Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Life, Unscripted...

Just a few days left to enter the contest to win a $25.00 gift card to Barnes and Noble.

Here are a few more pictures of the book on the shelf!

(If you have no idea what I'm talking about go here!)

Submitted by Miss Bookworm

Submitted by Cindy Lafuze

The blog tour will be starting mid-September and I'll be posting links to all the stops along the way! I've got some great blogs signed up!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Check out my latest interview with Jill from Christian Work at Home Moms.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Guest Blogger...Cara Putnam

Our escape to North Carolina was amazing.

I’ve always been more of a mountain girl than beach girl. It probably has something to do with growing up in Nebraska rather than Florida. Either way, while the beach is nice, give me a mountain. I can’t be near them without being literally surrounded by evidence of God.

We spent days hiking to waterfalls, playing in swimming holes, sliding down rocks into pools, going horseback riding, etc. Building memories. The kind that our kids will pull out for years to come.

Some of my favorites are watching Jonathan overcome his fear of that huge horse and let me put him on its back - alone. He was so excited about being the lead horse, that before long he was holding on with a nonchalance that made me think he was going to fall asleep. His little legs barely stretched across the back of the horse’s back - too cute. Abigail really enjoyed the ride, too. And it was great to be back on a horse again. It’s been a long time.

Then there’s the two hours that we spent at Little Sliding Rock. It was a blast, but I am so GLAD my friend warned me the day before to wear shorts over my swimsuit. I literally wore a hole in the seat of those shorts. We all had so much fun sliding up and down, over and over, in the freezing water. We literally had to pull the kids away.

That’s what this vacation was for. After the insane pace of our summer, we needed the chance to reconnect. To play card games as a family. To hike together and see amazing vistas. To window shop because we couldn’t quite get to town in time before the stores closed - there were way too many thing to see.

And I think we will make vacations like this a regular part of our rotation. Even if the cicadas are so loud at night I can hardly think.
So what does your family do to reconnect after a hectic season?

Cara C. Putman
Canteen Dreams -- October 2007;
Sandhill Dreams -- May 2008 and Captive Dreams -- September 2008 (HeartsongPresents)
Deadly Exposure -- June 2008 (LI Suspense) The Law, Life & Books: Original Writer for Jake Tremaine at Scenes & Beans:

Monday, August 27, 2007

Meet my friend, Mary!

I have a friend named Mary who is like me in many ways. We both write fiction and non-fiction. We both still have kids at home. We are Gen Xers and proud of it!

Mary as a new book. You can read a sample chapter here. (Go ahead, try it!)

Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture
by Mary E. DeMuth
Harvest House, July 1, 2007

I'm also posting and interview with Mary. And if you live in THIS world, today, and scratch your head at why people do what they do ... I think you'll find it insightful.

Why did you write this book? Aren’t there already a bazillion parenting books out there?

Yes, I do believe there are a bazillion. I always struggle when I write a parenting book because I feel so darned small and weak. I don’t parent perfectly. But, we did live through two and half years in France, the hotbed of hyper-postmodernity. We had to learn how to parent our kids in that culture. It occurred to me that the things we learned would be helpful to American parents too.

What does postmodern mean? And why should it matter to parents?

Postmodernism is the waiting room between what used to be a modern worldview and what will be. According to several postmodern scholars, we’re in a shift right now, leaving modern ideas behind, but what we are shifting to is not yet fully defined. Postmoderns believe that rationalism and/or more education doesn’t necessarily create a better society. They typically don’t embrace the notion of absolute truth, though they reach for the transcendent. They are skeptical, and often question whether science is something to be embraced or feared. The question for parents is how will we mine the current worldview, even as it shifts? What in it can we embrace as biblical? What is not biblical? What I’ve seen in the church is a fearful adherence to what is familiar. So we cling to modern ideas, even though they may not be biblical and shun postmodern ideas even when they might be biblical. Our children will meet this shifting worldview no matter what our opinion of it is.

How can a parent help their children prepare for the world outside their door?

Become a conversational parent. Talk to your kids. Listen. Share your story.

Dare to believe that God has much to teach you through your kids. Be humble enough to learn from them.

Create a haven for your kids, an oasis in your home that protects, supports, and gives kids space to be themselves. Take seriously the mandate that you are responsible for the soul-nurturing of your children.

Teach your children to joyfully engage their world, while holding tightly to Jesus’ hand. Teaching this comes primarily from modeling it in your own life. Do you engage your neighbors? Are you more interested in God’s kingdom than your own? Admit your failures openly with your children, showing how much you need Jesus to live your daily life.

You are the first to admit that being authentic might require a parent to apologize after an angry outburst. Are you saying that authentic parents don’t always have it all together as some would like to think?

Yep! We are all frail, needy humans. If we present ourselves as perfect parents, never failing, always doing this correctly, we show our children we have no need of Jesus. We also set up a standard of perfection—that to be a Christian, one has to be perfect. This can lead to our children creating elaborate facades or hiding behind masks. I’d rather have my children see that even mommies make mistakes. Even mommies need Jesus every single day.

You talk about the twin values of engagement and purity. What does that mean?

Many parents subconsciously believe that true parenting means protection at any cost. We received a lot of flak for putting our children in French schools because the atmosphere there wasn’t exactly nurturing. Believe me, the decision was excruciating. But through it all, I realized that Jesus calls us all to be engaged in the culture we live in, yet not to be stained by it. That’s the beauty of engagement and purity.
Abraham understood this. After God told him to leave everything and venture to a new place, he obeyed: “From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD” (Genesis 12:8). Oswald Chambers elaborates: “Bethel is the symbol of communion with God; Ai is the symbol of the world. Abraham pitched his tent between the two.” As parents journeying alongside our children through a postmodern world, this concept of pitching our tent between communion with God and engagement in the world should encourage us.

What bugs you about postmodernism?

I happen to believe in absolute truth, so that’s a problem! But more than that, I worry that all our rambling about it, trying to discern what it is, has caused us to rely more heavily on our own intellectual pursuit of God than our heart. When I get caught up in that, I remind myself of my friend Jeanne’s son Jacob, whose heart after Jesus takes my breath away. Living with a brain injury, Jacob throws off pretense as he worships God, arms vaulted to the sky in unashamed heart worship. That’s the kind of believer I want to be. That’s the kind of heart I want. I love this verse: “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). For me, for my children, that’s my prayer, that we’d be simply and purely devoted to Jesus no matter what worldview we find ourselves in.

To purchase, click here.

Visit Mary's helpful and fun website here.

Meet Mary and read her crazy blog here.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Guest Blogger...Cara Putnam

I Survived

Thursday was the due date for our baby that we’ll get to meet someday in heaven. The week leading up to the due date was harder than the due date. Jonathan was two weeks early, Abigail four days, so I knew that this baby would have been early, too.

I think it helped being 800 miles away from home. Surrounded by God’s creation and a constant reminder that He is so much bigger than we give Him credit for being.

I also know I was surrounded by prayers. If you were one of the people

holding me up, thank you. I could sense your prayers, and they did make a difference.

I wish I could say I was pregnant. I wish I could hold my baby right now. But I can’t.

Someday maybe I’ll understand. But for now, I can say that I survived. And there’s a part of me that’s a bit more able to move forward. Now, I can’t say I should be eight months or nine months pregnant. I should have a nice round belly. No, at this point I should have a baby.

And I do. It’s just not in my arms. Instead, that little one – Gabriel or Gabriella – is dancing on the streets of heaven. And someday I will get to join him.

And until then, I look forward because I know God will use even this for good – He already has. And someday I will see that good in my life. And even if I don’t, I know to the very core of my being that He is good because He never changes.

He can’t.

Monday, August 20, 2007

what's Tricia working on?

I'm working on two proposals at once. Seriously, I've been going back and forth all day. Even after writing seven novels, I find writing proposal TOUGH! Will someone like it? Pick me! Pick me!

Here are the first lines of those:
Rosalie Matthew's thumb played with the ring on her finger, still not used to its feel.
--Rosie the Riveter, WWII historical novel (co-written with my friend Ocieanna)

Every afternoon an air of expectancy filled the city as Londoners awaited the arrival of their heroes from bombing raids. Like knights of old, the strongest steeds arrived first.
--A Secret Courage, WWII historical novel

And here is the first line for my next novel that’s due, just started:

The beep-beep-beep of the hand-held video game in Chris’s hands joined with the sound of bacon frying in the pan and the energetic tune from the radio in Emily’s room.
--Sweet September, contemporary novel

Friday, August 17, 2007

Just a Spark!

I live in Montana ... it's one of the prettiest places on earth, except during fire season.

Even though the fires are miles and miles from my home, the sky is filled with smoke. In fact, it's so gray and dark it's hard to see the HUGE mountains from my window.

This reminds me of something I read recently:

"It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or
wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruinthe world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell."

This is scary:
"You can tame a tiger, but you can't tame a tongue? it's never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image.Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!"

I love that ... by our speech we can send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it. It's a great passage from The Bible.

The Bible? Did that sound like the Bible to you? Where are the thees and thous and hard language? I was asked this question by some of my teen friends who heard me read this passage. They didn't read the Bible much, and this isn't what they expected.

The verses are actually, James 3:5-12, The Message version. I LOVE the Message because it is the Bible is today's language.If you don't have this version on the Bible, don't worry.
Check it out," See that box next to Quick Search? You can change the version. Just go down a few and find "The Message." Then you can enter in some of your favorite passages.

Here are a few of mine:

Isaiah 40: 27-31:"Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,or, whine, Israel,saying,"God has lost track of me. He doesn't care what happens to me"? Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening? God doesn't come and go. God lasts. He's Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired,gives fresh strength to dropouts.For even young people tire and drop out,young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.They spread their wings and soar like eagles,They run and don't get tired,they walk and don't lag behind.

Psalm 119: 9-16:

How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word. I'm single-minded in pursuit of you; don't let me miss the road signsyou've posted. I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won't sinmyself bankrupt. Be blessed, God;train me in your ways of wise living.

So how about you? What are some of your favorite verses? How do they read in The Message? I'd love for you to share!

Oh, yes, and remember. It only takes a spark! Don't I know it!

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

I need it, I want it...Buy, Buy, Buy!

Every year billions of dollars are spent by advertisers to make us believe that what we have and who we are aren’t enough. That we need something “better”—looks, food, toys, fun. You name it.

I’m as guilty as the rest when it comes to getting caught up in what the world offers. I’m quick to whip out my VISA card and slow to distinguish my needs from my wants.

And it’s not only “things” that draw me—just the other day I took my daughter to get her hair cut and found myself eagerly flipping through the pages of People magazine—catching up on who’s dating whom and who’s wearing what, and lapping up those voyeuristic photos of glamorous stars caught in their sweatpants and ball caps while shopping at the grocery store.

When I take the time to think about it, I realize how silly this tug is. The people we idolize are simply people, after all. The ‘stuff’ we desire is nothing more than man’s attempt to create something beautiful and worthwhile. The successes we strive after are limited in scope and nature.

So why do we get caught up in worshipping the world’s idols? And more important how can we keep our kids from falling into the same trap? First, we must to realize that we are being deceived by the world’s definition of “need”. I think by continually focusing on our living God we can train ourselves and our kids to not live apart from the world, but to serve Him in it. We can train ourselves to distinguish between reality and lies.

How do you handle this in your own family?

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Guest Blogger...Cara Putnam


For women it’s a tense subject. For teenage girls it can be even worse. Who hasn’t wanted to be thinner or had a hard time being satisfied with the body they have? I think when we’re honest, we can all admit we’ve had moments, days, or months where we’ve been there.

On August 4, I found an interesting, eye-opening, and scary story on about girls who are wannarexic. These are young women who wish they could be anorexic! Yikes! And yes, they truly want to be anorexic.

Read the article if you have adolescent girls around you. It’s a scary wake-up call.

The psychologists quoted in the article attribute the trend to girls who think the anorexic girls are the popular ones. If they could just be like those girls, then they too could be popular.

Frankly, I think this is a scary proposition. As the mother of an almost seven year old girl, it reinfornces the difficult job I have as a mother. How do I encourage healthy lifestyle choices and help her see herself as the very special creation that God made?

It’s a tough job, but a critical one. If you have girls, what do you do?

Cara C. Putman
Canteen Dreams -- October 2007; Sandhill Dreams -- May 2008 and Captive
Dreams -- September 2008 (Heartsong Presents)
Deadly Exposure -- June 2008 (LI Suspense)
The Law, Life & Books:
Original Writer for Jake Tremaine at Scenes & Beans:

Monday, August 13, 2007

Is This You?

Read this article by DeMarco and weigh in...does this capture your family?

Generation X parents outshine Baby Boomers
Laura DeMarco

Group called slackers embraces family.

In the 1990s they were derided as cynical slackers. They were mocked in pop culture as lazy, selfish types who would rather spend their time moping in overpriced coffee shops than moving into adulthood.

But Generation X is all grown up now - and having children.

And when reality finally did bite the 60 million Americans born between 1965 and '79, they didn't react as might be expected. Gen-Xers are embracing family life with a vigor not seen in baby-boomers.

Generation-X includes more stay-at-home dads, fathers working from home and dads cutting back long hours than previous generations, say analysts.

Gen-X moms are distinguishing themselves from baby-boomers by embracing traditional roles. Though they're more college-educated than any previous generation, more Generation-X moms than boomers are staying home or working part time.

Xers' focus on home life shows up in several more parenting trends: they make financial sacrifices in exchange for family time; they're increasingly discipline-oriented; and they let their kids just have fun.

In part this is a reaction to their background, say sociologists. Their childhood was a time of personal and political upheaval. Xers were the first generation with large numbers raised in broken homes. Almost one-third had divorced parents, compared with 13 percent of boomers, according to the Yankelovich research analysis firm. Nearly half of all Xers had working moms. Before they were labeled slackers, they were latchkey kids.

Now Generation-Xers have become homebodies. And they're raising more than half of all children under 18 in the United States, some 40 million kids.

Fathers more involved.

Three years ago, Ellen Barrett, program director for the Heights Parent Center, noticed more men coming to the Cleveland Heights gathering Place.

"In the last three years, we've really had a surge of dads, and not just dads who happen to have the day off or who are home on vacation," she says.

The center now has a busy father's play group with about 40 members, most in their late 20s to mid 30s, that meets several times a month.

The last decade has brought significant changes in the roles of fathers, says James Chung, president of Boston-based Reach Advisors. The company recently released the first major study on Generation X parenting. Titled "From Grunge to Grown Up," it surveyed 3,020 Gen-X and baby boom parents nationwide.

According to the study, 48 percent of Gen-X fathers spend three to six hours per week on child rearing, versus 39 percent of boomer dads. Forty-seven percent of Xers wish they could spend more time with their children, compared to 36 percent of boomers.

The number of stay-at-home dads has jumped 18 percent since 1994, to 189,000 in 2002, according to the Census Bureau.

For Parma resident John Benson, 35, and wife Maria, 36, the decision to swap roles was a financial one. As a writer, Benson could work from home while taking care of their 1- and 3-year-old sons, unlike his wife, who works in accounting.

But the choice was also based on his childhood.

"I was a latchkey kid, and I don't want my kids to be latchkey kids," he says.
That's a common denominator among many Gen-X parents.

"Gen-Xers grew up in the aftermath of a time of much social upheaval, in an era of rapidly increasing divorce rates and mothers rapidly re-entering the work force," says Chung. "Some of them want to raise their families different from the way they grew up."

Bernard Carl Rosen, professor emeritus of sociology at Cornell University and author of "Masks and Mirrors: Generation X and the Chameleon Personality," says it's not just family history that's influencing Xers.

"Generation X is far more insecure than boomers. Their family situation was a bad one, the economy was not in good shape when they were growing up, they've seen a lot of betrayal by politicians. The world they grew up in felt very fragile."

But mom still the anchor.

When one parent does stay at home, it's still more often the mother. What's different is that though there are now more college-educated women among Xers, there also has been an increase in mothers staying at home and working part time.

Census figures found that 10.6 million children under 15 in two-parent homes were being raised by stay-at-home moms in 2002, a 13 percent increase from the previous decade.

Twenty-five percent of Gen-X moms spend 12-plus hours a day on child rearing, according to Reach, more than double that of boomer moms. (Even when boomer children were as young as the Xers' kids, moms spent less time with them, says Chung.)

Cleveland Heights stay-at-home mom Andrea Lynn, 32, says she had long planned to quit working as a librarian when she had children. A past nanny job helped make up her mind.
"I saw what the working two-parent household was like and I didn't want that," says the mother of a 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son. "It's too hard to have everything."

Many women are coming to that conclusion.

The number of professional women working part time - by choice - has risen 17 percent from 1994, to 2.9 million according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In part, this is due to the fact that Gen-Xers feel less loyalty to one company than past generations did. Women today also don't feel like they have to prove themselves as much as boomers did - it's a given they can have a career if they want it.

"I knew working full time wasn't going to work out after the birth of my third child," says Bay Village resident Amy Hannum, 33, mother of a 7-year-old son and 5- and 3-year-old daughters. She works three days a week as a development writer at Oberlin College. "I wanted balance in my life."

Hannum plans to return to work full time when her youngest enters school, a career path similar to many Gen-X moms'. Only 16 percent of stay-at-home moms will not consider returning to work, says the Reach survey.

"Now there are more options for women," explains Chung.

Discipline returning.

Choice comes with a price.

"I told my husband that even if we had to give up a car, I wanted to stay home," says Lynn. "He was very supportive."

Willingly making financial sacrifices is a common Gen-X parenting trait, notes Chung. But the cuts are aimed at parents, not children.

There is, however, one thing for their kids that they seem to be cutting back on: the permissiveness of many baby-boomer parents.

"A lot of boomer parents think they have to be friends and buddies with their kids," says Hannum. "A lot of Generation X parents have a good time with kids but have clear boundaries that they are the parents.

Adds Lynn, "You owe it to your kids to teach them how to behave and to have manners. I really believe in limits for kids."

For many, that includes lighter extracurricular schedules.

"There's less demand for enrichment activities" among Gen-X parents, says Chung. "The attitude is more 'let the kids be kids.' "

Such attitudes are natural for Gen-Xers, explains Rosen.

"They are very sensitive to other people's needs," he says. "To the boomer, the world was more or less fashioned to his or her needs, and that included children. I think Generation-X will make better parents than boomers."

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Attracting the twentysomething worker

Here is a fascinating article from Fortune Magazine on Gen Y in the work place:

The baby-boomers' kids are marching into the workplace, and look out: This crop of twentysomethings really is different. Fortune's Nadira Hira presents a field guide to Generation Y.

By Nadira A. Hira, Fortune writer-reporter

(Fortune Magazine) -- Nearly every businessperson over 30 has done it: sat in his office after a staff meeting and - reflecting upon the 25-year-old colleague with two tattoos, a piercing, no watch and a shameless propensity for chatting up the boss - wondered, What is with that guy?!

We all know the type: He's a sartorial Ryan Seacrest, a developmental Ferris Bueller, a professional Carlton Banks. (Not up on twentysomethings' media icons? That's the "American Idol" host, the truant Matthew Broderick movie hero, and the overeager Will Smith sidekick in "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.")

Designer Johnny Cooper, 23, organized a big fundraiser in his second year at J.C. Penney.
Assurance associate Sheryl Walker, 24, is happy to be living at home.

At once a hipster and a climber, he is all nonchalance and expectation. He is new, he is annoying, and he and his female counterparts are invading corporate offices across America.

Generation Y: Its members are different in many respects, from their upbringing to their politics. But it might be their effect on the workplace that makes them truly noteworthy - more so than other generations of twentysomethings that writers have been collectively profiling since time immemorial.

They're ambitious, they're demanding and they question everything, so if there isn't a good reason for that long commute or late night, don't expect them to do it. When it comes to loyalty, the companies they work for are last on their list - behind their families, their friends, their communities, their co-workers and, of course, themselves.

But there are a whole lot of them. And as the baby-boomers begin to retire, triggering a ballyhooed worker shortage, businesses are realizing that they may have no choice but to accommodate these curious Gen Y creatures. Especially because if they don't, the creatures will simply go home to their parents, who in all likelihood will welcome them back.

Some 64 million skilled workers will be able to retire by the end of this decade, according to the Conference Board, and companies will need to go the extra mile to replace them, even if it means putting up with some outsized expectations. There is a precedent for this: In April 1969, Fortune wrote, "Because the demand for their services so greatly exceeds the supply, young graduates are in a strong position to dictate terms to their prospective employers. Young employees are demanding that they be given productive tasks to do from the first day of work, and that the people they work for notice and react to their performance."

Those were the early baby-boomers, and - with their '60s sensibility and navel-gazing - they left their mark on just about every institution they passed through. Now come their children, to confound them. The kids - self-absorbed, gregarious, multitasking, loud, optimistic, pierced - are exactly what the boomers raised them to be, and now they're being themselves all over the business world.

It's going to be great.

"This is the most high-maintenance workforce in the history of the world," says Bruce Tulgan, the founder of leading generational-research firm RainmakerThinking. "The good news is they're also going to be the most high-performing workforce in the history of the world. They walk in with more information in their heads, more information at their fingertips - and, sure, they have high expectations, but they have the highest expectations first and foremost for themselves."

Read the rest of the article here!

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Seven Things I Learned at Summer Camp

Last week I was blessed to attend summer camp. Actually, my whole family attended to serve in a drama ministry. I also had the joy of watching three boys, ages 3, 4, and 6 while their parents helped in the kitchen. Yes, boys are active but some of my best times were playing with them in the sand at the lake with the sun smiling down on us.

Still, I came away from camp with more than a sun tan. I also learned some great things about my (our) walk with God!

  1. Everyone needs a time to escape with God. Isaiah 49:10-11 says, “For the Lord in his mercy will lead them beside cool waters. And I will make my mountains into level paths for them.” As you will see from the photos, there were both beautiful mountains and cool waters at camp. It was a time of refreshing. A time to be reminded of God’s creative powers and “rest” in Him.
  2. There is a whole generation of young men and women who are in need of hearing about God’s miracles in OUR lives. Psalm 71:18 says, “Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.” I was able to participate in some small groups and share ways God has transformed my life. The generations coming behind us need to know more than just “about God.” They need to know how He works in the lives of men and women! I pray that the personal testimonies from the counselors will nourish their faith. (In addition to the small groups, I also took my one and only copy of My Life, Unscripted … and one of the teen girls borrow it to read it. I still haven’t gotten it back yet. I think it’s being passed around!)
  3. We all need direction for our day … and discipline. As you can imagine, we couldn’t let 70 kids run wild and do their own thing. We set clear boundaries and planned their day. And when they got out of line we did correct them, but we did so gently. “I know, Lord, that a person’s life is not his own. No one is able to plan his own course. So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle.” Jeremiah 10:23-24
  4. We all need to take time in our day to fill our stomachs and our souls with the good things of God. And you can be sure EVERYONE comes running when they hear the dinner bell! “The eyes of all wait for You [looking, watching, and expecting] and You give them their food in due season. Psalm 145:15 (Amplified Bible)
  5. At camp one’s eyes are open to see spiritual needs and their mouths are quick to speak truth to those with softened hearts. If only we were so in tune with God’s work in the lives around us all the time! “At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Matthew 10:19 NLT
  6. Today can be the day of salvation. And for two dozen kids at the camp, it was! It is a wonderful thing to know that these children accepted the greatest gift ever … Christ. “I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. Isaiah 61:10
  7. There is joy and excitement in praising God. If we were face-to-face I’d show you hand motions to some of the songs I learned! “My mouth’s full of great praise for God. I’m singing his hallelujah’s surrounded by crowds.” Psalm 109:30

Yes, everything I know about God I was reminded about at summer camp!

Guest Blogger...Cara Putnam

My parents visited last week. I always love having them come. We simply enjoy each other. And I know Dad will always have a new song for me to listen to. He goes through favorite songs like some people go through chocolate.

A few weeks ago his favorite song was Lifesong by Casting Crowns. (I tell you, he is a cool Dad!) Then it was something else. Now it’s Moving Forward by Free Chapel. In a few weeks, I just about guarantee it’ll be something new. But for right now, it’s Moving Forward. If you’ve never heard it, hie thee to iTunes and buy it. It is amazing. The lyrics have run through my mind as if on a loop for the last week. If the words could truly work into my spirit to the point that I believed them completely, they would be life changing.

Have anything in your past that you regret? Anything happen to you that impacted you even though it wasn’t your fault? Feel out of control and hating it?

Then sing with me.

“Not going back, moving ahead

I’m here to declare to you my past is over

In you all things are made new

Surrender my life to Christ

Moving, moving forward”

I love it. All thing are made new in Christ. We all know that verse. But do we expect Him to really do that? Or do we get in the way? Or do we believe He’ll do that for everyone but us? That somehow we aren’t worthy of that promise?

“You make all things new

You make all things new

You make all things new

I will follow you forward.”

I know there are areas in my life that I need Christ to breath new life into. I need the promise that He does make all things new. That I won’t look back, but will move forward. Regardless of the past. Regardless of the present. Because I trust Him with the future. And I will follow. Wherever He leads.

The past is over. The future lies ahead. Move with me into that. Whatever Christ has for us, let’s surrender and say, “Yes, Lord.” Throw your arms wide. Say Lord take me. Whatever You can use, keep. Whatever You can’t, transform as You make me new.

Let’s walk into the future with Him, one step at a time. I can’t wait to see what He does.

Cara C. Putman
Canteen Dreams -- October 2007; Sandhill Dreams -- May 2008 and Captive
Dreams -- September 2008 (Heartsong Presents)
Deadly Exposure -- June 2008 (LI Suspense)
The Law, Life & Books:
Original Writer for Jake Tremaine at Scenes & Beans:

Monday, August 06, 2007

Summer Camp!

I love when my kids go to summer camp. Yes, they have fun. Yes, they get a little break from me for a while, but mostly because they come back so spiritually charged up.

I youngest son go back from camp a few days ago, this morning when I got up at 6:30 a.m. he was already up and reading his Bible! Nathan also asked if I could help him find him something for his quiet time. We looked at a few Bible Studies I have around her, but nothing seemed to fit what he was looking for. So then I started searching on-online. We found the perfect quiet-time studies for him at:

He was SO excited. We printed out the month of August for him, and he’s put together a quiet time binder as I write this.

Years ago, I did Keys for Kids with my older children, I’d forgotten about it until today. If you’re looking for a great devotional and/or quiet time study for your kids, I highly recommend it!

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Do your kids have the “I wannas”?

Check out these books to teach contentment:

Me Too! and Littler Critter: Just So Thankful! by Mercer Mayer

The Berenstain Bears and the Green-Eyed Monster by Stan and Jan Berestain

Verdi by Janell Cannon

The Big Orange Splot by D. Manus Pinkwater

When Jesse Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest

A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams

The Sneeches and Gertrude McFuzz by Dr. Suess

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viost and Ray Cruz

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Covenant Eyes

Looking for a filter for your home computer?

I just discovered Covenant Eyes. Here is a little bit about who they are and what they are all about from their website:

The Covenant Eyes program was established to change people's lives. We, at Covenant Eyes, have a strong desire to make available to everyone the ability to foster self-control, self-discipline, integrity, and personal accountability when using the Internet. Job 31:1 states, "I have made a covenant with my eyes." It is our stated purpose to provide a tool enabling Internet users to maintain that covenant, regardless of whether their temptation is to pornography, gambling, or simply time spent on the Internet. Our goal is to honor God, our families, and our relationships in the way that we use the Internet by establishing accountability with others. Covenant Eyes is the tool that accomplishes this goal.

A further purpose of the Covenant Eyes program is to provide funding for existing ministries.

We at Covenant Eyes have a passion for battling the problem of Internet pornography. This problem is devastating churches, businesses and families.

We believe that monitoring with accountability is the best means of combating this problem. Covenant Eyes has pioneered Internet monitoring with a software program that provides a complete record of Internet activity on your computer.

Here is the link to their site:

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My Life, Unscripted!

It's in stores NOW!

Well, it's only in Barnes and Noble NOW, but I'm super excited about that! If you happen to be in a B&N in the month of August I'd love to hear if you saw my book! If you let me know, I'll enter your name into a drawing to win a $25 dollar gift card to Barnes and Noble (of course you'll have to use part of that to buy a copy of the book--just kidding.)

If you take a photo of the book on the shelf, I'll enter your name into the drawing 10 times!

So RUN, don't walk to the nearest Barnes and Noble...and if you're like me and the nearest one is over 100 miles away feel free to take your car! :)

Also, as you know I'm gearing up to start the blog tour for My Life, Unscripted in September, you can find out more about that here...if you're interested in joining, email my assistant, Amy and she'll get you all set up!

And, if you don't have a blog, but would like to help spread the word, look what my friend Susie Larson has done:

Also this week, I received Tricia Goyer's Ezine promoting her new book. She asked us to send this announcement on to anyone who works with teen girls. My sister is a youth pastor so I forwarded the email with the message, "Tricia is a friend and fellow author. Will you consider using this book with your girls?" My sister looked into the book, got excited about it, and ordered a stack for her girls. How cool is that? And how simple it was!
Wow! how cool (and easy is that)! I'd love to send a book to anyone who would like to spread the word! You can read the first chapter here and find out more about the book here!

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