Thursday, May 31, 2007

Isn't It Strange?

by Bonnie Calhoun


1. Isn't it strange how a 20 dollar bill seems like such a large amount when you donate it to church, but such a small amount when you go shopping?

2. Isn't it strange how 2 hours seem so long when you're at church, and how short they seem when you're watching a good movie?

3. Isn't it strange that you can't find a word to say when you're praying, but you have no trouble thinking what to talk about with a friend?

4. Isn't it strange how difficult and boring it is to read one chapter of the Bible, but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a popular novel or ZANE GREY book?

5. Isn't it strange how everyone wants front-row-tickets to concerts or games, but they do whatever is possible to sit at the last row in Church?

6. Isn't it strange how we need to know about an event for Church 2-3 weeks before the day so we can include it in our agenda, but we can adjust it for other events at the last minute?

7. Isn't it strange how difficult it is to learn a fact about God to share it
with others, but how easy it is to learn, understand, extend and repeat gossip?

8. Isn't it strange how we believe everything that magazines, newspapers, and the internet say, but we question the words in the Bible?

9. Isn't it strange how everyone wants a place in heaven, but they don't want to believe, do, or say anything to get there?

10. Isn't it strange how we send jokes in e-mails and they are forwarded right away, but when we are going to send messages about God, we think about it twice before we share it with others?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS

Integrity/Thomas Nelson (March 6, 2007)

by

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

NICOLE SEITZ is a South Carolina Lowcountry native and freelance writer/illustrator published in South Carolina Magazine, Charleston Magazine, House Calls, The Island Packet and The Bluffton Packet.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, she also has a bachelor's degree in illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Nicole is an exhibiting artist in the Charleston, South Carolina area where she owns a web design firm and lives with her husband and two small children.

ABOUT THE BOOK:


Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins is a 78-year-old sweetgrass basket weaver who sits on the side of Hwy. 17 in the company of her dead husband, Daddy Jim.

Inspired by her Auntie Leona, Essie Mae finally discovers her calling in life and weaves powerful "love baskets," praying fervently over them to affect the lives of those who visit her roadside stand.

Relations are strained with her daughter Henrietta, who thinks Essie belongs in a retirement center. If Essie can't pay $10,000 in back taxes to save her home, she may have no choice. More tensions: her grandson EJ wants to marry a white girl, Essie discovers that a handsome man she's trying to find a girl for is gay, and her daughter carries a hidden secret.

When she's faced with losing her home and her stand and being put in a nursing home, Daddy Jim talks her into coming on up to Heaven to meet sweet Jesus-something she's always wanted to do.

The SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS shifts less successfully to the afterlife, where her Gullah-Creole ancestors surround her; but soon, her heavenly peace is disrupted, for she still has work to do. Now Essie Mae, who once felt powerless and invisible, must find the strength within her to keep her South Carolina family from falling apart. Together, with Daddy Jim, they team up to return to Earth and battle two spirits conjured up by Henrietta's voodoo that threatens to ruin an attempt to save the sweetgrass basket weaving culture.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

When Age Gets To Be Just A Number

by Bonnie Calhoun

Q: Where can women over the age of 50 find young, sexy men who are interested in them?
A: Try a bookstore under fiction.
..
Q: What can a man do while his wife is going through menopause?
A: Keep busy. If you're handy with tools, you can finish the basement. When you are done, you will have a place to live.
..
Q: How can you increase the heart rate of your 50+ husband?
A: Tell him you're pregnant.
..
Q: How can you avoid spotting a wrinkle every time you walk by a mirror?
A: Take off your glasses.
..
Q: Why should 50+ folks use valet parking?
A: Valets don't forget where they park your car.
..
Q: Is it common for 50+ folks to have problems with short-term memory storage?
A: Storing memory is not a problem, retrieving it is a problem.
..
Q: As people age, do they sleep more soundly?
A: Yes, but usually in the afternoon.
..
Q: Where do 50+ folks look for fashionable glasses?
A: Their foreheads.
..
Q: What is the most common remark made by 50+ folks when shopping in antique stores?
A: "I remember these."

Friday, May 25, 2007

Free Puppy

by Bonnie Calhoun

Happy, happy holiday weekend!


My neighbor has a puppy he's giving away (FREE!).
It's a Dachshund, it's house broken, and it's great with kids.

He's giving it away because his wife says the dog 'stares' at her when she is undressing, and that gives her the 'Heebie Jeebies'. I think she is just weird !

If you're interested, or know someone who is, let me know.

Here's a picture of the dog:

LOL...there's just something way wrong with that!!! *snort*

Thursday, May 24, 2007



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing



SNITCH
(The Occupational Hazards)

(WaterBrook Press May 15, 2007)

by



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rene Gutteridge is the author of several novels, including Ghost Writer (Bethany House Publishers) The Boo Series (WaterBrook Press) and the Storm Series, (Tyndale House Publishers. She will release three novels in 2006: Storm Surge (Tyndale) My Life as a Doormat (WestBow Press, Women of Faith)Occupational Hazards Book #1: Scoop (WaterBrook Press).

She has also been published over thirty times as a playwright, best known for her Christian comedy sketches. She studied screenwriting under a Mass Communications degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University, and earned the "Excellence in Mass Communication" award. She served as the full-time Director of Drama for First United Methodist Church for five years before leaving to stay home and write. She enjoys instructing at writer's conferences and in college classrooms. She lives with her husband, Sean, a musician, and their children in Oklahoma City.


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Old School meets New School meets Homeschool

Just shy of retirement and a well-earned pension, Las Vegas Police Department Sergeant Ron Yeager's definition of "active duty" involves shifting his bad leg into a more comfortable position. But when he's requested from his mind-numbing desk job to head an undercover auto theft task force, the former narcotics officer determines to prove he's still got the right stuff.

That is...until he meets his unlikely team of officers.

As Yeager soon finds out, not all the crazies are on the street. An undercover rookie, the audaciously honest Mackenzie "Mack" Hazard sends Yeager's blood pressure skyrocketing by wearing her faith like an ever-present badge. Then there's Jesse Lunden, a maverick undercover officer who refuses to learn anything from an old guy with a cane. Can this tangle of egos and eccentrics be trained into a lean, mean, crime-fighting machine...even while they are being drawn into something much bigger and more dangerous than anyone imagined?

In her trademark style, Rene Gutteridge blends zany, original characters, sincere faith, and surprising plot twists into one hilariously addictive read.

"Snitch is an engaging crime novel, balanced between sheer whimsy and genuine human drama."
....CHRIS WELL, author of Tribulation House

"A wonderful, fully developed ensemble cast makes Snitch an entertaining, engaging read. Rene's flair for a comedic, well-turned phrase shines here. Snitch is worth snatching."
...SUSAN MEISSNER, author of Widows and Orphans

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

God Is Like....

by Bonnie Calhoun

Hey, it's Hump Day...yea! And I've finally entered the 21st century...I got DSL!

This is a really cute little story sent by my favorite joke person, Ric

A fifth grade teacher in a private school asked her class to look at TV commercials and see if they could use them in some way to communicate ideas about God.
Here are some of the results:

God is like..BAYER ASPIRIN...He works miracles.

God is like...a FORD...He's got a better idea.

God is like...COKE...He's the real thing.

(This is great)

God is like...HALLMARK CARDS...He cares enough to send His very best.

God is like...TIDE...He gets the stains out that others leave behind.

God is like...GENERAL ELECTRIC...He brings good things to life.

God is like...SEARS...He has everything.

God is like...ALKA-SELTZER...Try him, you'll like Him.

God is like...SCOTCH TAPE...You can't see him, but you know He's there.

God is like...DELTA...He's ready when you are.

God is like...ALLSTATE...You're in good hands with Him.

God is like...VO-5...Hair Spray He holds through all kinds of weather.

God is like...DIAL SOAP...Aren't you glad you have Him? Don't you wish everybody did?

God is like....the U.S.POST OFFICE...Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor ice will keep Him from His appointed destination.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

An Old Boat

by Bonnie Calhoun

Well Tuesday is the night! American Idol will be decided! I've lost interest since Melinda Dolittle was sent home last week. So it doesn't matter who wins! We can move on to the summer television fare like Big Brother...Oh, God! Not again! Here's something just as funny!

There were two twins, Joe and John.

Joe was the owner of a old dilapidated boat.

It just so happened that John's wife died the same day Joe's boat sank.

A few days later a kindly old woman saw Joe, and mistaking him for John. Said "I'm sorry to hear about your loss. You must feel terrible"

Joe, thinking she was talking about his boat, said "Fact is, I'm sort of glad to get rid of her. She was a rotten old thing from the beginning. Her bottom was all shriveled up and she smelled like an old dead fish. She was always losing her water, she had a bad crack in the back and a pretty big hole in the front, too. Every time I used her the hole got bigger and she leaked like crazy. I guess what finished her off was when I rented her to those four guys looking for a good time for the weekend. I warned them that she wasn't very good, but they wanted to use her anyhow and were willing to pay. The fools all tried to get in her at the same time and split her right down the middle."

The old woman fainted.

Monday, May 21, 2007

by Bonnie Calhoun

With a heavy heart, I am here today to announce that Miss Snark has closed up shop for good. No more Crapometer, no more snarky comments, no more trademark "Yanno", no more "...dear dog!"

No more nothing! The world is going to stop spinning on its axis and we're going to spiral off in to a submission blackhole where the uninitiated novelists of the world will once again become fodder for the maniacal cackle and torrid hand-wringing agents and editors of the publishing industry.

I cried, I wailed, I even threw myself on the floor and rolled around like a banshee...well, er, uh...well anyhow, I thought about doing it! So that counts!

If you scroll down several posts, you can add your well wishes to the list! At last count there were 445 comments on the good bye post. I keep trying to wake up, but this is the bad dream that keeps on giving!

She's become a great friend over the last few years, and I will be sorely miss her. If I could find George Clooney, I'd sure get him to bribe her to come back!

Do you hear that GEORGE CLOONEY...we need you to tell Miss Snark to come back!!!!

Defiant Heart by Tracey Bateman



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing



Defiant Heart

(Avon Inspire May 8, 2007)

by



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tracey Bateman lives in Missouri with her husband and four children. Their rural home provides a wonderful atmosphere for a writer'simagination to grow and produce characters, plots, and settings.

In 1994, with three children to raise, she and her husband agreed that she should go to college and earn a degree. In a freshman English class, her love for writing was rekindled, and she wrote a short story that she later turned into a book.

Her college career was cut short with the news of their fourth baby's impending arrival, but the seeds of hope for a writing career had already taken root. Over the next several years she wrote, exchanged ideas with critique partners, studied the craft of writing, and eventually all the hard work paid off.

She currently has over twenty-five books published in a variety of genres. Tracey Bateman believes completely that God has big plans for his Kids and that all things are possible to anyone who will put their hope and trust in God!

ABOUT THE BOOK:


Will Fannie be able to keep her family...and her heart, safe and find a new life on the frontier?

Book One of the Westward Hearts series, orphans Fannie Caldwell and her two young siblings have spent the last three years as indentured servants under a cruel master. Desperately wanting a better life for her brother and sister, Fannie devises a plan to secretly join a wagon train heading west.

Her plan immediately runs into trouble when the handsome yet bullheaded wagon master Blake Tanner refuses to allow an unmarried woman on the train.

But Fannie's determined...she'll escape and go west with or without help!

As life on the trail tests everyone's endurance and faith, Fannie soon realizes the perils of being a single woman on the frontier. Witnessing Fannie fending off one scare after another, Blake slowly recognizes how much he cares for this alluring young woman.

Will Blake sacrifice his own dreams and guide Fannie to safety?

Or will Fannie's stubborn independence keep her from finding true love?

Friday, May 18, 2007

It has been one of those weeks. Too much caffeine, although not much coffee-shooting....completed the work on my full manuscript, but only after throwing myself onto the carpet (not the wood floor) repeatedly screaming, "I'm not ready!"

And reading...In my case, reading can be hazardous to my health!

Now that's sort of an oxymoron...or maybe I'm just a moron...LOL...But I created this contract with myself. I MUST EXERCISE. Now if I was like Oprah, and could hire a trainer to get my butt off the couch that would be a good thing. But alas and alack, she has not deemed it profitable to share with those of us who are not related to her. (Hmph...imagine that!)

Well, anyhow...I digress. My contract with myself says that to read (novels) I must put my derriere on the treadmill, and I don't mean in a sitting position. Although, until this moment that loophole never occurred to me! So I walk and read! I have traveled through many good novels. I'm thinking of writing down the mileage I get from a good book. Clive Cussler rates right up there on the top, because he has repeatedly put me on my bottom.

Typical scenario—I'm reading along. The action is good. The suspense is palatable, and I get so involved that I stop moving my feet. Well let me tell you, when the speed is set at four miles an hour, a momentary hesitation is monumental!

My cat always sits beside the treadmill. I used to think she did it because she was fascinated with the belt movement. Now I'm pretty sure that it's the entertainment value of watching me get thrown off the back. I'm sure I heard her say, "Yep...there she goes again!"

Needless to say, I have cleared the area behind the treadmill of all sharp and breakable objects!

Here this will hold you for the weekend!


Ha, ha, auh, oops...who says Christians don't have a sense of humor? Even when they're seriously not trying. Boy, I bet some of these caused a lot of red faces along with apologies!

Announcements Taken from Church Bulletins


1. Don't let worry kill you. Let the Church help. Pastor likes funerals better than weddings, at least they STAY in the ground!

2. Thursday night - Potluck Supper. Prayer and medication to follow. New meaning to: bring your own dish!

3. Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community. Spellcheck doesn't always help!

4. For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs. Too much medication

5. The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Reverend and Mrs. Julius Belzer. Yikes! I'm not going there! Spellcheck! Spellcheck!

6. This afternoon there will be a meeting in the south and north ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends. Auh, Oops!

7. Tuesday at 4PM there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early. There will be a booby-trap...er, door prize!

8. Wednesday, the Ladies Liturgy Society will meet. Mrs. Jones will sing "Put Me In My Little Bed" accompanied by the pastor. Well, at least she's little and not queen-sized!

9. Thursday at 5PM there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All wishing to become Little Mothers, please see the minister in his private study. Yikes!

10. This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mr. Vassilas to come forward and lay an egg on the altar. That's gonna' hurt!

11. The service will close with "Little Drops of Water." One of the ladies will start (quietly) and the rest of the congregation will join in. Can anyone say Depends!

12. Next Sunday, a special collection will be taken to defray the cost of the new carpet. All those wishing to do something on the new carpet will come forward and get a piece of paper. See #11

13. The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind and they may be seen in the church basement Friday. This is like shooting fish in a barrel!

14. A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow. What a toot!

15. At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice. Make a joyful noise!

16. Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance. I'm not touchin' it!

17. The 1991 Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 10 and 11. Yes, the merits of spellcheck!

18. Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary. Wahoo!

19. Eight new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones. Yea, when those old people start falling apart it can get kinda' messy!

20. Mrs. Johnson will be entering the hospital this week for testes. I wonder if Mr. Johnson knows?

21. The Senior Choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir. No wonder the old people fell apart. they worked 'em to hard!

22. Please join us as we show our support for Amy and Alan who is preparing for the girth of their first child. Can you say episiotomy!

23. Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children. Can't they just sell cookies like the Girl scouts?

24. The Lutheran Men's group will meet at 6 PM. Steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread and dessert will be served for a nominal feel. She looks out at the audience :-)

25. The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours. And that's my last word!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

by Bonnie Calhoun

LOL...this headbanger guy is one of my favorite people. This is how I felt last night when my ISP dropped the call, and I couldn't get on line because the remote computer was too anal-retentive to pick up!

So how do I know that I've been spending too much time online...

1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 4 people.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You go home after a long day at work you still answer the phone in a business manner.

7. You make phone calls from home, you accidentally dial "9" to get an outside line.

8. You've sat at the same desk for four years and worked for three different companies.

10. You learn about your redundancy on the 11 o'clock news.

11. Your boss doesn't have the ability to do your job.

12. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home.

13. Every commercial on television has a website at the bottom of the screen.

14. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

15. You get up in the morning and go online before getting your coffee.

16. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. :)

17. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

18. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

19. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

20. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list AND NOW U R LOL at yourself. ;>)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Orchard of Hope by Ann Gabhard


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


ORCHARD OF HOPE

(Revell March 1, 2007)

by


Ann Gabhart


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Ann H. Gabhart has published a number of adult and young adult novels with several different publishers. The author of The Scent of Lilacs, Ann and her husband live a mile from where she was born in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. She is active in her country church, and her husband sings bass in a southern gospel quartet.




ABOUT THE BOOK:

Nothing will be the same after the summer of 1964.

Drought has gripped the quiet Kentucky town of Hollyhill, and the town seems as if it is holding its breath--waiting. Jocie Brooke is nervous about starting high school. Her sister Tabitha is experiencing the weariness of waiting for a new baby. Her father David is feeling the timidity of those first steps toward true love. All of these pivotal steps in life are awaiting the Brooke family.

Into this cloud of tense anticipation, a black family from Chicago, the Hearndons move here to plant an orchard outside of town. Fresh off the Freedom Train, Myra Hearndon is sensitive to what the color of her skin may mean in a Southern town. Her family will have to contend with more than the dry ground and blazing sun as they try to create their ORCHARD OF HOPE.

Jocie finds herself befrending a boy that some townspeople shun. Due to unspoken racial lines in this southern town, the presence of these newcomers sparks a smoldering fire of unrest that will change Hollyhill..and Jocie...forever.

In this close-knit community, everything is about to change.

Let this riveting novel take you along to experience unexpected love, new life, and renewed faith amid life's trials.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hey...It's Monday

Okay so I've been really busy...If you notice my cool icon at the top of the left column, I've been designated as a Blog*Star by the Google/Blogger help boards.

LOL...This means I officially have no life. That I spend most of my time on the Blogger Help boards dispensing advice to wayward Bloggers that are lost in the maze of Google and Blogger.

But it's fun! It's a lot of fun to teach someone to do something that they didn't know how to do before. I remember being on that end of the stick. Knowledge is power, and the more you understand Blogger, the greater the fun...so ask away!!

And my second great news. The official brochure for the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference for August 9th thru 11th is available HERE. If you look at Page 3...the faculty page...you will see me!!! That's right! I'm a faculty member this year, using my title as the Director of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. And what...do you ask...am I teaching?? Blogging of course! The course will be titled Christian Blogging In A Secular World.

And now....some words of wisdom for the day!!! *snort*

At one time in my life, I thought I had a handle on the meaning of the word "service."

"It's the act of doing things for other people."

Then I heard these terms which reference the word SERVICE:

Internal Revenue Service

Postal Service

Telephone Service

Civil Service

City & County Public Service

Customer Service

Service Stations

Then I became confused about the word "service." This is not what I thought "service" meant.

So today, I overheard two farmers talking, and one of them said he had hired a bull to "service " a few of his cows. BAM! It all came into perspective. Now I understand what all those "service" agencies are doing to us.

I hope you now are as enlightened as I am.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tribulation House by Chris Well



EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! An extra special post is coming out today, May 11th, for an extra special author. The man who started to ball rolling for FIRST, Chris Well, has a new book out and we have decided to give him an extra plug.


So, give all your attention to:


Chris Well

and his book:

TRIBULATION HOUSE

(Harvest House 2007)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chris Well is founder of FIRST. He is an acclaimed novelist and award–winning magazine editor and has previously written the “laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers” Deliver Us from Evelyn and Forgiving Solomon Long(one of Booklist’s Top 10 Christian Novels of 2005). He has also contributed to 7ball, Infuze, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Chris and his wife live in Tennessee, where he is hard at work on his next novel.


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


~1~


I might as well just tell you right now, I killed Reverend Daniel Glory. Back there at the church, in his study.

But this is my story. Don't let anyone tell you different. My dad always said we all write our own story. Of course, I guess that's why it worked out so well for him.

Why did I kill Reverend Daniel Glory? Sure, it was an accident. More or less. At least, I think it was.

I don't know, we were arguing about the Rapture and it kind of got out of hand and then I just --

Wait. Wait. I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up.

This all started about three months ago, when Reverend Daniel Glory told us we needed to do our Tribulation House earlier than --

Oh. Wait.

Okay, I guess this actually started last year when Marvin Dobbs left the church. Our church. The Last Church of God's Imminent Will.

A year ago last summer, Marvin left with some of the other families to start a new church, and he took his Armageddon House" multimedia show with him.

You do know about Armageddon House, right? Every Halloween for the past three or four years, Marvin and our team put together a special multimedia presentation explaining the Great Tribulation, which ends with the Battle of Armageddon.

Wait -- you don't know about the Great Tribulation? It's that seven-year period between the Rapture and the Triumphant Return of Jesus Christ, as described in the prophecies of Daniel and Ezekiel and the Apostles Paul and John. After the Lord Jesus takes His Bride home, there are going to be seven years of horrible judgment inflicted on those who are left b --

What? The murder of Reverend Glory? I'm getting to that.

Well, anyway, when Marvin left to form his little offshoot splinter group, we discovered he had actually trademarked the name "Armageddon House." Imagine that.

When the board at church met to discuss the matter, we considered doing Armageddon House anyway without him. Just reconstruct it from memory and copy or use materials from previous years. Use the same name, business as usual. Just ignore the cease-and-desist letter, let God and His angels work that out.

But we decided we didn't want to be associated with Armageddon House anymore. I mean, if Marvin and his new "fellowship" planned to stage their own Armageddon House, the risk of confusion in the marketplace was enough to rebuild ours as a brand-new event.

Which is how we ended up with Tribulation House. It was an opportunity for a new beginning. We went through a whole list of potential names -- I came up with Kingdom Come, but was voted down -- before we settled on Tribulation House.

We sat down and worked through the whole grid. Instead of imagining how to simply explain or show a picture of each bowl of wrath and each trumpet of judgment, we created an entire theatrical event.

Yeah, we could have set up the charts and graphs and the overhead projector. But today's audience, this last generation, they're kind of jaded about flannel graph presentations, know what I mean?

These kids today, with their Spongebob Squarepants and their American Bandstand and their Buffy The Vampire Slayer, they need the bells and whistles and the like.

The kids don't need a lot of explanation. They need a demonstration.

You see, that was the challenge, wasn't it? It's one thing to say "the moon was blackened" or "the waters turned to blood" or "men were stung by enormous flying scorpions" -- but how do you make it happen right here, right before their eyes?

In the end, we created Tribulation House: A full-sensory immersive interactive dramatic theatrical evangelistic event that simulates what it will actually be like to live through the events of the Great Tribulation. An entire full-service prophetic experience.

You'd be surprised how much of it we accomplished with sound and light. We developed the various rooms throughout the church basement. Some college kids created soundscapes for each event. We wrote up a full script for the actors; they played everything from people caught up in the events, to the world armies fighting the Most Holy, to the father of lies himself, bound and thrown into the pit for a millennium.

The murder of Reverend Daniel Glory? I'm getting to that.

So we were working out the blueprints for creating Tribulation House as a major theatrical evangelistic full-sensory ministry outreach. We had debated the merits of various slogans for the event -- the leading contenders were WE'LL SCARE THE HELL OUT OF YOU; GET RIGHT OR GET LEFT; and THE TIME IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK. While the first slogan was a favorite of several board members, for its bracing, truthful stance, in the end we worried that the neighbors would misunderstand. So we went with the second slogan, for its simple, instructional message.

And I remember that our chief carpenter, Bill Broadstreet, was giving us his estimate for the physical construction to be done on the project. Suddenly, Reverend Daniel Glory burst in with some news.

"Friends!" There was a glow on the Reverend's face unlike we had seen before. The man stood there in the doorway to the church basement, leaning against the doorframe, wheezing to catch his breath. "Jesus is coming back!"

The room was silent. We all stared. At first, we wondered why he was saying this right then. After all, he preached on this topic every week. But then he dropped this bomb: "And I know when!"

Okay, that was a new one. Collectively, everyone in the room gasped. One of us, I don't even remember who it was, asked, "When, Reverend?"

"October 17."

Five months.

"5:51 a.m." Reverend Daniel Glory waved the papers clutched in his hand. Later, I would wonder what he was waving at us. His Bible study? His calculations? All I know is he grinned ear to ear and said, "The Rapture is going to happen at 5:51 a.m. on October 17."

Everyone around the meeting table reacted differently. Some were stunned into silence, others screamed with joy. One noisy woman loudly sobbed and clapped.

Reverend Daniel Glory came into room, face aglow with thrill and exhaustion, and dragged a chair from the wall over to our table. He sat, waiting until everyone was silent again. "I now have incontrovertible proof that the Rapture takes place this coming October."

I'm sure I grinned bigger than anyone in the room. "What reason do you have to say that?"

Reverend Daniel Glory looked at me and winked. "Why stop with one reason, boy? I got one hundred and seven of 'em!"

Of course, you know what this meant. We were going to have to step up the production of Tribulation House.

(I still can't believe it's not Kingdom Come.)




Chris Well’s laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers appeal to the millions of readers who gobble up the rollicking crime fiction of Janet Evanovich and Elmore Leonard. TRIBULATION HOUSE does not disappoint!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ransomed Dreams by Amy Wallace


This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


RANSOMED DREAMS


(Multnomah April 16, 2007)
by


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Amy Wallace is a member of the CFBA and an avid Blogger. A self-confessed chocoholic, this freelance writer is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and serves as the liaison for the training division of the county police department. Amy is a contributing author of God Answers Moms' Prayers, God Allows U-Turns for Teens, Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes, and A Cup of Comfort for Expectant Mothers. She lives in Georgia with her husband and three daughters.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Drama. Tragedy. Thriller. Romance. Can these four actually go together? Amy Wallace's meaty first book of the Defenders of Hope Series, RANSOMED DREAMS, has successfully united these genres.

It is one of those books that after you read a little and put it down, the desire to see what will happen next is so strong that it will occupy your thoughts, compelling you to make the time to finish. But watch out! It is best consumed where no one will hear you cry because, if you have children, it will hit you like a stab in the gut and wrench you with a twist of the knife.

Although the subject at first depresses, the characters are so real and likable that you need to see what will become of them.

This book will NOT bore you.

BACK COVER COPY:

Chained To Yesterday

When tragedy struck and Gracie Lang lost everything, her faith crumbled, and nothing but the drive for justice propelled her forward. But after two years of dead-end searching, the truth Gracie seeks is the very thing her stalker will stop at nothing to hide.

Forgiveness Unlocks the Future

An FBI agent in the Crimes Against Children Unit, Steven Kessler spends his days rescuing other people’s children and nights caring for his son. He’s through with God, embittered by his ex-wife who abandoned them both, and definitely doesn’t expect what’s coming next.

The Past Is the Key

A plot to kidnap a British ambassador’s daughter dangerously intersects Steven and Gracie’s worlds–a collision that demands a decision. But are they willing to pay the high ransom required to redeem dreams and reignite hope?

ENDORSEMENTS:

Steeped in police intrigue and rich characters, Ransomed Dreams entertains, educates, and captivates. Amy Wallace is a fresh, vibrant voice in the Christian market

~Mark Mynheir, Homicide Detective and Author of The Void

Ransomed Dreams had me hooked from the start and didn't let go until the deeply satisfying ending.

~Kristin Billerbeck, Author of What a Girl Wants

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Do You Really Want A Job

by Bonnie Calhoun

Okay, okay...I give....no more emails! I'm back...I'm better...Well I'm back to what I consider normal *snort*

This is not a paid advertisement, but I saw this on CareerBuilders.com, and it was as funny as any joke I've ever posted. And the best part is they are dead serious! *snort* Fact is always stranger than fiction!

This is a bunch of things that they say are real no-no's when writing a resume. It boggles the mind that anyone, of the age to be looking for a job, would do these stupid things!

Applicant included a picture of herself in a cheerleading uniform.

- Applicant used pale blue paper with teddy bears printed around the border.

- Applicant attached a letter from her mother.

- Applicant specified that his availability was limited because Friday, Saturday and Sunday was "drinking time."

- Applicant explained that he works well nude.

- Applicant explained an arrest by stating, "We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig."

- Applicant drew a picture of a car on the outside of the envelope and said it was the hiring manager's gift.

- Applicant explained a gap in employment by saying it was because he was getting over the death of his cat for three months.

- Applicant listed hobbies that included sitting on a levee at night watching alligators.

- Applicant mentioned the fact that her sister had once won a strawberry-eating contest.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Always Good at WalMart!

by Bonnie Calhoun

If the tears running down my face are an indication of the allergy season this year...wonderful! Let's just say, the weather has been in much better shape than I!

Remember when your mom told you to always wear clean underware in case you were in an accident...well always wear clean underwear in public, especially when working under your vehicle!

This story is from the Northwest Florida Daily News.

A Crestview couple drove their car to Wal Mart, only to have their car break down in the parking lot.

The man told his wife to carry on with the shopping while he fixed the car in the lot.

The wife returned later to see a small group of people near the car.

On closer inspection, she saw pair a of male legs protruding from under the chassis.

Although the man was in shorts, his lack of underpants turned his private parts into glaringly public ones.

Unable to stand the embarrassment, she dutifully stepped forward, quickly put her hand UP his shorts, and tucked everything back into place.

On regaining her feet, she looked across the hood and found herself staring at her husband who was standing idly by.

The mechanic, however, had to have three stitches in his forehead.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tribulation House by Chris Well

Not that I'm partial or anything because I got a shout-out on the book's acknowledgments page!


This week

the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


TRIBULATION HOUSE

(Harvest House 2007)

by


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chris Well is a fellow member of the CFBA and founder of its sister organization, FIRST. He is an acclaimed novelist and award–winning magazine editor and has previously written the “laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers” Deliver Us from Evelyn and Forgiving Solomon Long(one of Booklist’s Top 10 Christian Novels of 2005). He has also contributed to 7ball, Infuze, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Chris and his wife live in Tennessee, where he is hard at work on his next novel.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD—WHICH COULD BE A PROBLEM...

Mark Hogan has it all. The job. The family. A position on the board at church. All he’s missing is a boat. Not just any boat—a 2008 Bayliner 192.

When Reverend Daniel Glory announces that the Rapture is taking place on October 17 at 5:51am, Hogan realizes his boat–buying days are numbered. So he does what any man in his situation would do—he borrows a load of money from the mob.

Not that there’s any risk involved: After all, when the Rapture comes, Hogan will be long gone. The mob will never find him.

But when Jesus fails to come back on schedule, Mark Hogan finds the mob is in no mood to discuss the finer points of end–times theology...

Chris Well’s laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers appeal to the millions of readers who gobble up the rollicking crime fiction of Janet Evanovich and Elmore Leonard. TRIBULATION HOUSE does not disappoint!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Price of Love

by Bonnie Calhoun

This is one of my favorite stories. I don't know if it's true or made up and I don't know if the name of the woman credited for it at the end is real. But this is certainly worth a few giggles!

It's funny how things you haven't thought about in years suddenly and unexpectedly show up in your thoughts.

Yesterday, while driving back from a field trip with my son's fourth grade class, I remembered a night some twenty-two years ago that I'm sure I had managed to block out of my conscious mind due to the sheer level of embarrassment it caused. All these years later, I can finally laugh at the memory. At least I think I can.

I was eighteen-years-old and freshly dumped by the man I thought would be my husband. My Grandmother had passed away and for the first time in two years, I was between boyfriends. I was depressed and on the prowl for a replacement model (fiancé, not Grandmother) when I decided to visit my Mother in Ft. Knox, Kentucky.

Ft. Knox is an army base and as such, it is always teeming with young, disciplined, lonely men. Any female with most of her teeth can find a man on a military base. I was gonna get me one.

In 1982, eighteen was old enough to be granted access to the clubs on post as well as old enough to drink... as long as it was only beer or wine. The only catch was you had to have an active duty military member agree to sign you into the club. My step-father was such a person. I was all set to go to the NCO club (non-commissioned officers) that Friday night to hunt for a husband.

I spent the entire day in preparation. In much the same way you wash, wax and detail a car before you try to sell it, I was making sure my chassis was in mint condition.

I carefully applied vampire red, insanely long Lee Press On Nails. Rather than take any chance one might pop off and leave me claw challenged, I decided to go one better than the little sticky tabs that come in the package. I grabbed a bottle of Super Glue... the same kind that used to lift Volkswagens over a man's head in commercials. If it was tough enough to suspend automobiles in mid-air, surely it could keep my nails in place.

I twisted open a brand new tube of Coppertone QT (instant tan stuff) and covered my entire body. I knew that nothing attracts a man like warm, healthy, bright orange glow. I couldn't reach the backs of my shoulders, but I figured it would be dark in the club and men wouldn't be interested in the backs of my shoulders anyway.

I curled and teased my long, brown hair for at least two hours in order to achieve heights and widths that would leave any 1972 country music diva envious. Not yet satisfied with the large, winged helmet that was my coif, I bent over at the waist... as was customary in my daily hair-fixing ritual, and flipped my gigantic head of hair upside down so as to achieve maximum hair volume. I then aimed my industrial sized bottle of Final Net Ultra Hold hair spray and coated the under side of my hair.

When I could touch my hair without having my fingers get stuck in it, or when I was nearly ready to pass out, whichever came first, I stood straight again and started the Final Net process on the rest of my hair.

It was the epitome of big hair. And, under no circumstances or weather conditions was it ever, ever going to move. The only thing that could penetrate my giant mass of brown locks was water and I was praying to the rain gods that the skies remained clear. I knew if even the slightest amount of water touched my masterpiece, my head would turn into a giant mass of chewing gum.

Oh.. I almost forgot to mention the stunning white and gold head band I was wearing across my forehead. Olivia Newton-John had nothing on me. I was simply fabulous and totally ready to get physical.

I pulled on a lime green and orange striped shirt with spaghetti straps and a short lime green skirt that had little metal snaps on the pockets. I wanted to show a lot of skin in order to accentuate my brand new tan-from-a-bottle.

When we arrived at the club, I was reminding myself that above all else, I needed to look cool. I certainly looked like an attractive completely adult woman capable of bearing healthy children and cooking wonderful meals. Now I needed to act the part.
And how better to say to the world, "I am an adult" than to drink to excess and smoke cigarettes? That's what I needed to do. Smoke and drink. My stunning beauty would grab 'em, smoking and drinking would seal the deal.

I went to a cigarette machine (they still had such things in 1982) and picked the pack that I thought most reflected my femininity: Virginia Slims, of course. I found a table near the stage where a very loud band was playing and tried to act as if I sat in bars every night.

The waitress showed up and asked me what I wanted to drink. This was a toughie. I couldn't just order beer or wine... even though the law said that was all I could drink. Sophisticated women like me drank mixed drinks. The only mixed drink for which I could recall a name was 7 & 7 so that's what I ordered. I had no clue what it was, but it sounded like a womanly drink to me.

As I waited for my frou-frou drink to arrive, I noticed that the band featured a very, very hot drummer. He was beautiful. He had long, black hair, dark skin and coal black eyes. I loved him immediately and imagined how precious our dark haired children would be. I began trying to make eye contact.

I don't know if it was my high hair, my vampire nails or the striking contrast of my burnt orange skin against my lime green outfit, but he couldn't take his eyes off me. He'd smile and wink and I'd act as if I was way too cool to notice, even though my heart was about to beat out of my chest.

When the band took a break, he made his way to my table and ordered a shot of tequila with a beer back. What a grown-up, manly thing to order! I didn't know what a beer back was, but I found it terribly exciting that the father of my children did.

He told me I was beautiful and wanted to know if I'd like to go with him to another bar when he was through with this gig. How much did I love the fact that he used words like "gig"!!! It was going to be so much fun being married to a drummer.

His break was almost over, when I realized that I had one bit of ammunition I had not yet used. I hadn't smoked in front of him! Silly girl! He needed to see me smoke in order to get the full effect.

I should probably mention here that the only times I had smoked and actually inhaled prior to this moment, I had puked for hours. I figured that as long as I didn't inhale, I'd avoid the never attractive but totally inevitable vomiting. I was so smart. It's no wonder he wanted me.

Trying to open the pack with my nails was like handing it to Edward Scissorhands, but I managed to finally get it open and extract one long, thin cigarette. Now I just had to get it in my mouth and get it lit. I was home free.

I picked up the lighter and I noticed that the cigarette felt a little sticky in my hands. Apparently I had not completely gotten all the hair spray off my fingers.
I clicked the lighter once. Nothing. I clicked it again. Nothing.

When I clicked it the third time I heard a sound not unlike the sound you hear when you turn on a gas stove. WHOOSH!

Two of my beautiful, red nails were fully engulfed. I was literally on fire.
Had I been at home and had my fingers burst into flames, I might have considered stop, drop and roll. But, ever the cool-headed adult, I didn't want to scare off the love of my life by acting like this was a big deal.

I did what any logical person would do when a part of their body is on fire. I held my hand close to my face and gently blew. What I failed to take into consideration was the very same hair spray that was coating my artificial nails making them as flammable as a BBQ grill was all over my head. That dawned on me about the time my bangs started to smoke.

It was at that moment that cool went right out the window. (As if it hadn't left the building already.) I stuck my flaming hand in my 7 & 7 while frantically beating my forehead with the other one. The fire was finally extinguished.

So what does one do after having put out a blaze on one's person in a situation like this?

While I sat their smoldering and smelling of burnt hair and fake nails with my hand soaking in my drink glass, I said, "So, what time do you think you'll be done here?"

by Sherri Bailey

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The HEIR by Paul Robertson



It is May 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!


This month's feature is:

Paul Robertson

and his book:

THE HEIR

(Bethany House March 1, 2007)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Paul Robertson is a computer programming consultant, part-time high-school math and science teacher, and former independent bookstore owner in Blacksburg, Virginia. This is his first novel.



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:



I couldn't take my eyes off the casket. It was expensive, and it glowed, resting among the candles and the heaps of flowers. It so perfectly expressed the man inside.

The dignitaries droned, and I didn't hear them. We knew it all. We knew what he had done with his life. If a man knows his purpose, then everyone else will know it, too.

They'd been told what to say and to keep it short, and they obeyed. They'd all gotten where they were by doing what they were told.

It was tribute by catalog listing: achievements, philanthropy, and Senate career. The real man was never mentioned—the companies he inherited, the rivals he crushed, the cold blood behind the politics—but everyone knew. Was anyone else listening? It's easy to eulogize a man who knew why he lived his life.

I just stared at that gleaming box and wondered why I was living mine.

If you would like to read the rest, go HERE