TLP Living: July 16, 2018

TLP

A Little Reflection

It’s Monday again; what better day for a little reflection?

Has God been filling your life with blessings?  Has He given you peace in a tough situation?

Well, you see what I mean by reflection…

We spend so much time and energy running ourselves ragged these days, and so much of our lives just rushes by in a sort of blur; so it’s time to seize the moment.  Let’s give thanks to God for all He is doing in our lives, let’s thank Him for all of the ways He’s blessed us.  Let’s recall the great things He has done, like sending His Son to die for our sins.  Let’s take a minute to give Him the praise that is His due for all He is doing in His Body, the Church.  Let’s praise Him for all of those who have come to know Him recently, and…

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TLP Inspiration: July 16, 2018

TLP

A Man About Town

Good Monday from the Heartland.

What exactly is “a man about town?”

I’m not quite sure but I think he’s kind of a cool guy…

There are a lot of ways to describe the attributes of a “cool guy” I suppose, and they would surely start with one’s own idea of what “cool” is.  Of course, this takes us back to the original idea for this blog: “references”

Our individual frames of reference will determine for us what is “cool.”  If our past experiences tell us that dressing well is a really good thing, then we might say that a guy who dresses well is “cool.” If a cocky attitude and under-spoken confidence are good, then a guy who dresses well, is a bit cocky and who has a sense of under-spoken confidence might be a “man about town.”

If we took a view like this…

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Excerpt from Murder: It’s All in Your Head (WIP)

“Make your phone call,” said a balding cop.

Cassie stared down at her manly hands, the orange sleeve of her prison uniform brushing against the hair that extended just beyond it. Even her knuckles were hairy.

“Well, what are you waiting for? If you’re just gonna waste my time, I can find better ways to occupy it.”

Cassie nodded and picked up the phone with a shaky hand. She dialed home.

After three rings, a hesitant voice answered, “Hello?”

“Mom, it’s Cassie.”

“Excuse me? Who is this?”

“Mom, I know I don’t sound like myself, but it’s really me. I swear it. Please, just let me explain.”

“I don’t know who the hell you think you are, but this isn’t funny. You’re a sicko.”

“Mom, please–”

The line went dead.

“No…no…” Cassie stared at the receiver for several seconds, until the officer grabbed it out of her hand and hung it up.

The cop placed a hand on her back and directed her back to her cell. “Let’s go. What a waste of time if you ask me.”

But I’m Cassie. Tears streamed down the face that wasn’t hers as she dragged her feet back to the cell. She didn’t bother to speak up. This officer wouldn’t believe her any more than the others. They’ll think I’m some sort of messed-up psycho who preys on kids. Oh, my God. What if this Randall guy… He already murdered his wife. Those cops said he was sleeping around. Oh, my God. What am I gonna do?

They arrived at her cell. The cop gestured toward the open door. “Okay, inside.”

Head down, Cassie entered. The door slid shut with a resounding clang that tore Cassie’s heart to pieces.

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Focusing Your Novel With a Journalist’s Trick

A Writer's Path

by Andrea Lundgren

Okay, perhaps it’s more of a tool than a trick, but journalists have been using the “Who-What-Where-When-Why-and-How” format on hard news pieces for well over a century (to judge by the sort of articles they write, where each of these items are addressed), and I’ve found the six questions are equally useful when writing a novel.

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Naked Before God: In Community

I love this. “Naked” before God and others means being genuine, real, honest, open, loving. It seems so easy, yet can prove so hard. I have had the humbling and amazing experience of being in a group of people and being able to bare my soul. This has happened often in my Christcare group (a small group of women from my church who have been meeting on Mondays since 2011), in the pastor’s Bible study, and in other groups in my past. I am blessed to have had these experiences, and I encourage others to seek out small groups, where you can gain true friends who you can bare you soul to and they can do likewise. It’s really a beautiful thing.

TLP

Up to this point we have been discussing being naked before God in our own personal worship, individually; just God and you. This can and should be a wonderful time, regularly observed. Yet it is not the end of matter by a long stretch; rather, it is the beginning. God made humanity for community, and His purpose and will is that this community would be in fellowship with Him, thus becoming His very expression of who and what He is; we saw quite clearly in our examination of His image a couple of years ago, that this was His intention from the very beginning.

For most of us however, it is one thing to be naked before God in privacy and safety, but it is quite another thing to be naked before one another in any sense of the term. Certainly, in the literal physical sense of the term, the…

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Afraid of Heights

Sometimes all you need is a word of encouragement, a smile, someone to believe in you. Even when you feel worthless, know that isn’t true. Everyone has worth!

Cristian Mihai

I’ve always been afraid of heights. Just imagining looking down over a ledge at this great abyss was enough to make me dizzy…

I have always been afraid of falling. Of failing. Of being rejected, criticized. Of being ridiculed, ignored, despised, laughed at.

I’ve always been afraid. Of heights, of spiders and bugs, of dogs, of other people, of getting hurt, of pain, of suffering…

I was born weak. Fragile. Bad eyes, bad health, bad posture… when it came to first impressions… I suffered from what folks like to call social anxiety – I just wasn’t good around people. I lived inside my head. I despised going out. I despised talking to others.

From my father, I understood that I was dumb, ugly, and a failure at everything. I understood that I was afraid of so many thing, because greatness hadn’t been bestowed upon me.

I wrote, yes, but no…

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Naked Before God: Trials and Tribulations

I have heard it said that even yelling at God, even cursing at God is prayer. It’s talking to God, even in anger, frustration, hurt, or sadness. Or, dare I say it, blame? I understand far too easily the feeling of being upset with God because of my life’s circumstances. I have wanted to blame God. I have asked why. I have even questioned if God loves or cares about me…if He exists. I believe true faith must have a shadow of doubts. Doubts can make faith stronger when worked through and not ignored.

TLP

Praying in true humility can be difficult for us, particularly early in our Christian walk, yet for many of us, getting through the trials and tribulations of this life may be even more difficult. These are times of disappointments, problems, hardships, and sometimes these can lead to despair and desperation; we might even begin to wonder if God has forgotten all about us. Even worse, we might begin to think that God is exacting punishment upon us for something we have done or not done; oh yes, these are hard times indeed.

More than any other time in this life, times of hardship are times when we need to approach God’s presence holding nothing back, laying everything out in the open, times when we need to bare all before the God who sees all anyway. This is not only a time for praying in humility, it is also a time…

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