Sunday, November 23, 2008

End the Hate/first posted by American Family Association

Above The Hate
by Marcia Segelstein

In the wake of violent protests, vicious personal attacks, and a campaign of intimidation by opponents of Proposition 8, the National Organization for Marriage has just launched a new website called Its intent is to affirm, as Executive Director Brian Brown writes, “the right of all citizens to participate in the public debate about marriage, free from intimidation, vandalism or violence.”

The website is starting off with a letter which everyone is encouraged to sign (online) from major Christian leaders and supporters to President Thomas Monson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints thanking him and his church for their support of Proposition 8 and the protection of marriage.

Beyond a well-deserved thank you, what's the point of such a letter? “Threats against one religious community threaten all of us," Brown writes, "as we stand for what we believe in the public square. The campaign against the LDS Church is just the first part of a campaign to silence all of us.”

So don’t be silenced. Visit the website and sign your name!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Author Interview with FaithWebbin

Describe yourself for our visitors

After working as a home school mom for 20 years, I received my golden apple from my three daughters when the last one graduated in 2005. I now team up with my professional counselor husband to conduct marriage seminars for churches and organizations. Writing caters to my introvert side while speaking caters to my extrovert side. My favorite role is mentor for my adult children and granddaughters. I look forward to the day when my grandchildren are old enough to play tea party.

How do you find time to connect with God?

Now that my nest is empty, finding time to spend with God is easier than ever! The longer I live the more I realize that meeting with the Lord every day is not an option for me. I have to do it! He has allowed me to travel some dark places in my spiritual journey in order to teach me that relationship with Him and with others is vital to maintaining equilibrium in all areas of my life. I’ve discovered that if I don’t carve out time with God (I call it “my date with Jesus”) in the morning, it generally does not happen. I come to Jesus with Bible, journal, and pen in hand to record any thoughts, direction, and healing He wants to give me. He is the first one I talk to when I wake up in the morning and the last one I talk to when my head hits the pillow at night. In addition to my personal quiet time with the Lord, several times a month I invest in accountability relationships with other women, either one-on-one or in small groups. These women encourage me to stay focused on Jesus and His plan for me.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

About 12 years ago, my husband, Chuck, suggested we team up to conduct marriage seminars as an extension of his counseling ministry. At the time I was absorbed with home schooling my three daughters so told him I would put the idea on the back burner until retirement. In the meantime, we filled a folder marked, “Marriage Seminars” with research, handouts, personal stories, and resource ideas.

Then in 1999, two years after our oldest daughter graduated from high school, I sensed God prompting me to test the seminar waters. Chuck mentioned that we would need to compile a syllabus for attendees and I said, “Why not a book?” Over the years, I had received good feedback on my newsletter columns and church dramas so decided to take the leap. After meeting rejection from three royalty publishers, I decided to self-publish. Thus emerged, Marriage with an Attitude, How to Build an Exciting Marriage with a Fantastic Attitude! Within the next three years I published two other books, one on grief and loss and the other a 31-day devotional.

As I approached the empty nest, God shifted my focus to writing magazine articles. Since that time my byline has appeared in Discipleship Journal, Marriage Partnership, Christian Home & School, ParentLife, and Mature Living, as well as other print and online magazines.

In 2005, God gave me the desire to write my first novel, Journey to Judah, inspired by my daughter’s story. The work sat on the shelf for two years before being picked up by Capstone Fiction.

Tell us about your current book.

Journey to Judah is my debut novel and first book accepted by a royalty publisher. It is Book One in my “Born for India” series.

Maggie Osteder’s given up hope of finding a man who shares her love for India. So while her friends plan dream weddings, she follows her heart, fulfilling a ten-year dream of becoming a career missionary. “Don’t lose heart. Stay focused on serving, and God will take care of the rest,” her mother always tells her. Yet upon arrival in Chennai, a fellow missionary makes a comment that strikes to Maggie’s heart—that her ministry will be more effective if she’s married. And her newfound friend says she has the perfect match: the new doctor, Gavin Munsfield.
But Maggie isn’t so sure she’s ready to open her heart…especially to a man who seems to be struggling with his own issues.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

My passion in writing Journey to Judah emerged as the result of watching our fifteen-year-old daughter commit her life to fulltime missions in India. After ten years of waiting, training, and preparing, our single daughter departed for India in November, 2004. Two months later God brought a young man to India and the two were married on June 11, 2005. During this time, my women’s Bible study group was studying the life of Ruth. I began to see how my daughter’s journey of leaving the comfortable surroundings of home and family to follow God to a foreign land was similar to Ruth’s journey to Judah. One night after returning home from the study, I crawled into bed and the title, Journey to Judah, flashed across my mind. I knew it was the perfect fit for my novel.

List your three most recent books (if applicable).

My nonfiction books include, Marriage with an Attitude, When Mourning Comes, Living Through Loss, and Tranquil Moments, Spiritual Refreshment from the Island of Maui, available through online bookstores

What’s next for you?

I am currently working on Book Two in the “Born for India” series. Restored Hearts profiles Gavin’s brother, Tim, who joins the mission team for the clean-up and rebuilding of the Oasis Compound. Tim harbors a dark secret that threatens to destroy his relationship with his brother…and a promising new love.

Where can visitors find you online?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

God, Bless America Once Again

Dear Father,

You have blessed us, and blessed us, and blessed us again. In Your rich mercy and grace, would You bless us once again? For the sake of our children and their children. Yet, I have to ask myself: If You choose to bless us again, what will I do with that blessing?

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Value of Reading

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers."

Charles W. Eliot, The Happy Life, 1896


The End of One Story, the Beginning of Another

I flip through the calendar, a gift from my missionary daughter. Family face after family face jump off the pages. Grandkids roasting mar...