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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Asthma Treatments in History

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In the process of writing Testing Tessa, I learned that asthma is not a recent affliction but has been around for thousands of years. First mentioned in Chinese records around 2600 B.C.,  the disease wasn’t given its current name until around 600 B.C. when Hippocrates linked the symptoms to environmental triggers. He recommended a concoction of owl’s blood and wine to alleviate symptoms, not recognizing that asthma was, in fact, a disease. Through the years, other cultures attempted other treatments, including heating of herbs on a brick and then inhaling the fumes in 1500 B.C. Pliny the Elder, in 50 B.C., realized pollen…

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On Telephones & Stethoscopes

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Did you ever play telephone with the tube inside paper towel rolls? You aren’t alone. The first stethoscope was nothing but a rolled-up piece of paper. In 1816 Dr. Rene Laennec wanted to listen to the sounds of his patient’s heart. Rather than place his ear on the person’s chest, he improvised. It worked! He coined the name stethoscope and called the process auscultation. About twenty-five years later, Dr. Camman added earpieces so he could use both ears.  Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Cynthia L Simmons and her husband have five grown…

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God’s Humor Is Pretty Fascinating

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I’m always fascinated when I read the Bible and identify God’s humor. That’s what happened when I was writing God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature (co-written with my husband, Larry). Our book examines the questions God asks in the Bible. His questions are fascinating because He asks as if He doesn’t know the answers. But of course, He does and that’s what makes it humorous. He knows everything and asks questions to make people think and examine their motives and comprehension. The book of Job is filled with God asking questions. They are fascinating because many of them…

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Better Than Nostradamus

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By Jesse Florea Growing up, stories of Nostradamus intrigued me. I was amazed that a man who lived in the 1500s could predict events that occurred 400 years later, such as rise of Adolf Hitler or the assignation of President John F. Kennedy. No, I wasn’t a Christian. But I was curious.  I began investigating Nostradamus’ actual claims and discovered his puzzling poetic predictions could be interpreted numerous ways. In addition, he made more than 6,000 prophecies. With that many guesses, certainly a few would come true—especially when he used such ambiguous language. My curious nature didn’t end when I…

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Mining For Gold

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We think of gold primarily as either bullion or jewelry, but the precious metal has many other uses. In the old days, it was used for tooth fillings and even the odd false tooth. Nowadays, uses range from industrial to medical, to agricultural. For instance, gold is used to treat pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. It is liquefied, injected into muscle tissue, and reportedly helpful in 70 percent of cases.  Writing historical fiction doesn’t only mean researching the time period of the book’s setting. For my newest release, Miss Wetherham’s Wedding, my heroine owns the controlling number of shares in…

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Writing is Like Fighting…

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Happy Friday! Today CAN member Carla Hoch inspires us with writing perspectives told from a fighter’s point of view. Mohammed Ali estimated that over the course of his career he had been hit about 29,000 times. Twenty-nine thousand! Now, I don’t know how many of you have been punched in the face, but it ain’t fun. A solid punch can rock you to your core. And, after the fact, you are sore in places you never thought you’d be. Including your spirit. Writing is a lot like fighting. You pour your heart into it and sometimes the “win” doesn’t come….

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