Friday, September 30, 2016

Williamsburg Book Festival

I hope to see many of my readers tomorrow, October 7, at the annual Williamsburg Book Festival. This year the event is being held in the Stryker Center, 412 North Boundary Street, Williamsburg, Virginia, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Along with many other local authors, I'll be selling my novels, UNREVEALED and THE DARK ROOM. I'd love to sign one for you.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Thank You, Litterbug

Dear Litterbug,

I'm that crazed woman who walks along Neck-O-Land Road with a trash bag in hand, flashing my derriere at passersby to pick up the litter you so kindly throw from your vehicle. I want to thank you for your thoughtful, repeated gestures that provide me the extra exercise of squatting, bending, and reaching. You add interest to my daily constitutional which would, otherwise, be mundane. If you didn't so selflessly share your bounty, my walks would be reduced to merely enjoying birdsongs, breathing fresh air, and observing the beauty of God's creation.  

Often, you take special care to slam that beer bottle into the concrete ditch beside the road. I thank you for the added amusement of picking up multiple pieces of glass. Of course, your cigarette butts can't be considered litter. They are so tiny and insignificant, as their lethal chemicals leach into the earth and pollute the water supply. Why not empty your entire ashtray onto the shoulder of the road? Since you've decided to kill yourself, you might as well share those deadly chemicals with the rest of us who inhabit this planet?

Of course, paper and cardboard are made from trees. Therefore, when you throw your paper-waste into the woods you are returning it to its source. Right?

Plastic bags are my favorite debris because they come in assorted colors to decorate the surrounding landscape. For me, the bonus is that when my trash bags are full, you provide additional bags for me to fill on my return trip.

Oh, and I especially enjoy those styrofoam packing "peanuts" because they are eternal. If I happen to miss one, I can rest assured it'll be there the next time I pass. Dryer sheets are fun, too. I thank you for not securing them when throwing them in the trash. That way they can fly from the garbage truck and adorn the surrounding landscape like so many wispy spider webs.

I mustn't give you all the credit, however.  I feel compelled to thank your parents for instilling in you such admirable qualities. They taught you that you are number-one, and no one else matters. Congratulations on being such a good student! You learned that selfishness and laziness are virtues. You learned that someone else will pick up after you, so you needn't take responsibility for the environment that you share with billions of other people and animals.

There is a saying, "Children learn what they live." You can feel confident that your children will perpetuate your carefully-practiced habit of disposal. Let's just hope that future chumps like me will feel obligated to clean up their messes.


Fellow Citizen of Earth      


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Finding Joy

I am convinced the greatest joy in life is to know and be known by the living Christ. This joy transcends all earthly experiences and relationships. How do I know this to be true? I have sought and I have found. I have rested in the center of Christ’s amazing love. I have sinned and been forgiven. I have prayed, “Come, Lord Jesus” and been indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

Does Christ's indwelling joy guarantee an easy life? No. Does it mean I never experience sorrow or failure or frustration? No. But Christ's presence in me and with me promises that whatever this earthly life deals, I have the assurance of supernatural strength and courage to face it and walk through it. I can expect some days to be ordinary and others to be extraordinary. That is the way of human existence. But whether tomorrow brings happiness, achievement, and romance or humiliation, loss, and even physical death, I need not face it in fear. 
Whether consciously or unconsciously, every human heart longs for God’s amazing grace. We may spend an entire life trying to fill that empty space with human relationships or career aspirations. We may seek joy through recreation, pleasure or social status. We may strive for financial reward and earthly possessions. Perhaps it is power or recognition we seek. God wants all of that abundance for us. But when temporal desires, alone, fail to produce transcendental fulfillment--and they will--we may turn to addictive substances and dysfunctional behaviors. 

We need not spend our whole lives wishing, wanting, seeking, and striving. There is nothing we can humanly do to earn Christ’s love.  It is a free gift. The living Christ is but an acceptance-speech away. “I accept you, Jesus, as Lord of my life. I surrender my will to yours.” Therein lies the joy we humans so earnestly seek.