Posted by: Jackie | April 14, 2009

Wonderment Wednesday 2



“Look at the birds of the air,

they do not sow or reap or store away in barns

and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are you not much more valuable than they?

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

Matthew 6:26&27

Posted by: Jackie | April 11, 2009

Contemplating the Cross

 Be Thou my vision, O lord of my heart;

Nought be all else to me, save that Thou art;

Thou my best thought, in the day and the night,

Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

In a quiet house, worship music playing softly in my alone place, I began thinking about the things that took Him to the cross. Those things in all of us that caused the separation- the shut door.

Yet, because of His sacrifice, the doors were thrown open wide by the hands of grace.

Because He loved us so very much, because He so wanted that close-knit, that under-His-wing relationship once again. . .

Even now, nothing is over the top for Him. The extents He will go to in order to draw in a lost child, a wandering soul, is staggering. I’ve seen it with my own eyes time and again, and still must rub them in disbelief.

He hasn’t changed one bit.

I wish my words could express what my heart burst to say. But alas. . .  they’re not enough. Not nearly enough.

Thank You! Thank You!!

May my life constantly reflect the grace you’ve shown me on the cross.


Posted by: Jackie | April 1, 2009

Wonderment Wednesday


Posted by: Jackie | March 29, 2009

Stage Presence- musings from watching Amercian Idol

I have caved.

That’s right, I’ve began watching American Idol this season.

It’s been fascinating seeing exactly what the judges look for in a contestant’s performance. Some people think they are too harsh, cruel even. But if you’ve ever been in any kind of critique group, or submitted your work into a contest, then you know being able to listen to critiques is part of the process.

Last week, one of the contestants stood before the panel after his performance. Simon raved about his song, but said he didn’t have the confidence, or stage presence to make himself marketable. The young man looked somewhat confused at first, then realization hit him and his countenance changed. Simon went on to say he needed a “swagger” an attitude to make him stand out from the rest. He needed to be more conceited.

That’s when the young artist stopped nodding and shook his head in disagreement. Good for him.

Simon’s words bounced around my spirit for awhile and I began thinking about a book I’m reading for my church homegroup, titled “The Supernatural Ways of Royalty” by Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton. It discusses how we’ve forgotten as a church who we are in Christ, how we tend to cower instead of stand strong as a son or daughter of royality.

I began to wonder what kind of presence I present when I stand before the world’s audience.  Do I slouch and hide? Do I walk around with a conceited swagger? Do I put on masks?

Wish I could shake my head no, but I’m not sure that’s such an honest answer.

What I hope… what I pray… is that I’ll stand as a child of the King. Lord help me to stand firm in you. Help me to be who you’ve made me to be without the stage make-up or costumes. Help me to live by your words and not what the world has scripted for me.

Help me to be real.

Posted by: Jackie | November 12, 2008

Have We Really Thought Through These Propositions?

This Saturday, November 15th, a Rally is scheduled to take place in front of the Dallas City Hall. The gathering is a grass root effort that will also take place in many major cities across all 50 states at the same time. The topic of protest? California’s Proposition 8.

A similar proposition passed in Florida as well, along with a major ban on single parent foster care in Arkansas. Most might say the people have had their say, justice has been served and victory against evil’s influence in this country quenched. But there’s more at stake here and I wonder if my Jesus brothers and sisters have really thought this through or merely jumped on the moral majority band wagon.

I’m wondering how many of my Jesus brother and sisters would feel to find out the marriage vows they’d taken with their partner whom they deeply love suddenly became null and void based on the majority rule? How would they explain this change in the family system to their children? How would they comfort those innocent little ones who come home asking why they are not considered a “real” family?

This decision affects so many more people than we realize. I’ve heard the Religious Right’s argument for the need to protect the children. But who is protecting the children that belong to LGBT families? Back in 1999, it was estimated that six to 14 million children are raised by at least one gay parent. The numbers of the past 9 years have only grown. Yet what protection do these children have when their parents are not allowed to form legal unions where all are protected under the law as any other family? Who is standing up for them against the hate and strife this fight evokes in our country and cities?

God is pro-family and there is no denying that. The ten commandments tell us to honor our parents. It doesn’t list the criteria these parents must meet to be honored. If the Bible isn’t precise on this, who are we as a church to pass judgement on what is and isn’t a moral family? And I don’t see large gathering of religious protester or picketers saying an atheist can’t adopt children or form a foster family. This simply doesn’t balance out in my view of things.

All I see that we as a church are accomplishing is dividing and weakening the very family structure we are commissioned to protect. Yet our hateful stance on this issue causes parents to ostracize their very own children because they think it’s their Christian responsibility to not accept such sinful behavior. For myself, I didn’t speak to my mother for two years after she came out to me, believing the same falsehood. Finally, God got through to me that his commandments didn’t waver, no matter what lifestyle choices she made. Her decision was something that should have been left between Him and her in the first place.

I know there are many arguments both for and against this topic and both have valid points. But fact is fact. Religious judgement is tearing families apart and will continue to do so until the Church begins to walk in love like Jesus taught and not be like the Pharisees who he called a “generation of vipers.”

I keep thinking of the passage in the Bible where Jesus stands overlooking Jerusalem with yearning in his heart, wanting to gather them in like a hen gathers her chicks. There is such a large segment of this world that is turned away because of rejection and hate-filled words of those who need to be speaking in love. Jesus didn’t come to condemn, he came to give life. His whole time spent on earth was an example of this. Who are we to play God and say who are worthy and not worthy to enter the kingdom? We are to point the way into the gate, not block it.

I’m afraid that those who stand in front of the gate with fingers waving around need to take care lest they hear a resounding thud when the gate closes behind them.

Posted by: Jackie | November 2, 2008


I lift up my eyes to the hills–

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

the maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip–

He who watches over you will not slumber

Psalm 121: 1-3


In the midst of storms, trials and frustrations of hour-by-hour living, I forget. I simply forget where to seek help. I forget that the God who fashioned the universe, who called forth the creatures to roam the earth, the One who provides for the fowl of the air, cares most for me.

A homeless man once said:


Look at the birds of the air,

they do not sow or reap or store in barns,

and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are you not much more valuable than they?

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Matthew 6:36-27

Every twig, every seed comes from Him. God so infinitely fashioned this earth that a certain amount of debris falls from trees and animals that form the nest birds make to rest their young in. Uncountable varieties of insects exist to provide them with a smorgasbord of delicacies to choose from each day.

 And yet…

During the creation phase, he didn’t craft the birds with the same intention as he did us. No, it’s like comparing a bowl to a fine vase. God breathed all his passion into us: to walk in the cool of the evening with Him, to fellowship with Him, to love and be loved by Him.

 So why do we sweat it?

 Why do we kill ourselves working jobs we hate, to pay bills we’ve acquired because we had to have possessions we care little about? And those possessions we do care about seem to break or get lost. So why worry? Why strive? Why waste endless hours pursuing pipe dreams that go up in a puff of smoke the moment our hands grasp them? It takes up a lot of time and energy that I could put toward activities I actually enjoy doing.


Things I’d rather do than Worry:

1.  Blaring worship music while cooking dinner and singing my heart out to God.

2.  Racing my son to the park to see who will get there first to feed the ducks.

3.  Relaxing on the porch swing and watching the sun go down as I tell God about my day.

4.  Actually making time to write instead of talking or whining about it.

5.  Making a difference in this world by walking to a different beat.


I think that homeless dude was right. There’s something better, much better that I can put my energy into.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness

and all these things

will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:33


So many opportunities I can put my heart into besides worrying. I will seek Him first above all things so that all the things I need in this life, so the desires God has instilled in me, and the purposes he’s created me for can be obtained in the here and now.

 (And) the Lord will keep you from all harm–

he will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming and going

both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121:7-8


 All scripture from NIV Bible


Posted by: Jackie | October 26, 2008

Magic Maker

There’s magic dwelling deep down inside each of us. Not the potions and incantations kind of Halloween magic. Not the fairytale or fable kind of magic either. No, what I’m talking about is that extraordinariness hidden within a person that screams and fights to be released.

This extraordinary wonderment comes from the Father of Lights, the giver of all good gifts. (James 1:17) Each of us has a heavenly mandate to find this magic within us and use it to bring light to a languishing, sin-filled world. (John 14:15)

Yet, my friends, trouble lurks at hand. An evil plot to thwart the Kingdom’s children from not only uncovering their potential, but from using it to dazzle the world. This enemy uses all manner of tactics from busyness to self-doubt to even more sinister plan of actions such as addictions and lies, which wound tender spirits to the point of near-death. (John 10:10) And if this diabolical thief can keep the children from shining, well then. . . .

Yet the Father of Lights is even more wise and purposeful. He has ways to encourage his children to dig deeper and find the inner strength to make a difference in this world. His greatest asset are the children who are willing to share their gifting with those who haven’t found theirs yet.  His other resource is in the unity of his light-bearers, when they gather together. This place will really brighten up when God’s children walk together as one strong front, let me tell you!

Friends, find those special gifts that only you have. Guard them from the enemy at all costs. But bring them out, explore them, play with them and most of all, use them!

The world will not fail because of the wrong leader. This upcoming Presidential race will not dictate the fate of this country. No governing power has that authority. (Ps. 72:11) It’s all us, folks. We decide, each and everyone of us when we make the decision to step from the mundane into God’s full-working wonderment.

Oh, what a dazzling world this could be!


Posted by: Jackie | August 26, 2008

CSFF: Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer


August 26, 2008

From Publisher’s Weekly: “The terrific pacing is surpassed only by the character development; the many supporting characters are extremely well-drawn. Brouwer adds even more suspense by regularly revealing that some of these characters are not who they appear to be.”My take: There are a lot of characters and the book is hard to follow at first. I was interested in the little girl, but from the beginning, already supposed what the hump might be. I’m not a big fan of either Science Fiction nor Suspense, but this book I found intriguing.

You can read a the prologue here. The story starts with a letter which ends up interwoven throughout the novel. It helps the main character learn more about herself as the story progresses.

Don’t forget to check out what others are posting about this book by clicking on the CSFF links on the side bar.

Happy Reading:



August 25, 2008

 This month’s tour comes from Sigmund Brouwer, author of The Last Diciple.

I read Brouwer’s first book, intrigued with the belief that when Jesus spoke of the last days, he referred to the time right before Jerusalem’s fall, that the Antichrist was none other than Nero, and the Everlasting Kingdom actually refers to the Church.

If you have ever considered studying these beliefs, then Brouwer’s book would be a good read.

Now he has come out with another intriguing story, Broken Angel.

There’s a cool video you can see that goes with the book. Check it out.

Visit Brouwer’s Website at

And visit Amazon to find out more information about purchasing the book.

Tomorrow I’ll come back with more on this book after I’ve checked out some of the other sites. Check them out yourself by clicking on the links provided on the sidebar.

Happy Reading,


Posted by: Jackie | August 19, 2008

Perfecting Pitch – Life’s melody

 Beneath the noise of everyday life, a melody flows. This melody is people’s lives knit together in a harmony that one has to stop and really listen to perceive. The notes come from each of us, lifting our instrumental gifts and allowing the sweet music to harmonize with those around us.  

It amazes me how much we need each other. In a world where cultural differences, varied beliefs and political affiliations seem to pull us apart, the truth is, we are connected by something so deep, it’s unbreakable, no matter who hard we try to draw the dividing line.

Yet, we try anyway. Setting camp in those places of comfort we find acceptable. But it hinders the melody. It interrupts the rhythm. Everyone has been given something, a sort of instrument, that has the potential to make this world a better place. Like learning a violin, our gifts must be practiced. Often we’ll make mistakes, break strings, and come off sounding simply awful.

However, the closer we draw to our gift giver, God, the more he begins to prefect our pitch until we can harmonize with others and join in the melody.

The Message: “So let’s do it–full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshipping together as some do but spurring each other on.” Heb. 10:22

This is how I’ve seen it work: I become unsure in my gifting. Fearful I’ll really mess up and make a fool of myself. Or I’m afraid I’ll hurt someone worse than helping them. And the enemy is tricky. He likes to convince you that you’ll never be able to play right. Or that you’re doing it wrong, or your a bad fit for that instrument and should be playing a different one instead. So then confusion sets in and you wonder what the heck you think you’re doing. I start to think I’m simply not good enough and need to stop before something really bad happens.

If I was all alone, then I would give up and walk away. But I’ve fervently asked the gift giver to teach me to play this instrument he’s given me. As any good teacher, he has many resources at his disposal. Most of those resources are his other musicians, all in various developments with their own gifting. When I falter, he sits me down and says, “Watch what they can do. Draw strength from their accomplishments. Watch and learn how they are doing it.”

So I was in the middle of such a time. Struggling with a task God had given me to do. As doubt whispered it’s killing words in my ear, the Holy One sang a life song, directing me to one of his other children. Just so happened to be another blog. I simply felt a strong prompting to visit and see what goodness I might find there. About three entries down, there it was. An article about reaching through a curtain of differences and touching others in love. It’s God’s way. It’s all he asks of us.

I returned to my own place, took up my instrument and tried again, encouraged that I was on the right track. And that’s how it works when everyone plays their part, more and more are touched by the beautiful music our work in harmony produces.

Each of us must make a choice. It’s not something we can do alone. We need Him. We need each other. Let’s strive to walk together, not push and shove others out of the way. Stop struggling. Wait. Follow that sweet sound. Can you hear it? Listen….


Posted by: Jackie | July 22, 2008

DRAGONLIGHT: A bright voice in dark places

I’m please to announce another wonderful Dragon book from author, Donita K. Paul. I’ve followed these stories from the beginning, finding each delightful and full of insight. Not to mention, Mrs. Paul is simply a wonderful storyteller.

Over the next week, I hope to have more discussion on this wonderful book, including an interview with the author herself.

For now, go check out Amazon for ordering these books:

You can learn more about Donita K. Paul at her website and blog. Monday nights, she does live chats on writing techniques that anyone can participate in.

Wednesday, July 23.  Here’s the interview with Donita K. Paul I promised.

What has been your greatest experience in writing the Dragon Keeper Chronicles?

This the type of thing that makes writing a worthwhile career:

Thursday, July 17th, 2008, around eleven o’clock AM Mountain time, I received one of the Grand Prizes given out to writers.

The award was given at a book signing at Mardels. I had no idea God had orchestrated the presentation. I signed a book after a brief conversation with a shy and beautiful teen girl. She leaned over and whispered, “My friend and I have decided to keep our relationships pure like Kale and Bardon did in your books.” She picked up her autographed copy and skedaddled, unaware that tears had sprung to my eyes and I was hallelujahing all over the place in the privacy of spontaneous worship to our Lord.

 The accolades of men are nice. An affirmation from God is GRAND PRIZE.

 I can’t imagine a greater gift than that. Awesome!

What drew you to write for YA? You also write romance as well, isn’t that correct? Which gives you the most joy to write?

 Romance is by far easier to write than fantasy, but I find both satisfying. I decided to try my hand a YA because there are so many YA series that I enjoyed reading as a young teen, and the mass paperback books put out today just don’t compare.

 I’ve always admired how you do the chats with young people on Monday nights. Can you tell us a little more about why you started doing this?

 This actually came about at the readers’ request. We were doing a Monday night chat just to hobnob with readers, but soon their questions centered around the craft of writing. So we decided to approach the chat from that angle and use books to structure the talks, so they wouldn’t be so random.


 Well, I’ve sat in on a couple of them and enjoyed it very much.

What is the first thing you do when you sit down to write a new book?

 Open a clean document. I sometimes have mulled over an idea for a day or two. On the last one, I just started without any prep whatsoever. Kind of scary, huh?


 What do you wish someone would have told you when you were getting started?

  I wish someone had told me how rough it is. The market is saturated. New, talented, skilled authors are knocking on the doors with great stories. A gifted storyteller can go years without getting published. That’s disheartening for even the most valiant writer. But it is all in God’s hands, in God’s timing, subject to his sovereign will. Nothing that we write, even if no one else even sees it, is for naught. God works on our hearts as we write, and sometimes that was what He had in mind, all along. So don’t let the lack of publication steal your joy. The Joy of the LORD is our Strength!

Thanks so much for the interview.


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