Sunday, June 21, 2020

Summer Bible Study

"Prayer: It's Not About You" is my first published book. It's the book that got me a writing contract. It's the book that started my writing career. I have told the story before, about how I faced a difficult time and wanted to know more about prayer for application in my own life (because I wanted my prayers to get answered.) I started my own personal study of prayer, searching the Bible for any and all passages about prayer. This quest took four years, at the end of which I had a book written from my search. It took another few years to find a publisher but in May of 2016, the book made it's debut.

This book remains my best seller, possibly because it is often used by groups in group Bible studies. Just since last fall it has been used in a men's small group Bible study, a senior Sunday school class in a large church here in Louisville, a women's group study in Missouri, and an online women's study in Nashville. The leader of the group in Nashville, whom I do not know, said it was one of the best books on prayer she has ever read.

Looking for a good summer or fall Bible study, group or individual, online or otherwise? Want to know more about prayer? You will find this a good resource.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

A Time Like None Other

These certainly are strange times. I, like most of you, am stuck at home waiting out the Covid 19 pandemic, hoping and praying the cases will decrease and a cure can be found soon. In the meantime, I'm trying to keep busy.

How am I keeping busy? Well, my substitute teaching job is pretty much over for the year since summer is so close upon us so I'm not doing that. I'm cleaning and fixing up my house. I braved the lines at Home Depot and bought two gallons of antique white paint and a gallon of white trim paint. (Trim has a higher gloss.) So far I have painted the upstairs hall and a bedroom that I plan to turn into my writing space. And of course, I'm still writing. Here are some updates on that. In March, April, and May my writing will appear in the following:

1) a story in a Chicken Soup book
2) a devotion in the spring issue of "The Secret Place" (Judson Press)
3) a parenting tip in Focus on the Family magazine
and I have completed two writing assignments--a seven day devotional assignment from "The Quiet Hour" (David C. Cook) and an article assignment for "Focus on the Family Magazine."

But I've had two speaking engagements canceled due to the virus. One has been rescheduled. The other was teaching a workshop at a writers conference. Hopefully, they'll ask me to teach next year.

My co-writer on many of my books, Shirley Crowder and I have started reading devotions from one of our books on a Facebook Live. She reads on Tuesdays and I read on Thursdays. This has been challenging but fun. Shirley and I also have the 2nd in our year around devotional series releasing soon so at any moment, I could get galley edits (line edits from my publisher / editor) in my inbox and have to drop everything to do those.

So yeah, I'm keeping busy. The pic at the top of this post is the cover to our soon-to-be-released book, by the way. Stay healthy!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Recovery and Writing

I'm writing this from my bed where I have been recovering from knee surgery. I had two meniscus tears in my right knee as well as arthritic changes so my doctor cleaned out my knee and did a partial meniscectomy. I'm five days post-op and seeing improvement every day. Today I graduated from crutches to a cane. Woohoo!

So, I'm using the time to catch up on some writing projects, one of which is to let you know what's happening in my writing life. I am still freelancing, as always. I had a short article in the Feb 23rd issue of "Power for Living" (published by David C. Cook), devotions in both the winter 2020 and in the upcoming spring issues of "The Secret Place" (Judson Press), a short piece of parental advice coming out later this spring in 'Thriving Family" (Focus on the Family), and I just received a devotional writing assignment for "The Quiet Hour" (David C. Cook). That last one is due back to the publisher at the end of April.

I love speaking as well. Last week I met with a senior citizen Sunday School class of a large Methodist church in my city who have been studying Prayer: It's Not About You. How humbling to see a room full of people all with a book  you authored in their hands. :) I just learned of another group of 14 people in Missouri who will soon begin studying that book too. I have two other speaking engagements in the not-so-distance future--I will lead two workshops at the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference in Memphis TN March 20-21 and a women's conference here in Louisville in May.

And another book in the year-around devotional series Shirley Crowder and I are co-writing will be released in May. We've gotten a peek at the cover and can't wait to show it to you! It's lovely!

Meanwhile, A Stand for Truth is now available in hardcover too. It continues to have strong sales and garners new reviews all the time.

Ooh, I do love the writing life. I better hurry up and heal so I can get back to it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

It's Finally Here!!

It's release day! Woohoo! The riveting memoir about my husband's tenure as a trustee at Southern Seminary during a very challenging time is finally published and can be purchased here

This book has been a long time coming. It took well over ten years for my husband and me to get it written and then another several years to get it published. And today, thanks to Olivia Kimbrell Press and it's editor-in-chief, Gregg Bridgman, it has finally hit the stands. I couldn't be more excited! 

Rather than telling you why I love this book, I'll post some excerpts from the numerous endorsements we garnered for the book: 

"This story is so compelling you will not be able to put the book down." --Timothy K. Beougher, Ph.D Associate Dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions at SBTS

"...a very rare and important insider view … There are urgent lessons here for every seminary, Christian college, and denomination." --Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr, President of SBTS

"A story that is one that everyone interested in Southern Baptist history will enjoy reading." --Jason K. Allen, Ph.D. President of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary 

"The book is a remarkable journal of one man's challenges as he stood for Biblical fidelity and institutional integrity … Read with a renewed sense of God's faithfulness, and see the courage it often takes to stand for truth." --James Thomas "Jimmy Draper, Jr. DHum., DDiv. President Emeritus of Lifeway and Former President of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Ready or Not, Here's 2020!

As I start a new year, I can't help but look back on last year. My youngest son is still in college, though he will graduate this May and get married in June. But this past Christmas break, he was still at home with us. One of his dress jackets was missing a button so I took it to a local fabric shop to match buttons so I could replace the missing one, or as it turned out, all of them.

I was not prepared for the flood of emotions that washed over me when I stepped into that fabric shop. My mother, whom I lost last August, absolutely loved fabrics. She learned to sew as a teenager, the daughter of a poor farmer. She used to make dresses out of her father's feed sacks which she said came in pretty cotton prints back then (not burlap.) She became quite good at sewing and sewed so many things throughout her life--wedding dresses, for herself and her daughters, clothes for her family when we were in Africa, and beautiful heirloom smocked dresses for her granddaughters which are now being passed on to her great-granddaughters. (I put my sweet mama's story in fiction form in a book a few years ago titled, The Whisper of the Palms.)

I had to walk back to the very back of the store to find the buttons and as I walked past row after row of fabric, especially the laces and lovely dress fabrics, it was all I could do to hold back my tears. I could just see her stopping all along the way to touch and ooh at the lovely things. I felt her loss all over again and it made me pensive and even a bit weepy all that day.

This happened on New Year's Eve and had me thinking even more than usual about the year gone by and the one to come. 2019 was one of the harder years in my life but it had high moments too. As I start 2020, my mom is in heaven and her new body feels better than it has in many years, a loved one who had struggled greatly in the winter and spring of last year is back on his feet, two of my children got engaged, and I have a new grandson. I have much to be thankful for indeed, and reason to be hopeful and excited for the year and decade ahead. I pray the same for you!    

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas!

                                                              Merry Christmas! 

From my home to yours, I hope your Christmas is filled with joy.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

It's Almost Here!

I am so excited to let you know that the book I co-wrote with my husband now has a release date. It is coming out on Jan 15, 2020 but is already up for pre-order! It can be pre-ordered here.

This book took over ten years to write, and a couple more years to get published. I have chronicled some of our publishing story in this blog. We came within an inch of having a contract with P&R Publishing and then had to walk away from a contract offer from Founder's Press because it was not one we could agree to. Finally, Gregg Bridgeman at Olivia Kimbrell Press picked up the publishing mantle and we are so grateful to him! This is the same publisher who my novel, The Whisper of the Palms is published with.

As hard as it was to write and publish this book, living it was harder or at least more challenging. It is the true story of my husband, John R. Michael's, experience as a young trustee at Southern Seminary during a time of huge change. We have garnered the endorsements of many great people, including leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Albert Mohler, among them.

It's a thick book--much larger than most books--and as such will cost more than many other books on the market. But it is riveting, chocked full of seminary and denominational history but also one that reads like a novel. Those who have pre-read it call it a page-turner and say they could not put it down.

And finally … it's almost here!