But soon I learned the rustling was not birds, but a skunk defending itself from an…

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Start Your Morning Write

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Today’s timely message of encouragement comes Linda Goldfarb–CAN member, author, speaker, coach and dear friend to many who shares from the heart on her morning practice of daily writing. Thank you, Linda! I’ve written short term pieces daily for more than a decade. I began for my eyes only, as I’m a speaker who writes, you see. Until I chose to heed the Spirit to share my writings and now it seems I’ve started a fire of sorts. Not too hot for pre-believers, yet challenging, I hope, for those who have ears to hear. Here’s a taste. I pray its…

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A Season with a Different Harvest

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I used to enjoy public speaking. I was thrilled when, during my senior year in high school, I was chosen to emcee our school Homecoming festivities. Although I must admit it wasn’t for a particularly good reason. According to Mrs. Monroe, who was my high school English teacher, my voice carried across the classroom. Even when I was trying not to be heard. Apparently, that made me a good choice for Homecoming emcee, because the sound system hadn’t yet been installed in our new high school gymnasium. Soon after that, I was emceeing at music festivals and churches across three…

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Finding a Balance That’s Just Right

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Goldilocks had the right idea: neither extreme worked for her—she chose the one that was just right.  The same is true of social and civic commitments. Too many commitments cause us anxiety and stress and result in poor performance in one or more areas of our lives. Often, that’s the area that affects our family. We might wish we could be a superwoman and do it all, but we can’t.  Something will suffer—our health or our family’s well-being, a relationship with a friend, or maybe even our position at work. Saying yes too frequently can lead to anger and resentment,…

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First Impressions

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It was my first book to be published, and I was excited about flying to Colorado Springs to meet my publishers at their headquarters.  Coming from Florida and having been warned of the possibility of a late spring snowstorm in Colorado, I carefully picked out my clothes for the trip to make the best impression, strategic about packing a separate suitcase for cold weather and snow.  But the next day when the plane arrived in Colorado, my suitcase with my cold weather gear was missing. I awoke the next morning to find a blanket of freshly fallen snow outside my hotel…

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Collected

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            The bear showed up again last night, and trash lay all over the driveway and front lawn.              Black bears start bulking up from midsummer through fall before they hibernate for the winter here in the Sierra Valley. It’s easier for them to forage through people’s dumpsters than through the forest that surrounds our mountain valley, so they wander from neighborhood to neighborhood looking for fridge castaways.             Groaning, I began the gross and time-consuming task of collecting the litter. One more thing. It was one more thing on my cluttered to-do plate.             After a four-day conference halfway across the country, I…

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What’s Wrong With These Boots?

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Author Yvonne Ortega blesses us with today’s Fascinating Friday post! Ouch! What’s going on? These boots are supposed to be my comfortable ones. The rain is attacking me vertically and horizontally. I need to get the trash can to the curb for pickup. Gremlins must have put nails in my knee-high rain boots.  They were buried in the back of the hall closet. Only gremlins could get in there.  I looked down at those shiny black boots. My other shoes fit. My snow boots fit, and the company that made them made the rain boots in the same size.  Forget…

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