I’m pleased to announce that my book “Fireweed” is featured on the Small Town Authors website for the month of December. Please visit http://www.smalltownauthors.blogspot.com. If you’ve already read “Fireweed”, leave a comment. If not, place an order. Right now, it’s still $20 plus shipping when ordered through me. With my next shipment from the publisher the exchange rate will be added to the price.
“Fireweed” as well as my other books will be a wonderful Christmas gift for someone you love. Books are the best! Just ask my granddaughter. She has a book at the top of her Christmas list.
On the first of November I made the commitment to myself and online to write 50,000 words of the sequel to my novel Fireweed in 30 days. Fireweed’s 65,000 words took three years to write. Granted at that time I was working full time. Now I am retired and like many retirees my days are full of family, friends, activities, church, and more. Still I wanted to get this second novel started. I told myself 25,000 words would be a beginning.
I also knew that I wasn’t going to stop my other activities and I didn’t. Tom and I continued to enjoy our dancing twice a week. I spent Wednesdays with granddaughter Ellie and Fridays with granddaughter Vanessa. I went to church, talked with friends, went to yoga and the list goes on.
Tonight I am pleased to announce that “I Did It!” Tonight I submitted my 50,672 words to the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers Month) Website. My word count was validated. I’m a winner. The novel is not quite finished. The ending isn’t there. I’m thinking it will take another 15000 words. At this point that will be easy. Of course, this is only a first draft. The working title is “One More Step”. That will probably change. There will be four or five more drafts and then the professional editor will begin his/her work. For tonight, I am thrilled.
On Remembrance Day 2015, we stepped beyond past memories to the immediacy of war’s devastation in today’s world. We are increasingly aware of civilian casualties. The devastation in France last Friday brought this home to all of us. Our TV and computer screens reveal waves of desperate refugees trying to cross national boundaries to safety. While we observed two minutes’ silence,for the chaos of past wars, churches of every denomination, individuals and community groups around the world were reaching out to embrace these refugee families. In their homelands, mass graves for civilians are common, the wounded overwhelm the hospitals, and homelessness has touched everyone. The United Churches of Shining Waters Presbytery have just welcomed a Syrian Refugee family to Peterborough. The fire in our local Mosque, considered a hate crime by police made the pain and misery of war step out of faraway places and into our community. I am glad God is calling Canadians to do more than lament the hatred and violence. We are taking action.
I believe that every time we step past our fear and reach out with love, we add another piece to the jigsaw puzzle of peace in this world. Each family we receive is one less family left vulnerable to those who teach hatred and violence. Hunger and hopelessness are fertile grounds for recruiting suicide bombers. I am grateful that many in the world are responding to this refugee crisis with love. Maybe participating in our Remembrance Day rituals over the years has incited individuals in Canada to respond. We don’t want to forget the people of the past or the present. All are God’s cherished children.
Years ago, Walter Farquharson and Ron Klusmeier collaborated on this children’s song that I offer you with Ron’s permission:
I SAT IN THE TUB
I sat in the tub till I looked like a prune. My mother told me to get out soon,but I love to sit in the tub and think. I like to float and I like to sink!
I prayed to God from right there in the tub, to give this whole world a vigorous scrub, to clean away what does not belong, to get busy right now and fix what’s wrong!
I thought about children that I did not know, who never play and who just don’t grow. They haven’t food or a place on this earth, no one who knows just how much they’re worth. (R)
I wondered why God let them suffer like that, why all of their enemies aren’t laid out flat, and I thought that all things could be more fair, if the rest of the world could just learn how to share. (R)
And then I heard God’s voice way down inside. The voice spoke to me and I almost died! It said, “The idea’s right! — I’ll start with you. You’ll be surprised at what caring can do!”
Our federal election is over. As a nation we have chosen a new leader. We have more choices ahead of us. We can join the crowd across our country who are waiting for Justin’s first mistake so we can descend like vultures and say, “I knew it. That’s why I didn’t vote for him.” What will that accomplish except to fill our hearts with negative thoughts and send negative vibes to Ottawa.
Today, I challenge you to choose a more positive path, to let go of adversarial thinking and focus on goodness for our country and the world. After all, we do want the best possible government for our country. For the next four years, these are the leaders that can bring that hope to fruition.
There will be times when we disagree with decisions our government makes. At those times we can choose to do the research on the issues and write letters or be part of delegations bringing alternative suggestions for what we believe is a better way.
As Christians we believe in the power of prayer. In his book, “The Only Necessary Thing,” modern day theologian reminds us that too often we wait and turn to prayer as a last resort. He challenges us to begin with prayer because prayer makes a difference.
For now, I challenge us all to use this new beginning for our country as the moment we begin to wrap our nation and its leaders in prayer. Let’s ask God to give them gifts of wisdom and compassion. Let’s send positive thoughts to surround our newly elected MP’s as they make decisions for our people, the environment, the world. Let’s use the power of prayer to make Canada a strong and loving nation.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)