Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I'm the One With Gray Hair.

by Molly Noble Bull

I suffer from a come-and-go digestive problem that sometimes requires medication, and yesterday, I went to the drive-in window of the local pharmacy to pick up my refilled prescription. As I was driving off, I noticed that my name was not written on the little white sack with the medicine in it. The last name was Bull, all right, but the first name wasn’t Molly.
I drove around the block and returned to the pharmacy, but this time, I had to wait in line. When I finally got to the window, I grinned at the lady I’d talked to the first time.
“I’m back,” I said, holding up the little white sack. “You gave me the wrong medicine. This is for someone else. I’m the one with gray hair.”
She laughed. Then she found what I came for, handed it to me, and I went home.
Sometimes we receive medicine, truths, really meant for someone else. The Lord seemed to be showing me that when that happens, we are expected to turn around, return the medicine, and go home. I think I learn the most about God when I am given bad tasting medicine really meant for someone else.




The Secret Admirer Romance Collection is a collection of nine novellas by nine different authors, and my novella is titled “Too Many Secrets.” http://bit.ly/mollynoblebull

Saturday, April 15, 2017

What do you have to offer the world?

posted by Teresa Slack
Most of us don’t think of ourselves as an expert at anything. We haven’t discovered anything or invented anything or cured anything. We haven’t built a business that employs millions or solved a great problem facing humankind. We downplay our abilities since they’re not that impressive. After all, almost anyone can balance a checkbook or raise kids or even write a blog post. We keep our heads down and hope we don't sound like we’re bragging.

Recently I was asked to speak at a writers’ conference. It's been a long time since I've talked about writing. To be honest, it's been a long time since I've written a whole lot. I believe I do have something to offer writers. I’ve been doing it a while and have met with some success with my published novels. But an expert…I don't know if I'd go that far.

I almost didn't accept the invitation. I worried I might not have enough to offer that the attendees didn’t already know. Actually, I was afraid. Afraid of not having as good a presentation as the other writers doing workshops. Afraid I’d fall on my face. Afraid everyone would see me as the fraud I thought I was.

Aren't those dumb reasons for not doing something I love?

No matter your interests or abilities or experience or natural talent, you have something to offer that can benefit or impact someone. Don't let fear or the thought that you're a phony or not as good as you think you are keep you from doing what you enjoy and from being a being a blessing to others. We tell ourselves we’re not that funny or talented or experienced. Consequently, we do nothing. Who suffers when we make that choice?

Not only are we hurting ourselves by not stretching our wings and doing what we enjoy, we are also hurting the people we don’t help. Vanity is sometimes disguised as fear. The fear we experience when doing something outside our comfort zone is vanity. No one wants to fall on their face in front of witnesses. But not doing something helpful or beneficial to others because of selfish reasons is vanity.

No matter how minimal you believe your talents, someone can benefit from learning them. Even if you think everyone knows how to bake a chocolate chip cookie or housebreak a puppy or sew on a button, you will come across someone who needs your advice on the subject. I am sure there are also bigger things, too, in which you have experience.

What are you good at? What are your interests or natural talents? Baking. Organization. Writing. Graphic design. Woodworking. Money management. Animal training. Crafts. Mechanics. Health and beauty. Just to name a few. There is at least one area in which you could help someone else. Probably many, but for the sake of this article, we'll focus on one. Name one thing you could teach someone else. If you share your knowledge & experience with one person, you have possibly enriched them…and yourself.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Meet the Author, ALEXIS A. GORING


by Molly Noble Bull
  


Molly:
Alexis, it is great to have you’re here, and I can hardly wait to learn more about you and your writing. As an only child, playing “Let’s Pretend” was my favorite game and kept me from being lonely. I believe that some authors, if not most, are “Let’s Pretenders,” and fiction writing is what “Let’s Pretenders” do when they grow up.
Tell us about you, Alexis, your family and your life. Did you like to play Let’s Pretend, as a child? If so, how did this influence your decision to become a writer?

Alexis:
Oh yes, I loved to play “Let’s Pretend” as a child! I loved to pretend that I was an actress, singer, model and traveling the world. This totally influenced my decision to become a writer! My mom is an educator, my dad works in a hospital and my brother and his wife are professional physical therapists who earned doctorate degrees. Growing up, my grandparents babysat my brother and I. It was an impromptu storytelling game created by my grandpa one day that spurred me to start writing fictional stories.

Molly:
What wonderful memories. Like me, you are a Christian author, making us Sisters-in-Jesus Christ. Tell us about your spiritual life and how the Lord influenced your writing as well as the person you are today.

Alexis:
I am a Christian. I believe in Jesus Christ and thank God for giving me the gift of writing. God led me on the writing career path from a very young age. I’ve always loved reading and writing and started writing stories at age 9.
God affirmed my gift through words from teachers such as my Bible teacher in high school who told me via a written message in my yearbook that he hopes that I will continue writing because I have a “tremendous gift.” The Lord led me to mentors in college and after college who helped me to grow my gift. Two years ago, He led me to Full Sail University where I earned my MFA in Creative Writing.
The Lord blessed me with family members who are supportive of my dream to be a professional writer. All of this influenced who I am today by growing not only my gift but it also grew my faith in God. This journey that God is taking me on is also growing my patience as I learn
to wait on the Lord for His perfect timing and plan for my life.

Molly:
What a blessing. Now, tell us about that novella of yours, A Second Chance.
  


Alexis:
It’s a story about characters that are in need of a second chance in life and love. The story focuses on Marc and Traci who have had their share of heartbreak in relationships. There’s a spiritual theme of forgiveness tied in with hope and completed with restoration. My characters
go through highs and lows which tests their faith, and they learn how to trust God. Ultimately, Traci and Marc learn the meaning of Jeremiah 29:11.

Molly:
Pictures on the covers of books are great. But when I decide whether or not to buy a book at a bookstore, I read page one. Please post the first part of A Second Chance.

Alexis:
Chapter 1
Knee-deep in debt from wedding expenses, Traci Hightower sighed as she filed through the credit card statements. She should be married now, back from her honeymoon in Bali, and settled into her new home with her husband. Happy. Not single and broke.
She slapped an envelope against the desk. Five months of struggling to survive and pay off the debt. Her meager, entry-level journalist salary didn’t stretch far enough. She’d been paying her dues for seven years. She rubbed her temples.
The numbers on the credit card statement blurred in front of her eyes.
The doorbell rang. A little thrill rushed through her. She stood from her cross-legged position on the floor and hopped over the mess of papers and laundry that decorated her living room.
“Who is it?”
“The woman who gave you birth.”
For the first time today, Traci smiled. She opened the door and reached for a hug from the one person who never left her hanging.
“Hi, Mom.”
Her mom returned her daughter’s embrace, then dragged her suitcase inside. She glanced around. “Oh, my.”
Traci locked her door, then turned and shrugged. “I’m so glad you’re here. I’ve been looking forward to this. Can’t you stay for more than two days though?”
Mom stopped picking up the bills from the floor and faced her daughter. “No, honey. I’m sorry, but I need to return home by Wednesday morning. Dad and I have an important meeting later that day.”
Traci’s heart dipped. Mom paused and placed the bills and the stack of paper she’d picked off the floor on Traci’s kitchen counter. “Oh, sweetie.” She cocooned her daughter in another embrace.
Traci snuggled close. She inhaled the familiar scent of her mother’s favorite perfume. It smelt like coconut and lime.
“You always were a cuddler.” Mom stroked her hair. “Still up to your eyeballs in debt?”
Traci nodded.
“Why don’t you let me and your father help?”
Traci took a step back and made eye contact with her mom.
“We’ve been through this. I got myself into this mess. I’ll get myself out.”
Mom smiled. “Your father and I were talking. We hate to see you struggling.”
“You don’t exactly live in a palace either. I know you want to retire soon, and I won’t have you dipping into that money.”
Mom reached into her purse. “Living in the nation’s capital area is expensive.” She rummaged through her handbag’s contents. “Have you considered moving home?”
“I can’t do that. I don’t ever want to live anywhere else. My life and career are here.”
“How’s that going for you?”
Traci picked at her fingernails. “It could be better.” Better boss, better pay, better office space. The works.
Mom nodded as she retrieved one sealed envelope from her purse. She looked toward Traci’s kitchen. “Can we make some tea? I’d like to talk with you.”
“Sure. Come with me.” Traci reached for the box of peppermint tea bags and got a bottle of honey from her refrigerator. As she put the kettle on to boil, her mom settled into a wobbly kitchen chair. She smoothed the creased edges of the envelope.
Traci poured the hot water over the tea bags in each mug and the scent of peppermint filled the air. “Everything okay?”
“Just thinking, honey.”
“About what?”
“Have a seat.”
“Sure, just let me allow the tea to steep.” After she placed a plate over each mug and set it aside, she settled into the chair across from her mom. “What’s up?”
“I never did like Greg.”
Traci traced a ring stain on the table. “Do we have to talk about my ex-fiancĂ©?”
“Yes, because your grandfather always trusted my judgment.”
“So, Grandpa didn’t like Greg either?”
“I inherited my instincts of discernment from him. Speaking of discernment, here.” She pushed the envelope within Traci’s reach.
She frowned as she picked it up and tried to flatten its wrinkles.
“What’s this?”
 ~*~
Molly:
Thanks, Alexis, and thank you for coming. But before you go, please leave your contact information.

Alexis:
Thanks for inviting me to be your guest! Here are the links to my social media where readers may connect with me: 

Facebook:
“God is Love” blog: http://capturingtheidea.blogspot.com 



Thursday, March 16, 2017

WHAT'S NEW?

by Molly Noble Bull

I would like to introduce my friend, fellow author, and proof-editor—Jeanette Pierce. She has written an interesting article based on the Bible, and as new as today’s headlines, and you will want to read it. It is just below.
Jeanette is a retired high school English teacher, and she has an MA in English with a minor in psychology. We have partnered on two sets of study guides for homeschool families based on two of my novels.

When the Cowboy Rides Away


Gatehaven


  

THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN “- King Solomon
By Jeanette Pierce
Once upon a time an upright man lived in a great land that he loved with all his heart. But there came a time when men in authority with a different world view took the people captive from their beloved land.
As time passed, people living in the surrounding area but not having the same pride in their land, let the infrastructure go to ruins, and the land became ugly, desolate, and unlivable.
Then one day the man, saddened by the condition of his homeland, felt he could and must make his homeland great again. First, he got permission to proceed with the project. Next, he assessed the magnitude of the problem of both the inner city and the total infrastructure to understand the task before him. Last, he gathered a collection of the best men to help carry out his mission.
Finally, he and his men were on the job, making good progress in making his country great again. But alas, soon his enemies from surrounding areas, not desiring that he succeed in renewing his homeland, began plotting against him. First, they tried to discourage him by mocking him and his men. One opposition leader (a governor, no less) mocked him saying his structures were so weak that a fox could jump on the wall and break it. When mockery failed to distract them from their task, their opponents resorted to slander by telling him that rumor had it that he was making the land great again because he planned to rebel and set himself up as a king figure. They even tried to draw him away from his team for a supposed meeting, but he realized their motive was to get him alone and assassinate him, so he sent a letter declining the invitation.
After their non-violent attempts failed to stop his work, the opponents conspired with all the various enemies in the land and began to physically attack the workers. But their courageous leader wisely divided his workers into two groups, one to guard the wall and the workers while the other group worked. The workers finally had to resort to working with one hand while holding a weapon in the other. But most importantly, prayers were sent up to the one true God to protect this great leader and his teams that their enemies would be powerless against them. God heard all the prayers and protected the workers, and they finished their project ahead of time and under budget. Their enemies, realizing they were powerless against this great leader because God was fighting his battles, lost their confidence and gave up.
This great leader did all the work to make his country a great nation but took no salary.
If you have labeled the great leader as President Trump, the enemies as President Obama and the liberal Left, using Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to destroy your great leader, you would be totally wrong.
To read a story that has unbelievable similarities to what is happening in the United States at present, read Nehemiah, chapters 1-6 (Old Testament). The story begins during the reign of Artaxerxes, King of Persia. His queen is Esther, the beautiful, wise, Jewish heroine who literally saves her people from destruction. Nehemiah is the king’s cupbearer, meaning he tastes the king’s wine first. If it has been poisoned, Nehemiah, not the king, will die. The job requires a trusted person. The modern equivalent would be the job of the FBI to take a bullet for the president.
Nehemiah is saddened to the point of weeping because of the terrible condition in Jerusalem since the Jewish people have been in captivity in Babylon over 70 years. The city is in ruins, and the walls have been knocked down and the gates burned. The local enemies, including governors of the provinces, plot constantly to thwart the efforts of Nehemiah and his workers. Chapters 4-6 enumerate the various tactics they use against Nehemiah, which leads me to conclude that Saul Alinsky wasn’t the first to use his Rules for Radicals. Sanballat and his partners in crime used some of the same tactics against Nehemiah in 445 B.C. Solomon even said, “there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9b) Nehemiah 6:15 states that Nehemiah and his team completed the wall around Jerusalem in an unprecedented 52 days. And Nehemiah 5:14 states that Nehemiah took no salary during the 12 years of his first term as governor. Does history repeat itself or what!!!



Sunday, January 22, 2017

SPEAK UP! 
Do You Know What Happened On January 22, 1973?   



Two important events in American history took place on that day. Do you know what they were?
I’ll give you a hint. One was about the life and death of a man. The other was about the life and death of millions.
I remember that day well.
By 1973 I had been a pro-life Christian for some time and was a member of a group called The Ad-Hoc Committee in Defense of Life. On January 22, 1973, I was watching our black and white television set when a TV commentator announced that the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark decision, stating that a right to privacy under the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution extends to a woman’s right to have an abortion. I was devastated.
I needed to talk to someone—share what I’d just heard. In my rush to phone Alice, my pro-life friend, I didn’t even bother to turn off the TV set. I just dialed her number, weeping as I explained what had just happened—that Roe vs. Wade was now the law of the land.
Suddenly, the TV newsman said something like, “I have another announcement. Former President Lyndon Baines Johnson has just died at his ranch near Johnson City, Texas.” 
The stories about the death of the 36th President of the United States were on the front pages of every newspaper in the country the next morning. Roe vs. Wade was considered of lesser importance and was pushed to perhaps page ten. However, the future death of millions of unborn children was the big story for that day and any day.
As a result, I helped start two pro-life organizations, marching and speaking up for life. According to the Bible, we are being righteous judges when we speak up for those that cannot speak for themselves.

Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless. Speak for them and be a righteous judge. Protect the rights of the poor and needy.  Proverbs 31: 8-9. (Good News Bible)




Heaven Father, give us ears to hear the cries of those who cannot speak for themselves and the hands and hearts to protect the rights of the poor, the needy and the helpless. In the blessed name of Jesus. Amen and amen.