Thursday, July 26, 2012


A White Colt that Isn’t Really White,
And His Owner, Dana Hickey

by Molly Noble Bull   


Doc is the beautiful blue-eyed, white animal in the photo above, and his mother is the mare in the photo with him. On the day the photo was taken, Doc was only four weeks old, but I think he looks a lot older.
According to the Book of Revelation, Jesus will return on a white horse, and his saints will also be riding white horses. Will these horses be a lot like Doc? Nobody knows. But we can know about white horses in general.
Albinism in humans or animals means a lack of normal pigmentation. Often, this defect is accompanied by other congenital defects as well. I thought Doc was an albino.
I was wrong.
In South Texas where we live, horses with so much as white socks on their lower legs often get a painful ailment on the white area that ranchers around here call sandburn. I worried that Doc might get a bad case on the entire surface of his hide. Horses in warm climates with white feet are often sold and sent to a colder climate where sandburn in horses are not normally found. 
However, Doc’s owner, Dana Hickey, explained that Doc was not an albino but a Cremello, and Cremellos don’t suffer from sandburn because the albino defect is not normally found in horses. Doc’s coat is cream in color, meaning he has pigmentation. In fact, the only white on him anywhere is the star on his forehead. 
To learn more about this interesting topic, click below.
Now my friend, Dana Hickey, is going to tell us more about Doc.
Dana lives on seventy acres near Kingsville, Texas with her husband and college-age daughter. Tell us about your country home, Dana, and about the dangers Doc went through just being born. Then tell us a little about the mare that bore him.  

 I have loved cream-colored horses all my life, including palominos, buckskins, and creams. When I was a young girl my father took me shopping for a horse. We went to look at a beautiful white (cream) horse with blue eyes kept in a farmer’s barn. The horse was the right price, and I wanted him.
My father was ready to make the deal; but the owner said this horse has blue eyes so we could only ride him in the evening because the sun would hurt his eyes.
I felt so sorry for the horse. Something deep in me didn’t believe the sun would hurt his eyes, and the horse honestly looked sad.
My father declined the purchase. He said he wouldn’t own a horse you couldn’t ride at all times during the day. 
I never forgot that horse. I am now proud to say that we have a horse on our place that looks just like that horse many years ago. 
In 2002 my two daughters and two horses moved back home to South Texas.
In 2003 I bought a quarter horse which was a champagne cream stud horse to breed to my sorrels (red) and bay (brown) horses. 
The genetics for this type of horse gave us a 75% chance producing palominos, buckskins, creams, or even maybe a cremello.
In 2004 the American Quarter-horse Association, AQHA, made it official. I could register my unusual colored horse. I sold that same stud horse this year. His last mare to have a colt is the one mentioned in this article, and the mare produced the only cremello we have ever owned. The cremello produces 100% color when breeding to sorrels and bay colored horses.
Both my daughters started showing horses in western pleasure events, and they had lots of fun and even won a few buckles. They are true horse lovers, and they each own horses. They will not let go of them.
A couple of years later my ex-husband (father of our girls) came to visit, and he fell from a trailer. After shattering his knee and breaking a few bones, he stayed at our place to mend. One thing led to another. We remarried; funny how the Lord does things.
My oldest daughter graduated from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and she is married. Her English bred horse, Jazz, is the mama of this baby, named Doc—after the vet that saved the animal’s life.
Jazz, in the picture, lost her last foal, and it was heart breaking. We saw the foal trying to come out of the mother, but we could not pull the baby from her. Within an hour, we had Jazz at the vet. It was midnight by then. The vet delivered a dead foal. However, he stated that Jazz should have no problem with her next foal.
I had feed Jazz very well when she was pregnant. I blamed myself for overfeeding her and getting the baby too big for delivery.
We waited two years before we bred again. This time I did not over-feed the mare. Jazz ate only grass, and she was very healthy looking. My girls and I prayed for the health and safe delivery of this next foal. I never ask for prayers for horses, but I felt I needed to include Jazz in a prayer from our small prayer group. On a Saturday morning my husband left to tend to our food bank distribution for our community, and I was out of town attending the Republican Convention in Fort Worth. My younger daughter had only been home a few weeks from college.
She checked on Jazz and could see that the mare’s water broke. She knew she had to get the foal delivered. The water was already dry which is not good. Once the bag breaks on a foal, you have twenty minutes to deliver a colt. Every minute after that means possibly losing the baby animal. I’d found this out when our first colt couldn’t come out. 
On the telephone talking to the vet, my daughter was told to give up. The foal was probably already dead or close to it. She’d called every vet within 20 miles, and of all days, none were in the office. The only one she could reach stated that the foal would probably die. One vet said to call the vet in the next county but that there was no rush. 
My youngest daughter called her sister who is an hour’s drive away. She came to help and loaded the mare for the sad trip to the vet. My brother was in the area, and he also helped with the ordeal. Both my girls were upset because they never wanted to see this ordeal again. 
They arrived at the vet about three hours after Jazz was found that morning. The vet went to check on other horses and was in no hurry to work on ours since the verdict was not good.
When he put his hands into the mare to check on the colt, he said he was shocked. “This foal is alive!”
Apparently, the sac wasn’t broken completely after all—that or God healed it 
Nevertheless, my girls tried not to get their hopes up.
The foal could not be delivered by pulling, so chains were used on his legs and head and mouth in order to turn the head in proper position, with three people pulling. If you goggle this type of delivery, it generally produces a dead colt.
This process damaged the foal’s mouth, making him unable to nurse. His legs were so weak, he could not stand once he was delivered, but at least he was alive. The vet also said Doc, the colt, may be “dumb” due to lack of oxygen.
The vet worked on Doc for some time. The foal required around the clock care by attendants for 48 hours. The vet had to milk the mother and pour the milk into her colt. Doc actually started nursing about the second day on his own. His legs were swollen from pulling, and the vet was not sure as to the level of damage Doc suffered, plus the next fear was systemic infection, which is not uncommon under the circumstances.
We brought the foal home on the third day, and that was when we finally decided to name him Doc after the vet who saved him.
The vet called me the day after we brought him home and for the first time he said, “You know that colt should not be alive.”
I said, “Prayers were answered.”
So doors were opened for us to discuss the love of the Lord with the vet. Funny how the Lord opens doors. 

Now tell us about your Christian walk and about the sign on the highway that fronts your land. What does the sign say?  And how has it changed you and others who see it? 

I love the Lord, and my family went to church on Sundays when I was a child. I thought everything was great. But I experienced some real evil in my life that I didn’t know was possible. Don’t ever think you are alone when you get hit with everything that is as bad as it gets and you feel so low you want to disappear. I’ve been there. I started a journey looking for a deep relationship with the Lord and discovered it is a life long journey. It isn’t just about saying the sinner’s prayer and going to church one day a week. A close relationship with the Lord is a daily decision that you make each day to follow the Lord. Jesus said we are to take up His cross daily and follow Him. I found out about the Armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-20.
I wear it.
I learned to read the bible slower and mediate on His word. I learned to pray much more often. I learned about tongues and the importance of praying in the spirit. The most important thing I have learned is that it is all about HIM. All Glory to God. When I do anything good, it is because of the He in me.
I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet some really great people though the Lord.  One of my friends told me the Lord told her the reason He made people in different colors was so we would learn unconditional love. (Isn’t this great?)
Another friend told me that the Lord shared with her that we are to read all the Word, (The Bible) and not to pick and chose. All of the Passover lamb was to be eaten and not just certain parts of it. In the same way, all of the Bible was to be read, include those chapters and verses we might not find as interesting.
The Lord gives little words of knowledge to all His people, I think this is so we will lean on each other and appreciate the love of Him in each of us.
The sign on my property states, “Jesus loves you, repent, pray, read the bible.” 
I need these words just as much as anyone else, traveling down the highway in front of our place.

Thanks for stopping by Dana and for telling us about Doc.
I don’t know the breed of horse that Jesus will ride on when he returns to earth at the second coming, but I know he will return riding on a white horse because the Bible says so.
Please leave a comment.
Then continue reading. Connie Almony has written a unique article on Marketing. Scroll down to read it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Would Jesus Market Himself?

As writers journey thestage road toward publication, learning both craft and business, one thing becomes painfully clear—Authors need platforms. What’s a platform, you ask? It’s a vehicle on which you let others know about your work. It includes group memberships, websites, social media and other forms of potential audiences. We are told without a platform, we are less desirable to agents and editors because if no one knows about our work, who cares how well-crafted it is.

So, as a newbie author, I plunge into social media, guest blogging and—shutter—self-promotion. Major “ick factor” in that last one. Really? Can’t someone else tell the world how wonderful my writing is ;o)? Well, not if that someone else hasn’t read it.

Then, I hear some Christian writers—particularly those focusing on the ministry of it—talk about how they have chosen NOT to market at all. If God wants their work noticed, He will bring the readers … won’t He? Being a “ministry-minded” author myself, I find it necessary to ask, “What would Jesus do?”

Let’s look at that. Would Jesus market Himself? Did He have a platform? Did He self-promote? Yes … and no.


You can imagine how the term platform came into use. It’s a stage, hillset above the audience, so large groups of people can see you above the crowd. Kind of like a … a big hill. Maybe, a …a “mount.” So when Jesus stood on the large incline and gave His most famous sermon, He had a purpose to it. He wanted people to hear Him. He didn’t want to waste His efforts. Think about the other places in which He chose to speak, like various synagogues and the Temple in Jerusalem. There, he knew He’d find groups of people asking about their Creator and the coming Messiah—The questions He came to answer.

Jesus didn’t stop there. He sometimes narrowed His focus to a particular group, even though he’d been chastised for doing so—tax collectors and sinners. The group He came to save. Dare I call them His “target audience.”


One of the greatest “pre-release” marketing campaigns ever to exist was the “coming attraction” of the promised Messiah. Foretold in the Old Testament, God’s chosen awaited Jesus like no other. He was bigger than Star Wars. Not only was there a buzz about the dude, but there was a buzz about the one who prepared the way. In Isaiah 40:3 (NIV), it says, “A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.’” In John 1:23 (NIV), John the Baptist confirms he is that voice.

Jesus even used a few attention grabbers. I mean, what would you have done if you’d seen Lazarus walk out of his tomb healthy, after having been previously immersed in the smell of his own decay? You’d pay attention. And you’d remember the man who raised him. In John 9:3 (NIV), when asked who sinned that the man was born blind, Jesus wellanswers, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” How did the woman at the well get so many people to come see Jesus? She said he could read her life without being told who she was. And though Jesus wearied of doing miracles for unbelievers—like authors weary of marketing—God knew He needed some way to show the people the Truth of who He is.

No, I’m not suggesting we do miracles. Um … unless you can! But if God didn’t grant you that particular gift, I’m thinking a good book signing, interview or free samples might just do the trick. These are the author’s way of showing the reader who they are.

I know some of you are bristling at my description of Jesus as though He were a carnival act to draw in the best crowds. Carnival acts are about clownentertainment and sometimes falsehoods. That is not at all what we are talking about with Jesus … and I hope it is not what I’m talking about for you. Though a good book should be entertaining as well as enlightening, I am speaking to those who bristle at hawking their ministry.

Which brings us to the ugliest part …


This is a tricky one. Did Jesus promote Himself. Again, the answer is “yes and no.” In John 14:6 (NIV) He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Why did He make such a bold and outrageous statement? Because it was true. However, I caution you here. Follow Jesus’ example of truth as opposed to His choice of words. Because if you are not “the way, the truth and the life” I’d suggest you not say you are. In fact, if you believe you are those things … I’m thinking you need something else altogether.

Like therapy.

Jesus, being the incarnate of God, however, even defers to His Father. In John 7:16 (NIV) He says, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.” What about the one who is more like us—John the Baptist? When speaking of his own position in Jesus’ ministry, he said, “the thongs of (His) sandals I am not worthy to untie.” These verses remind us of what use our gifts are to have—to glorify God. They are given BY Him to be used FOR Him. While promoting our work, it’s important to remember that. That’s not to say we can’t bask in the joy of seeing our purpose fulfilled. I mean, what greater feeling is there then to have our empty vessels filled with His presence, doing His will? There is no greater feeling. It’s just important to remember the source.

banquetIn Luke 14:8-11(NIV) Jesus tells us, when invited to a feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. He describes the humiliation of having to be reseated in a less exalted chair. But, if the lowest place is chosen, and you are moved up by the host, you will be honored.

I love this analogy! Can you feel the emotional impact of being moved?!

So how do we translate that to self-promotion of your own “holy writ.” For me, it reminds me there are those whose offering is at least as important as mine, and many whose is much more so. My goal to honor God in my writing includes drawing others, not just to my work, but the work that will touch them most at the deepest levels. Sometimes that’s not mine at all. Other times—maybe. So when I tweet about enlightening blog articles and wonderful, inspiring prose, I should include authors besides myself. I am not the end-all and be-all of the writing world. “I am, Who am” is.

The Other Question

As we look at all these things, there is another question: “Why wouldn’t you market your work?” Is the answer really, you don’t have time or energy, or that you are afraid of rejection, mockery or bad reviews? Honestly ask yourself, and be prepared to act on the answer. Because your lack of action could be more in keeping with the man in the Bible who buried his “talents” (Matthew 25:14-30).

So with all this in mind, my advice is this:

As always, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33a). Spend time in prayer with these questions. Seek counsel in The Word. Having said that, the following is what I have found there. Don’t hide your light under a bushel (Matthew 5:15-16). God gave you gifts and he meant for them to be used (Matthew 25:14-30 see “How Jesus Said to Get More Talent”). Use them! Display them! Be straight forward, honest, respectful of other’s time and space, and give credit where credit is due.

Above all, do as He leads, and resist the urge to judge others for doing it differently, because you were not part of God’s conversation with that author.

That’s what Jesus would do.

For more inspiration to parallel your work with what Jesus did, listen to how the Christian rock band Needtobreathe inspires us to write for Him. Click the link here—Garden.

And now for my shameless self-promotion ;o) …

Serious ConnieConnie is a 2012 Genesis semi-finalist for Women’s Fiction. She was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2012 WOW Flash Fiction Contest for her entry, Why Not to Kiss on a Park Bench (aka. Harold and Violet). She also writes the What’s Your Story column, interviewing debut fiction authors for the My Book Therapy Ezine. Come visit her on one of her other blogs:

Living the Body of Christ

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bleed for Me & other books I shouldn't like

My boss was sent to Philadelphia for training so they put me in charge. Eeek! Needless to say I've had a crazy week. That's obvious since I didn't know it was Friday until a few hours ago. But now that I've caught up I thought we could have a little fun this weekend. So what's the last guilty pleasure book you read that you gained nothing from reading? Mine was BLEED FOR ME by Michael Robotham, an author I'd never read before or even heard of. I finished the book last night which is saying a lot considering how stressed I've been about work the last two weeks. I can't say I didn't gain anything from reading BLEED FOR ME. I always pay special attention to a book I don't want to put down. Why do some stories work and others fall flat? Inquiring writers want to know. Well, this one worked. Flawed characters and a suspenseful storyline kept me turning pages when I should've been sleeping. Tell us about the last book that kept you reading even if it wasn't on any bestseller lists or recommended by your pastor's wife. Come on, 'fess up. We won't tell. Your secret's safe with us.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry   

Reviewed by
Molly Noble Bull

I look for good books all year long, including books for my grandchildren, and as I mentioned before, I read at least part of every book I give to children as a gift. I think Haunted Waters beats out other books for the eight and up age group because it is not merely an exciting mystery. The book includes a Christian message.
Certainly Haunted Waters is an exciting summer read even for adults. And who says you must read it during the summer months anyway? It is a good mystery to curl up and read even when it’s cold outside.
Haunted Waters is Book 1 of a series of books for children called Red Rock Mysteries, and in Book 1, Bryce and Ashley (almost thirteen-year-old twins) are recovering from the death of their father who died in an airplane crash. The book begins after their mother remarries an airplane pilot named Sam, and Sam is also recovering from the death of his wife and child. If that wasn’t enough for Bryce and Ashley to deal with, they are forced to move to Colorado where Sam and his teenage daughter live.
The twins and their little brother, Dylan, like Sam. But he can never replace their beloved father. Nevertheless, the children agree to go on a weekend outing to the mountains with Sam while their mother and Sam’s daughter stay behind. Mom is an author, and she has a book to finish. The daughter stays behind to be with her boyfriend, a guy Bryce and Ashley call, The Creep, 
The book starts off a little slow. However it really takes off after Sam and the three children arrived at the mountain retreat. I won’t say what happens after that other than to say that I couldn’t put the book down until I finished it.
Below is a list of the other books in the Red Rock Mysteries series.
.   Stolen Secrets (Book 2) 
.   Missing Pieces (Book 3)
I have not read Book 2 or Book 3. However, I expect them to be every bit as exciting and inspiring as Book 1, and I read Haunted Waters from cover to cover.
This novel contains 224 pages, and in my opinion, it deserves 5 stars.
Click below to learn even more.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Good Jesus Cardio

We get up early every morning so we can exercise before we start our day. A five-mile run will do the trick. Get the blood pumping and the synapses firing. Well … maybe. But a good cup o’ coffee works fine for me. marathon

Now, I know there are those of you who love your cardio. You’re that person who could run a marathon. Maybe not a sprint, but if it’s got length and requires endurance, it’s yours. However, today, I want to talk about another kind of endurance. We’ll just call it good Jesus cardio.

A few months ago I heard a great sermon at my sister’s church. The pastor, who stated he had no particular talent, praised God that he was at least given perseverance. He said he may not be able to do anything well, but he would complete the job no matter how long it took. He also added that the road to failure is littered with talented people who couldn’t hack it. And though I must disagree with the pastor on his assessment of his own skills—I always enjoy his down-to-earth, though poignant sermons—I loved what he said about perseverance. Perseverance is the heart of the Body of Christ. It’s that part we need to exercise so we can run the marathon of life … and it is a marathon. So good spiritual cardio work is imperative to running, what the Apostle Paul called “The Race.”

The story of Joseph in Genesis is one of the best examples of perseverance in the Good Book. Joseph spent years being mocked by his brothers, more years as a slave and then even more in jail. Every time, he worked diligently and prospered, yet something always seemed to ruin his efforts. And yet, he maintained a strong faith in God and His purposes. God used all of those experiences to make Joseph the man he became and to place this Hebrew in a position of power in Egypt. Only an act of our Creator could do such a thing.

This is the kind of endurance we need through trial. We need to trust that God is still there even when life seems to block Him from view. Second Peter, verse nine tells us that if we are missing this quality (among others), we are nearsighted and blind, and have forgotten that we are cleansed from our past sins.

As writers, we need lots of this stuff, especially if traversing the world of the pre-published. It is a journey. I’ve heard estimates stating the average time for an author to become published from the time they start writing is between six and ten years. I’ve ONLY been at it, seriously, for two—sigh! Those who listened as I began the journey and excitedly asked, “How’s the book coming,” no longer ask. I wonder if they are afraid to bring up my “failure,” not realizing, it’s early yet. I haven’t failed. If I quit, then yes. But I don’t plan to do that any time soon.

So, every now and then, I go back to Joseph, read how at every turn, no matter how diligent his efforts, he was thwarted. Yet he remained faithful to the call and the Lord who gave it to him. I meditate on that a while and continue on.



Connie is a trained counselor, who likes to lace a little fun into the serious stuff of life. Visit her at: LivingtheBodyofChrist, and

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day--What do you depend on?

Who doesn’t love Fourth of July? The fireworks, the parades, the cookouts, the neighborhood get-togethers, the pool parties. Or in this year’s case…the 100+ degree heat index, the brown crackly grass, the cancelled fireworks displays. We talk a lot about independence in this country. We like to think we’re independent of other nations’ aid, or need of any kind from an outside source. But let’s face it, we all depend on something or someone. Whether it’s a job, a reliable daycare provider, a car, a washing machine, or electricity that millions of us in the nation went without this past weekend. Some of us are still dealing with the sweltering heat without the benefit of something we take for granted every day. (God bless the guy who came up with refrigeration.) Americans don’t want to depend on anything. We like to think we can take care of everything just fine, thank you very much. And millions of people do it every day. But we miss the point. Jesus said, where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Liberty. Isn’t that what our nation was founded on? We think depending on Christ means we give up our freedom to do what we want, be who we are. Actually, the opposite is true. God wants the best for us. He wants us to be fulfilled, for every dream and heart’s desire to come true. Man is the one who made God out to be an angry tyrant who came to steal our joy and freedom and turn us into little robots. He could’ve done that easily enough, but instead he gave us free will to make our own choices. As a loving, perfect father, he didn’t want us to love him out of obligation or fear. He wants a loving, close relationship because we want it, not because we’ll get struck by lightning if we don’t perform. I challenge you tonight as you watch your town’s fireworks display or lounge by the pool or make ice cream sundaes with the grandkids to think of what you depend on. Where does your dependence lie? In a material world that fails us every time a tree falls across electric lines. Or on a God who never fails. Sure rotten things will still happen. But may we rest in knowing our heavenly father cares and mourns with us. He loves us and desires the best for his children, including liberty and freedom.
Happy Fourth.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


by Molly Noble Bull 


For me to buy a novel, something interesting or exciting must happen in sentence one--something that catches my interest. If it doesn't happen, I don't buy the book. And I am not alone in this. Many good books on fiction writing say more or less the same thing.
When I go in a bookstore, I read the first sentence of a novel. If it catches my interest, I read the first paragraph. If I am still interested after I have read the first paragraph, I read the entire first page. If I am still interested after I have read the first page, I buy the book, and I make no exceptions.
I'm serious. I really do this when I go in a bookstore. Maybe you need to go in a bookstore and do the same thing.
The back-cover can be misleading. Back-covers can tell what the book is about but nothing about the actual writing. I decide what books interest me and which don't by reading only the first page. 
I remember reading a book on fiction writing when I first started writing to sell, and they had a section on the opening hook. Here is an example they gave of an excellent opening hook. I really like it and think you will like it, too. Here it is. 
* He knew he was going to have a bad day when a man standing on the bridge simply leaned forward and jumped in.*
Can't you just picture that? Doesn't it make you want to read more in order to find out if the man lived or died? He, the guy, was a cop, and we probably learn his name and his profession in sentence two. But more important, we want to read more.
I hope this makes sense to you.  
One last thing before I let you go. 
Try to mention as many of the five senses on every page of you novel as possible. 
A chill ran down her spine. (feeling) 
Her long, wavy hair matched her rust colored dress. (sight) 
The entire room smelled like rotten eggs. (smell) 
The smooth, (texture) sweet taste of chocolate ice cream filled her mouth. (taste)
Church bells chimed in the distance. (hearing)
I hope all this helps.
I also hope you will buy my non-fiction book, if you haven't already.

The Overcomers; Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities is available in paperback and as an e-book. Write Molly Noble Bull in the search slot at online and walk-in bookstores.