Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Good Daily Devotion

Each morning when I sit down at my desk, I begin my day by flipping the page of my daily inspirational desk calendar. As we near the close of this year, the pages diminish, and I realize I'm going to miss this morning dose of reality and contemplation. I haven't purchased a replacement for the New Year.

The message usually resonates deep within, and the accompanying bible verse often enhances the meaning. They've all been good devotions to read, to think about, to live by. One recently really spoke to me, and I thought I would share a portion of it here.

We are named. What we are named is not as significant as that we are named.

Imagine that! Our Creator knows each of us by name.

When I am introduced to a room full of people, I will do good to remember a few of the names when I leave the gathering. It typically takes a few awkward re-introductions before the names stick with me. Yet God knows our names, intimately, since our conception and throughout all the days of our lives, and he never forgets them. Even through our faults and transgressions, our doubts and non-belief, God remembers us and God loves us. The only re-introduction we need is on our side.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


What better way to prepare your heart and mind for Christmas than to visit a live nativity during Advent. Through the ministry of Woodforest Presbyterian Church, visiting and participating in a live nativity can become a reality. All are welcome; please stop by for this magical dose of Christmas that will leave you filled with the Holy Spirit.

The manger takes center stage, where the baby Jesus lies sleeping with Mary and Joseph standing nearby. The donkey, sheep and goats, and even a camel grace the landscape and munch on hay, while shepherds and angels gather to celebrate and see the miraculous birth.

Guests are invited to don shepherd and angel costumes and interact at the stable scene. Costumes are provided, as is a free Polaroid picture of your party with Mary and Joseph at the manger. Cookies, coffee, tea, or hot cocoa is also available. Everything is free and it’s great fun! The tough decision then becomes, which costume to select, the angel or the shepherd.

Both are so important to the Christmas story.

from Luke 2: 1-14

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirin'i-us was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!"

Woodforest Presbyterian Church is located at 15330 Wallisville Road, Houston, TX 77049, at the corner of Wallisville at Black Rock. The church website address is The live nativity event will be held on Saturday, December 15, at 6:00-8:00 p.m. I invite you to attend!

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


I've written before how much the Humble Fiction Café (HFC) writer's group means to me, but I'm feeling an overwhelming urge to write once again about this magnificent group of individuals. The talent, intelligence, and personalities of this group are so immense. I truly find myself in awe at times and often wonder how I'm so lucky to have found these people. I get so much from this group.

For one, I am continuously apprised of new technologies. As group members learn about a new gadget, technology, or device that makes life simpler or just more enjoyable, the information is disseminated via e-mail with a volley of e-mail dialog following about the virtues or pitfalls of the product or service. It was through HFC that I learned about blogging, add-ons for Firefox Mozilla, and digital books called Kindle's.

HFC group members are also a tremendous source of information for anyone pursuing furthering their writing. So many tools and techniques have been shared at meetings and through e-mail that it would be impossible to do any type of list justice.

The value placed on the critique I receive cannot be measured. I think sometimes as a writer you become too close to your work. Plotting errors or grammatical mistakes remain hidden on the page until someone points them out. The wonderful HFC group members provide that valuable, truthful, and candid feedback. While I know I have a lot to improve in my writing, belonging to this group has already broadened my skill.

My deepest respect for the members of HFC also, with kudos to everyone that participated in NaNoWriMo last month and completed it successfully. It is an honor to be associated with such talented individuals, and I appreciate both their inspiration and their encouragement. Being associated with HFC gives me the impetus to want to do more. To put aside the excuses and get on with the work.

Best of all, we have fun. Whether it's sharing laughter at a meeting, chortling from emails, or participating in an activity together such as the Renaissance Festival, I truly enjoy the fun and comradeship we share. We are a group that varies in age, background, interests, and more, but with the strong common thread of the written word.

For any writer, wanna-be, aspiring, or otherwise writerly ambitioned person, I highly recommend finding a writer's group. But good luck finding one as grand as mine!