Sunday, July 24, 2016

Are You a Good Friend?

In a few weeks you'll be headed back to school. Time for new classes, new teachers, and maybe new friends. I'm going to be posting about friends for the next few posts. Let's start with an easy quiz.

 Are you a good friend? 
Try the true/false quiz below to see how your friendship skills measure up!
     T  F  1.  I try to be friendly to everyone.
     T  F  2.  I keep secrets no matter what.
     T  F  3.  When my friends gets something really cool that I
                   don't have, I wish I had it instead.
     T  F  4.  I try to imitate (act like) how my friends act.
     T  F  5.  I listen when I am interested in what my friend is 
     T  F  6.  I try to think of my friend’s needs more than my own.
     T  F  7.  If I think my friend is doing something wrong, I tell
                   her even though it might hurt her feelings.
     T  F  8.  I only like to do things with my best friend.
     T  F  9.  When my friend and I have a fight we talk about it right
     T  F 10.  My friend and I encourage each other to live out our 
                   faith every day.

     Check your answers with the ones below to see how they compare.
     1.  True. Proverbs 18:24 says A man that hath friends must show himself friendly...   The best way to make friends is to be friendly to everyone and ask God to bring the right friends to you.
     2.  False. If you get a reputation for telling secrets, no one will trust you. BUT sometimes you have to tell a secret. A friend might tell you that he is going to do something that will hurt himself or others. In such as situation you need to talk to your parents or a teacher and let them decide what to do.
     3.  False.  We need to follow Christ’s example in thinking of others before ourselves. Philippians 2:3 says, When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride by your guide. Be humble and give more honor to others than yourselves.
     Jonathan was a good example of this. Jonathan, as King Saul’s son, should have been the next king. When Jonathan heard that God had chosen David to be the next king, he could have been very jealous. But he wasn’t. He accepted God’s choice and was happy for David. Check out 1 Samuel to read more about Jonathan and David.
     4.  False. Be yourself. Ephesians 2:10 says: God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would do good works. God had planned in advance those good works for us. He had planned for us to live our lives doing them. You are God's one of a 
kind masterpiece. God has something special for you to do for him. So just be the you God made you to be. A true friend will like you  for who you are. 
     5.  False. Be a good listener all the time. After all, you want friends to listen to you.
     6.  True. Philippians 2:4-5 says, “Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others. In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus.” God wants us to think about others just like Jesus did.
          7.  True. This isn’t always easy but as Proverbs 27:17 says, Iron can sharpen iron. In the same way, people can help each other. Friends can help each other by talking about what’s right and holding one another accountable for doing it.
     8.  False.  It’s nice to have a close friend, but it’s not good to be with only one friend. Shutting others out can hurt their feelings, and you might be missing out on other great friendships.
     9.  True.  Keeping your feelings bottled up inside of you just makes you feel worse. Ephesians 4:26 says, When you are angry, do not sin. And do not go on being angry all day. Talk about your problems right away. That’s the best way to keep them from getting worse.
    10.  True.  Friends can help each other live the way God wants them to live, and that’s the best things friends can do for one another!

The Scripture for #1 is from the King James Version of the Bible. The rest are from the International Children’s Bible.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Working Life Experiences into Books

In the past, all of my books have been non fiction chapter books or devotion books. But this last year I've been working on writing teen fiction. In the last year I've also had many new experiences that will eventually find their way into stories either through character's hobbies or as part of the setting or story world.

Some of those experiences are:

certifying scuba (this was to understand a book character better)

hiking flooded trails

climbing a lighthouse

Taking community classes like photography, ukulele, and others

visiting NYC


Making things

playing beach volleyball on the sand and in the water

whitewater rafting

and tubing

So these are some of the adventures my future characters may be facing. At a recent book convention I discussed my first book with two editor who requested to read the whole manuscript. It's about a female freerunning who uses running to flee the memories of her past abuse. I don't freerun, but I think it's a cool sports.

In a book that's just in the planning process, I have twins who scuba dive. Now to create a character who whitewater rafts, hikes and plays the ukulele...

Monday, June 20, 2016

Vacation and Memories

Nothing builds memories like activities where you work together. Like rafting--and tubing. Especially when you go over waterfalls, get landed on by another tuber, lose your tube and bounce face first down the rocky river bed on your face. We have a lot of "war" stories from both rafting and tubing.

Our two families together have 20 kids, but not all of them were there. Two of Felicia's grandchildren were there,

Joselyn and I don't look too sure about this.

Ty and Jasmine were in this raft. Kaleb and I were in the other. Rick and Kayla were on their way. My other adult children couldn't come this time. But we hope to do this again.

Now Jasmine and I are in Indiana. Jessica and River are on their way. Ty has to work, and Kayla leaves for TMI Wednesday.

Friday, June 17, 2016


I'm on the first part of a three part vacation. I have been in the Smokey Mountains for several days enjoying the scenery and time with my family and another family.

 This was amazing. Half the time we were sure we weren't going to make it in one piece, but we did. No one fell out! The scenery was great and the two teams worked together well. What an experience!