• Don’t Need A Word For That

    The mind is a  funny thing. Mine had been ruminating on the fact that the Chinese language does not have a vocabulary category for spouses to scold each other. Did you know that?

    When I was in university I was part of a Chinese community–ya, the one American in the whole bunch. One of my friends said that when he and his wife argued they did it in English because Chinese doesn’t have those words. Now, all these years later my mind brings that up…at 2:30 in the morning! And now 45 years later I protest.

    Me:  “You don’t need specific vocabulary to scold each other. You can use ordinary words. It is about communicating feelings and mental images. I don’t have enough Chinese vocabulary to demonstrate, but here is an example in English.”

    “I am so angry…I am so angry with you! Oh! One breath of my white hot fury will incinerate  the feathers off of General Tzao’s chicken!”

    In my mind’s eye I see my friend collapse to the floor, helpless with laughter.

    Me: “Check. I won that argument.” It seemed so funny to me that I had to wake my husband and tell him to double check to see if it was as funny as it was in my head. It was.

    That happened several days ago but my mind was not done. Today it downloaded why there was no vocabulary for spousal bickering.

        1. It is not polite
        2. It is not honoring
        3. It destroys face (mien tzu)

    Politeness, honor and keeping face are three very important aspects of Chinese culture so they never invented words that would destroy it. Wow, that’s brilliant. I think Jesus is very pleased with that aspect of the culture. In fact He encourages us through the apostle Paul.

    “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8  This would be polite, honoring and not only save face, it would add to it, seems to me.

    Amazing what the mind will do without our direction! But I think now I will direct it to come up with something about the holidays! Hope yours are beginning well.

     

    Shedding a little light…

     

    Carol A. Brown

    Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive.

     

     


  • RIP Old Dell

    If you are looking for the fall sale and planned to buy books today–bad news!

    MY COMPUTER DIED! I have been unable to make all the connections and notifications that needed to be in place so I contacted th organizers and had someone take my place. I will honor requests today that come via the “contact me” on this site and on my website. It will not be set up to use PayPal so just leave a request on the “contact”. I will make sure to borrow a computer and check that once (at least) today.

    I only  have sporadic access to a machine so would not be able to participate with the other authors and  monitor the sale. I do not know when mine will be replaced.

    Deepest heartfelt apologies. I will hold a sale in the future when I have a new computer. Blessings on you, may your day be filled with favor from on high.

    Carol…shedding a little light

     


  • Announcing…A Forum for Highly Sensitives!

    Announcing

    Courtesy of Google Images

     Good news! Finally, after years of wishing I could tell readers that they have a place to go to explore what it means to be highly sensitive…a reader, Kayla Swanson, with more techno-savvy then I have volunteered to create a forum. It is called Nurturing Spiritual Sensitivity. Here is the link: http://spiritualsensitivity.boardhost.com/index.php

    This forum is a place where you can meet others who have read The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive and realized that high sensitivity is what has “been wrong” all this time! You can ask questions and/or commiserate.  Share your glory stories! We can all learn together how to live joy filled and satisfying lives that bring glory to God.

    I will pop in from time to time to chat and see how things are going. If you have a question you would like my input on particularly, send it my way at godsheart@comcast.net. Indicate if you want a private answer or if it is okay to answer on the forum so others can benefit. If one person asks a question there are probably 10-20 others with the same question…they just didn’t ask it!

    I am so grateful to Kayla for being our administrator. This has been long overdue…we need each other. We need to know we are not the only one out there that’s “weird!” Let’s remind each other that maybe ½ the craziness we feel may not be our own.

    Hope to see you over on the forum!  Blessings,

    Carol…shedding some light

    p.s. I know I have been remiss—well, I have been struggling with physical therapy and dental visits and it simply wore me out so I didn’t blog. There you have it.

    p.s.s. Social media and technology are weak areas for me; I just cannot be bashful in admitting it!


  • Why We Are Here…

    Compliments of Google Images

    pine-porch

    Some things bear repeating. You remember them that way. I want to tell you again why this blog is here.

    I felt different from everyone else all my life. Spent most of my time along the fringes—not that I wanted to be there,mind you. The middle of all the action looked very inviting to me. However, when I ventured into it, it didn’t take long before I escaped to the sidelines once again. Being among people was/is/can be a painful place.

    I battled with feelings of rejection not being chosen and called “shy”. I was not shy…just did not have a lot to say and it still takes me a long time before I have something to say. My nerves were/are easily overwhelmed by too many people, too much activity, too many lights, loud noises and so on. A little goes a long way with me. I preferred animals and books over people; they didn’t object or complain. Anyone relate?

    What was with that? I was in my 40’s before I learned what all that was about. It’s about a nervous system that picks up far more sensory data than most. It takes time to sort through that jumble to form an opinion or observation; to know what I think and want to say about a topic. That’s why it takes me so long to know what I think! Then I have to allow for further lag time to find the right words to express those thoughts.

    Brains Amplify

    It also means that there is a lot of subliminal information coming from people that I read but it is below my conscious awareness, which is why I will steer clear of some people, while at the same time wonder why I avoid them! It’s why I know things but don’t know why I know them… And then I found that there are lots more like me out there also feeling alone and isolated. Battling with the same issues I have.

    I am a Jesus follower and I believe there is a reason behind our sensitivity. I believe that God designed highly sensitive people to be His special forces. He drops us down behind barriers, to bring love, joy and acceptance…we bring Jesus with us.

    But, when you do not understand what the sensitivity is about, it feels more like a curse than a gift or a blessing. You can feel others’ pain, trouble and confusion but not know what to do about it. You can come to hate the way you are made. It can create a wedge between you and your destiny, between you and fulfillment. And then you get mad at God.

    Being highly sensitive means God can easily call me to attention and make me aware of the trouble someone is having—not just so I can experience that pain with them—oh, joy, more pain! He can alert me to the trouble so that I can come alongside to help. That is, help with God’s instructions and not with what seems to me like a good idea!

    He knows that I know I can and will ask Him to carry the heavy end of that crushing load. He knows that I know I am His daughter and it’s okay to ask Him for help and He knows that I know how to ask. By asking I can off-load the pain I feel and lessen the pain the other person feels! So that’s why I created this blog…to give a place for highly sensitive people ask questions, or just hang out with others of like mind and breathe.

    Being highly sensitive means that we can multiply the joys we have/feel and divide the burdens we carry.

    Being highly sensitive also means that we are often lonely because not everyone understands how we experience life. Who do you talk to about this stuff?

    I don’t want you or anyone to go one more day thinking you are crazy when maybe half the craziness you feel is not even your own! I don’t want the pressure you feel to push you to hurt yourself.

    cropped-Porchlight-A.jpgThat’s why I turned the light on. I want anyone who is highly sensitive and feeling alone to come on in out of wherever you are and have a seat. Kick back. Rest. Breathe. Share if you like…or not. Just know that you are welcome here. I’m glad to be with you and share my thoughts and a good cup of coffee on the porch.

    Blessings, Carol…shedding some light

    Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive.

     


  • World Blog Tour – The Writing Process

    When I was invited to be part of a “World Blog Tour” I thought, “No, I don’t really have a process…” and you don’t want to put that out there to be emulated! However, I was assured that, yes, that does need to be out there to help someone else know that they are not the only one. Okay, so here is my contribution.

    The theme of this tour if the writing process. Aspiring authors and those well established will find these blogs interesting and affirming. We all approach writing so differently!

    Pearl Nsiah-Kumi nominated me. Pearl is a retired RN. She came to the United States from Ghana, West Africa and has lived in Maryland for over forty years. Pearl has three children, a son in-law, and four grandchildren. She loves to write poetry and short articles based on Scripture.  She has authored two books: Get On Board and Stay On Board and The Last Train at Sunset, and is working on a third.  She is also a volunteer counselor at a local Crisis Pregnancy Clinic.

    Pearl’s books contain salvation messages, and messages about the Christian walk.  They are suitable for devotionals and also helpful in witnessing.  Both books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles. You can find more on her website: pearlkumi.weebly.com

    A bit about me—

    I am a wife, mother, grandmother and an author by accident or design, however you look at it! I was a teacher for many years but when hit by a massive MS attack I was suddenly retired. In an effort to save my sanity and sense of self-worth I began to write stories, insights, etc. without any plan or direction, bits at a time. Then the Lord informed me that we had a book.  “We do?” That massive pile of disconnected bits became two books.

    This concentrated time with the Lord has changed me in ways I cannot describe and I would not change anything!

    My writing process–

    1) What am I working on? I am involved in a writing project with a group of writers. We are getting the word out about a premier leadership training program that is transformational. It involves reintroducing relational brain skills that are rapidly falling out of our society. When we missed learning a skill growing up, we cannot teach it to our children, hence they fall out of family lines. The good news is that our brains can learn these skills at any age! My specific assignment is to co-author a book specifically for pastors and church leaders who are in a position to spread these joy growing skills. And who could not use more joy in their life?

    2. How does my work differ from others in the genre?

    There are lots of leadership training materials out there that teach the skills of leadership, but there is not really anything like ours that we know of. We teach and train the relational brain skills needed to develop and maintain healthy relationships. What is unique about our “joy project” is that relational brain skills are learned in the right hemisphere of the brain. That means that you cannot learn them from a book, a webinar or other lecture type of classroom setting. They have to be learned by imitating–from modeling, by watching someone who already has them. It is kind of like “monkey see; monkey do”! In an ideal world we would all master these skills by the time we are 3 years old. So what am I, as a writer, doing in such a project? The mind has to be satisfied that there is a real need for such training. The book learning is important because when we understand the neurology and the need to retrain the brain, we can joyfully jump into the training.

    3. Why do I write what I do?

    The non-fiction started out as a sanity saver during the recovery from the M.S. attack in 1995. Then it became an effort to keep a promise I made to a mentor to take his teaching and explore it deeper and farther than he had. When that was done I thought that was the end of it–I wrote my term paper and handed it in! Now I could knit. But God had other plans. Now it is a matter of passion for my Lord.

    I finally came to understand that my classroom had expanded rather than been diminished. The Lord called me to be His scribe. My current assignment is to stay one step behind Jesus, close enough to hear what He says and write it down and make it plain. But the fiction is because I am a compulsive storyteller and word clown; it also gives me mental respite from the discipline of the non-fiction. I write it to entertain and while people are laughing, the character building message of the story goes into their hearts without resistance.

    4. How does my writing process work?

    I really have two styles of process. With the non-fiction I research and write up sections or snippets. First, I listen to the Lord to see what He wants to put in the table of contents. I try to outline–sometimes that works and other times I simply have to sit down and write to see what I know. Then I research to fill in the gaps. Then I go back to edit and rewrite, who knows how many times! After wrestling with it until I am mentally and emotionally exhausted I again ask the Lord how He wants to end the book. I sit back and watch the ending happen. When God shows up to write His part it is so exhilarating I want it never to end. Of course it does.

    The other style of writing is the children’s stories. Those pull out details from my childhood on the farm. God initiates by dropping a title and sometimes the story line into my head. When I sit down to write I am reading the story for the first time as it comes out on the computer screen. One chapter in the 4th book of the Sassy Pants series He gave me the chapter title, but not the storyline: “Pigs on Parade.” I knew nothing about marching but my daughter in the Coast Guard knew all about marching. She filled me in on the learning to march process and then I typed out the chapter laughing the whole time!

    The two authors who will follow me are Lilly Maytree and Martin Roth. They will be posting June 9 and you can find their URLs below.

    Lilly Maytree at: http://LillyMaytree.blogspot.com

    Martin Roth at: http://www.martinroth.com.au

    Lilly writes for the juvenile market (rollicking adventures with a thread of Christian faith woven in) as well as writing novels for adults in a genre you could call sort of suspense, adventure, and romance with a strong thread of faith in God—maybe we should call it the mixed genre? Lilly and husband Dave live in a sailboat and are continually on an adventure.

    Martin’s novels are Christian thrillers with that theme of faith woven throughout. His passion is to support the persecuted church world wide. A veteran journalist, his novels are set in Australia and other Southeast Asian countries. His Brother Half-Angel are real page turners…you keep needing to know what happens next!

    I have greatly enjoyed both of these authors; I think you will too!

    Blessings, Carol Brown

    P.S. You can find my books at www.fromgodsheart.com

    Mystery Book Cover     Highly Sensitive JPEG

     


  • The Writing Art–a launch: Featuring author Lorilyn Roberts

    Lorilyn'sBKRegular readers of my old blogspot blog “connectwithcarolbrown” know that I am a member of a Christian writing community called John 3:16 Marketing Network. We are a group of authors who support each other’s work. This is a group of highly sensitive people who lean in hard to hear the heartbeat of God and express it in a myriad of ways. Today I’m featuring Lorilyn Roberts who founded the group. She is launching a new YA work. In her way she is shedding light in the darkness! Here is our interview:

    How does it feel to be launching your seventh book, Lorilyn?

    Launching a new book is scary and awesome all at the same time. I usually talk more about myself when I launch a book because readers love to learn about authors—e.g., when did you start writing, or ask questions about an off-the-wall topic that you’d probably never put in a blog post. So I selected a few questions for this interview I’ve not written about before.

    This week I am launching my new devotional book, “Am I Okay, God? Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension.” As part of the launch, visit http://bit.ly/Christian_Books and win some nice prizes. While there, you can purchase my book for only 99 cents (66 percent off the regular Kindle price), curl up with a cup of coffee, and be reading it within minutes.

    When did you first want to write? 

    I began writing when I could hold a pencil in my hand. I fact, I was writing before I could really write—in scribble. I would hand my mother a piece of paper and tell her to read it. She would admire my fake words and ask, “What does that say?” And I would read her my “special words” – often love notes. I have one story that I kept. I was eight when I wrote it.

    All through school, when other kids were complaining about term papers, I was already at the library researching, taking notes, and typing on an old manual typewriter. I loved it. Then I discovered poetry when I was eleven. I wrote parts of two books in high school.

    Recently, my 15-year-old took a careers test to see what her “bent” was. She hasn’t figured out what she really wants to do, but she asked me to take the assessment, too, just for fun.

    So here I am at 58, taking a test to see what I should do with the rest of my life. There were close to 200 questions on the assessment, and at the end, guess what it said I should be when I grow up?  An author! I laughed. If only. If only my life could have taken that course.

    But God is a God of redemption. We must let go of what wasn’t to allow God to give us what can be. As long as we are still breathing, God is not finished. If I make it to the ripe old age of 100 and I write a book a year, I can write 50 books (I’ve already written six).

    And if I don’t, I can focus on the process of writing and give myself one hundred percent to it when I’m not captioning, paying bills, raising my two beautiful daughters, or eating peanut butter and ice cream.

    I justify my strange addiction insisting it helps me to write at 3:00 am in the morning. Who wants to eat healthy then?

    You have the responsibility of a family. Do your children have an interest in writing?

    My children do not have an interest in writing although they are good writers. I’ll tell you a funny story.

    A few years ago I had the opportunity to meet Jerry Jenkins. He was a new grandfather to a little boy his son and daughter-in-law had adopted from Thailand. As you know, I wrote a memoir about the international adoption of my two daughters, so I wanted to share my book with him. I told him up front I wasn’t looking for an endorsement or review. I just thought he would be blessed. 

    To make a long story short, he did read it and emailed me that if I was ever in his part of the country, he’d love to meet my daughters. As it turned out, we were going to be in Castle Rock, Colorado, later that summer for a family event, forty-five minutes from where he lived. He invited us for a visit while we were there.

    So my daughters (who were 13 and 21 at the time) and I drove out to his home/office in the country. Of course, I’d given my daughters the lecture that I wanted them to make a good impression and not embarrass me. Tell him you’ve read the Left behind Series (I had read several of the books to Joy when she was younger). What can go wrong, right?

    We walked up to the front door, knocked, and he came out to greet us. We were all starry-eyed, and then Jerry asked my older daughter, “So what did you think of your mother’s book about you?” Without missing a beat, Manisha says, “I didn’t read it.”

    Jerry looks at me—oops. What am I going to say? The truth is they don’t read my books. And I write YA.

    But we did have a wonderful visit, and Jerry and Manisha spent a lot of time talking about their favorite movies. She asked him what he thought of the Harry Potter Series (which she consumed— why can’t she attack my books like that?) and he said, “They’re brilliant.” I knew then they’d be friends for life.

    But one thing Jerry Jenkins said that struck me was this: He never compromised his family for his writing. And I feel like I have tried to do the same.

    I wrote my first book, “The Donkey and the King,” a children’s picture book, when Joy was 7. I became so obsessed with creating the story and embracing that writing passion that had been dormant, that afterwards, I felt guilty for the time it took me away from my children. After all, I’m a single mother.

    I decided not to write anymore until Joy was older. I waited four years, until she was 11, before I wrote my second book, “Children of Dreams,” the story of adopting my daughters, as well as the medical mystery of the older one. We were later featured on Animal Planet’s “Monsters Inside Me” in reference to Manisha’s neurocysticercosis.

    I have to admit, it was hard for me to delay my passion. I was afraid I would forget all the details from the adoptions, as it had already been over a decade since I had adopted Manisha. But God helped me to tell the story He wanted me to write.

    Now that Joy is fifteen going on eighteen, I have more freedom and don’t feel guilty for the time I spend writing. They have finally figured out, if they want to eat sometimes, they might have to go to the grocery store and cook a few meals. I’m preparing them for the real world, I tell them.

    This last week I gave them my credit card and they went to Publix together. I couldn’t believe they spent $300.  I discovered things in the grocery bag I didn’t know we needed, like mason jars.

    “What’s that for?” I asked Manisha. You’d be surprised at what mason jars can be used for.

    I confess I hadn’t shopped in a while. What’s a mom to do? I did get a lot of writing done while they went on their shopping spree buying things they thought we couldn’t live without.

    Manisha says all I want to do is eat ice cream and biscuits. (I sneak the peanut butter when they aren’t looking.) So now we have food to last a month—I hope.

    I am cutting back on captioning—but until I can support my family with writing, I won’t be giving up my day job any time soon. I am thankful, though, for the freedom and financial security television captioning has given me.

    Many stories behind the stories I’ve captioned will find their way into a book someday. A tease might go something like this: What sports has taught me about creative writing. Hopefully that piques your curiosity as it does mine. I’d like to read a book like that.

    I see you’ve done lots of traveling. Is it a personal journey or is it related to your writing?

    I don’t travel like I did before I adopted my daughters, but much of my writing goes back to my traveling days. Part of the reason is that my kids don’t want me writing about them – you wrote a whole book about us already, they say – so I don’t write parenting books. And when you think about it, when we raise kids, we are all doing the same sorts of mundane things, attending kids’ events and doing homework (or homeschooling like I did).

    As our children get older, we have more time to go back to our roots and re-explore some of what we missed or revisit some of the places we have been to and want to explore again. That’s what I like to do.

    I stay close to home now except for family vacations. I envision the day when I will be able to travel on speaking engagements and share my books. But until my daughters are either on their own or married, I don’t have the desire to scuba dive in the Red Sea or take a cruise on a live-aboard off the Great Barrier. Or ski in the Swiss Alps or be ordered to a safe room wearing a gas mask in Jerusalem. Yes, I did all those things. God has blessed me with many stories and I love to share them.

    How many books do you have in print? Is there a special one and why?

    I have six books in print and am finishing the rough draft of my seventh book. My favorite book is the one I’m writing at the time I’m asked or have just written. I suppose it’s because with each book, I learn more about writing and strive for each book to be better than the last. I hate to go back and read my earlier books. I’m the worst critic and find things that need to be fixed. So I enjoy the process of writing and marketing the newest published book the best, whichever book that happens to be.

    The book I’m writing now is the second book in my Seventh Dimension YA Fantasy Series, “The King.” I outline my novels and once I got about halfway through the first draft, I realized the book was going to be over 130,000 words. That’s too long. So I divided it into two books, “The King – Book Two,” and “The Castle – Book Three.”

    The premise behind the Seventh Dimension Series is there is a dimension called the seventh dimension where we all spend part of our lives. It’s a spiritual dimension that we visit – but instead of being just spiritual, I have made it physical.

    All realities exist at the same time, on a time line, and the spiritual reality of the protagonist in each book is determined by his or her background, goals, and issues that must be overcome. We have free will, but ultimately, we must choose.

    That is the fantasy element. Most of the plots in all the books take place or will take place in first century Israel, but the spiritual dimension intersects and forces the protagonist to choose between good and evil. Salvation through the king is the ultimate good in all the books.

    The books are presented as fantasy to avoid Christian legalese. I’m trying to reach the unchurched audience and secular Jews. The final book in the Seventh Dimension Series will be aimed at reaching YA Muslims. God is at work all over the world and I’m amazed at what is happening in the Middle East.

    My hope is for “The King – Book Two” to be released this summer.

    “Seventh Dimension – The Door,” the first book in the series, was a finalist for several book awards. My goal now is to write a novel that will do even better.

    Creating unusual plots is my favorite part of writing. And I’m insecure enough that I know I can’t write well without God’s hand throughout the process. Jesus was a masterful story-teller— and I’m thankful God has given me the passion to write from His storehouse of gifts. My dream is to do it fulltime—and why not dream? If we don’t have great dreams, God can’t answer us with great redemption.

    What advice would you give to writers to encourage them to continue on the journey if they find it too hard or hit a lot of roadblocks?

    A couple of thoughts come to mind. Take a break from writing and relax. Read some good books. Re-evaluate what you are writing. Taking a step back and relaxing will give you more perspective.

    If you are serious about writing a book, you have to finish it. If it were easy, everybody would do it. Writing a good book is not easy. Break down the process into small chunks: A sentence, a paragraph, a page, a chapter, and soon the words will develop into a full-length book.

    Set a realistic goal each day. Sometimes my goal is 100 words. A couple of days this last month I wrote about four thousand words. Some days I don’t write anything—partly because I haven’t set a goal.

    I always focus on the process and try to accomplish something that is realistic. If I don’t set a goal, I usually don’t get any writing done. There are just too many good things that will distract me and take up my time.

    Another suggestion would be to check out the John 3:16 Marketing Network. I lead this group of Christian authors who work together in a unique way to encourage and share information about writing and marketing.

    I find it less lonely to talk each day via a private forum with other authors about writing and marketing, especially at times when I get discouraged or need advice. There is always someone to bounce ideas off of, share information, and encourage me. Sometimes I might have a question and at other times I might have a marketing idea.

    I believe that by joining together to help each other, we all benefit, not only in marketing but mentally and emotionally. I know we have all saved time, money, and frustration by not repeating mistakes in marketing that others have made.

    I also enjoy seeing other Christian authors succeed. Maybe there is something I can learn from them. Or maybe there is something they can learn from me. In the end, we all benefit from the shared knowledge.

    When you consider all the creativity we have from authors all over the world, I feel like we have created a very special network. Encouragement to the mind is like prayer to the soul.

    If you are interested in joining the John 3:16 Marketing Network, you can learn more at: http://www.lorilynroberts.com/john_3_16_marketing_network.html

    If you would like to be added to my mailing list for the release of “The King – Book Two,” please visit http://LorilynRoberts.com and scroll to the bottom of the page where there is a square box to sign up for my newsletter.

    I would also like to offer you an opportunity to purchase “Seventh Dimension –The Door” for free on Smashwords. The link is: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/208413

    The Coupon Code is AZ34N           (The coupon is good until May 8, 2014)

    Thanks for letting me share my writing passion. And please stop by http://bit.ly/Christian_Books and get “Am I Okay, God? Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension” for only 99 cents.

    Lorilyn Roberts is an award-winning Christian author who writes for the young and the young at heart. Lorilyn

    Her books, all available on Amazon, include the following:

    The Donkey and the King (ages 2-7)
    Seventh Dimension – The Door, Book One – a YA Christian Fantasy
    Seventh Dimension – The King – Book Two- a YA Christian Fantasy
    Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension 
    Food for Thought: Quick and Easy Recipes for Homeschooling Families 
    How to Launch a Best-Selling Christian Book 
    Taste and See Volumes One and Two (editor)
    Children of Dreams, An Adoption Memoir 

    Lorilyn graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama in 1991. Her studies included spending two weeks in Israel at the start of the Gulf War and touring England, Australia, New Zealand, and several countries in Europe. She later attended the Institute of Children’s Literature and earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Perelandra College.

    Lorilyn has two daughters whom she adopted from Nepal and Vietnam as a single mother. She homeschooled both of them, the older one through high school, and believes that the hope of the United States may rest on the conservative values homeschooling families instill in their offspring. 

    “If we fail to teach our children how to live out their Christian faith practically, we will have lost an opportunity to impact the world for good. It only takes one generation to forget the past. As JRR Tolkien said, ‘There is some good in this world and it’s worth fighting for.'”

    To learn more about Lorilyn, you can visit her website at http://LorilynRoberts.com and http://LorilynRoberts.blogspot.com

    Be sure to follower her on twitter at http://twitter.com/LorilynRoberts

    To learn more about the John 3:16 Marketing Network, visit http://John316mn.blogspot.com or http://bit.ly/Christian_Books

    You can follow the John 3:16 Marketing Network on twitter at http://twitter.com/John316Network

    If you would like to contact Lorilyn personally, you may reach her at AuthorLorilynRoberts@gmail.com

    To follow John 3:16 Authors check out the hastag #John316books on Twitter.

    To purchase any of her books on Amazon, please go to: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002K8S2Y6

    Thank you, Lorilyn for joining us on the porch. And thank you for being a light in the darkness. And like you, I have found that my immediate family does not read my books either. It is quite a phenomenon. I think part of it is out of love–they don’t want to hurt us by not liking our writing and not reading it in the first place means they can have no opinion!

    I enjoyed your first novel, The Door – The Seventh Dimension. I am sure this one will be as good if not better, given your desire to keep improving your craft! I’m looking forward to reading it.

    Well that’s it for today. Click on over and get your copy of The King and join me on the porch for a good read!

    Blessings, Carol…shedding a little light!



  • Careful With The Label Maker. (You could be wrong!)

    Introvert is a label I don’t mind wearing. The first time I took the MMPI I was so far off the introvert chart I left it behind. I married an extrovert! 15 years later, the MMPI said I was +1 on the extrovert scale. I can now appear to be an extrovert for a little while, but it uses huge amounts of energy. Then I have to flee to solitude to recharge. Learned behavior folks, learned behavior.

    I should know introvert, right? I have two daughters, both highly sensitive. #2 is definitely introvert, the classic chameleon who picks up the emotions of whoever she’s with. #1 I pegged as extrovert just like her daddy. When #1 was 40-ish she and I were talking about the characteristics of introvert versus extrovert. She shocked me by saying that she was an introvert. My jaw dropped. She is a party waiting to happen. When the party starts, she’s in the middle of it. Introvert? I didn’t think so.

    “Mom. Think about it. How do I recharge my batteries?”

    • Walks in nature
    • Reading
    • Making music
    • Luxurious soaking baths
    • Solitary rides in the country

    Then my memory kicked in—after school she came home, went straight to her room and didn’t come out for 30 minutes. She self-entertained; she would read for hours. She was highly creative—still is! And whereas #2 brought hurt birds home literally, #1 did it figuratively. Scruffy kid in tow she brought them home for me to fix. Love and muffins should do the trick!

    How could I have missed it? This child lived with both introvert and extrovert models; she was relationally ambidextrous. It is easy to see what is different than you, but not so easy to notice what “feels normal.” She’s what I call a highly social introvert.

    What’s important about this story?

    You can unintentionally miss someone important to you if you label them based on obvious behavior. #1 looked like an extrovert, behaved like an extrovert, but at her core was an introvert! I parented her as if she were an extrovert…how often did I miss “seeing” her? How often did I parent her social persona and not speak to her heart? It never occurred to me to notice how she was recharging to prepare for her next social event.

    My take away:

    1)  We contribute unnecessarily to loneliness when we miss each other

    2) Must not assume, judge or think I know anyone

    3) Look at every person as God’s unique, priceless creation

    4) Make a lifestyle of asking Father God how to respond to each member of His family. Only God knows each person’s design and the gifts and resources He packed into them.

    I am praying the Lord bring you healing for the times and ways in which you were missed, misunderstood or dismissed. I am asking Father for someone to come alongside who can see you and speak gently, who can be tender with your bruises.

    Blessings, Carol

    …shedding a little light

    p.s. If you have a story of “missing” someone or being missed I’d love to have you share it.

    p.s.s. Those of you who regularly read my blog, I thank you. Would you please subscribe again? It appears that my subscribers were “lost in transit.”


  • Sensory Input Overwhelming? (You are not alone!)

    Photo Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

    Holy Spirit has been shedding light on some things, putting things together in ways that I had never thought about before.

    As Easter approaches I’ve been pondering Gethsemane and all that Jesus endured. I had an “aha” moment when the Holy Spirit reminded me, rather painfully, of how in the past, I had felt rather badly that Peter and John were unable to stay awake and be with Jesus in His time of need. But I have learned something about the human body that makes me regret the “tsk, tsk” that I felt, even if I never voiced it.

    What I learned is that the central nervous system has a limited capacity (and since each of us is unique, so will that capacity be unique to each individual). Just like electrical wiring, our nervous system can only carry the amount of stimuli for which it was designed. Once you reach that amount, you will throw a circuit breaker, so to speak., and the system shuts down before it is damaged.

    I can imagine the furrowed brows and questioning looks. So, let me give you an example. I was a soloist years ago. When I would go to church on Sundays, I would be there for only a few minutes before I would begin to yawn. The pastor would call on me to sing and there would be ABSOLUTELY NO  yawning. But the moment I returned to my seat the yawing started.

    This both puzzled and distressed me greatly. I repented regularly for appearing so bored that I would yawn in the Lord’s face! I mentioned it one time to my friend Dr. Jim Wilder, who also is a psychologist and researcher.

    Knowing that I am highly sensitive, he explained that the yawning was the signal that my para-sympathetic nervous system was shutting down from sensory overload. I was encountering too many burdens in the people around me for my spirit to process, turn into prayers for the people and then off load them to Jesus. Too many burdens coming too fast for my nervous system to process!

    I think that is exactly what was happening with Peter and John. They were with Jesus as He was taking on the sins of the world—the past, present and future. The force of the burdens coming upon Him at that time would have overloaded anyone’s nervous system! It was so powerful it actually made Jesus sweat blood. That is serious pressure.

    Remember that I didn’t have to touch anyone, be praying for them or anything—I was just in the vicinity, and I would begin to experience sensory overload and yawn. Peter and John were Jesus closest friends and in the vicinity of unimaginable pain, trouble and despair…they were human beings with finite capacity. No wonder they were out cold!

    I have much more respect for these rugged pioneers of our faith. I also want to refrain from even thinking, much less acting like, “Come on, boys. All He’s asking is an hour of your time…” There is an underlying rebuke in that and I do not want to judge, not even a little bit!

    Has Holy Spirit been shedding some light on something in your life, putting things together in ways you had not thought before? I’d appreciate your sharing so that we can all be uplifted. Just drop you “aha” in the comment box.

    Blessings, Carol                                                                                                                                  www.fromgodsheart.com


  • Shadowy Mystery Book Launch Continues!

    Welcome to the John 3:16 ongoing book launch! Enter to win prizes in addition to some great reads.

     

    Shadow Stalker Excerpt By Barbara Ann Derksen

    She watched as the man, the monster, moved toward the entrance. Then he stopped. He looked up the stairs, then down the hall. He looked toward her hiding place, his eyes cold, calculating, wondering. Her stomach lurched, the fright almost real enough to touch. Could he see her? Her daddy had told her to hide here. He knew they were in danger. Why? Who was this man? How did daddy know him? Maybe it was mommy the man hated. Why?

    Footsteps interrupted her questions. The man was moving down the hall straight toward her. She crept backwards, crawling on all fours as if she were a spider. Her gymnastics teacher had taught her that. I need to get out of here. He will kill me, too.

    She remembered her discovery when she’d hidden in here last week. Her cousins had come for a visit. They loved to play hide and seek in the large, multistoried mansion that was her home. She’d found a door
    leading to the garage where her daddy’s cars were kept under the chauffeur’s apartment. She’d sneak out that way.
    Several hanging tools brushed her shoulders as she crept under them toward safety. They swung to and fro. It was as if they whispered, “She’s in here.” She twisted her head behind. She couldn’t see through the slats in the door anymore but the heavy tread of footsteps grew louder, closer. She reached the hidden door. It creaked as she slipped through.

    “Wait.” His voice echoed through the tiny room, resonating off the walls of the small space, the sound carried over the creak of the door as he pulled it open. The menace in his voice was gone, replaced by enticement.

    She scurried into the large garage. Ignoring the man, she skirted the three cars stored there. Her heart pumped so loudly in her ears, the sound blocked out the rustle of the man’s clothes as he squeezed through the same opening. She turned slightly and saw his shadow. Her short
    legs pumped toward the door leading to the stone walled courtyard and the gated entrance to the back yard. The wrought iron gate was open. Good.

    Her feet flew over the paved driveway toward the gate. She turned once to see if the chauffeur was nearby. Benson played with her sometimes. He was nowhere to be seen. Then she remembered. Benson had asked for the day off to take Maria, the maid, to the beach. There’s no one to help. She streaked through the wrought iron gate. The yard was tree filled, almost like a park. She ran like the wind, as if the devil himself was after her. He is.

    She reached the second gate in the high wrought iron fence that surrounded her parent’s property. It was slightly ajar. Her parent’s always kept this one locked but now… She almost forgot to breathe as she raced through it and into the street. The sidewalk led to town. Her
    legs pounded the pavement hard. “Wait.” The shout came from behind her. The man was following.
    The sound of his footsteps bounced off cement walls and rock enclosures, the attempt of homeowners to protect what was theirs. Trees, thick for privacy, lined the street, hiding nearby houses from view. Traffic was non-existent along this street at this time of day. She ran. Her instincts told her that life, her life, depended on it. She rounded a corner but then peeked back. He was still coming, walking briskly in her direction. I need to hide.

    She crawled under a nearby bush, its dense foliage the perfect cover, she thought. The picture of her mother’s head scattering debris all over the walls played like a ticker tape through her brain. Her stomach roiled again and she gagged. Mommy. Daddy. Please help me. Footsteps rounded the corner. The sound grew louder. He’ll find me. I have to leave.

    She stood. He reached for her with one hand while the other, the one that had held the gun, was in his pocket. She ducked just out of his reach. She raced like the wind, staying off the sidewalk this time. She flew through the trees as if someone carried her, her feet barely
    touching the ground long enough to make an indent in the leaves. Her body slammed into low branches that scratched and tore at her clothing. She was shorter than the man so movement for her was easier here, she reasoned. The heavier footsteps had slowed, proving her right. She heard a twig snap. He was still coming. Maybe a policeman…

    This excerpt is from the prologue of Barbara Ann Derksen’s book, Shadow
    Stalker.To connect with Barbara Ann Derksen follow any of the links
    below!
    Grab one of these book launch books, a comfy chair and a cuppa something hot–aaah! Perfect! And, if this little excerpt piques your interest and you want to get the next bit…here you go!Those following the “excerpt hop”

    Yesterday’s Chapter Excerpt for Gatehaven can be found at: Laura Davis www.interviewsandreviews.com/book-of-the-week
    Today’s Excerpt of Gatehaven can be found at:  Emma Right emmaright.com/blog
    Tomorrow’s Excerpt of Gatehaven can be found at: Kimberly Payne www.kimpayne.wordpress.com
    Yesterday’s Chapter Excerpt for Shadow Stalker can be found at: Malo Bel www.malobel.com/christian-books.html
    Tomorrow’s Chapter Excerpt for Shadow Stalker can be found at: Martin Roth www.martinroth.com.au
    Yesterday’s Chapter Excerpt for The Proof can be found at: Laura Davis  www.interviewsandreviews.com/book-of-the-week
    Today’s Chapter Excerpt for The Proof can be found at: Cheryl Colwell inspired fiction books
    Tomorrow’s Chapter Excerpt for The Proof can be found at:Chuck Page pagingdrpage.com

    Enjoy, Carol Brown

     

     


  • The Mystery & Suspense Book Launch Begins!

     

    GATEHAVEN a Christian Historical Suspense

     

    e-book
    ISBN: 1621364003
    Price:
    Reg: $9.99
    Book Launch Sale Price: $2.99

     

    Excerpt by Molly
    Noble Bull

    Part Five of Ten

    A frosty spring followed the winter the earl arrived in Scotland, and spring melted into early summer. Shannon spent her days and many nights helping her mother with the new baby—rarely seeing the earl except at church on Sunday mornings. He must have stayed away because he knew how her parents felt about him. Yet his loyalty to Shannon made her love him all the more, and he never failed to mention their approaching marriage each time they
    met.

    But now it was mid-June. The arrangements for her journey to England were completed. Shannon sat by a window in the sitting room owned by Ian’s parents, gazing out at the Loch. All that was left to do was say good-bye to her friends and loved ones. On the morrow, she would be leaving for England, and though she still dreamed of going there, leaving those she loved made a part of her feel sad. Somehow, looking out at the Loch gave her the strength she needed to say good-bye to her best friend—Kate Colquhoun.

    Kate leaned toward her. “Do you truly love the earl that
    much?”Shannon heard a creaking sound nearby. “What was that?”

    “Maybe it was the wind.” Kate shrugged. “It is often windy here—probably because we live so near the Loch.” She paused briefly. “You have yet to answer my question.”

    Seated on the settee with Kate beside her, Shannon whispered her reply in case Kate’s younger sisters happened to be within earshot. She had heard something, and she didn’t think it was the wind. The younger Colquhoun girls often listened to conversations while hidden from view, and when she first came in, Shannon had thought she heard the creak of a wooden floor plank near where they sat now.

    “Do you love the earl, Shannon, or not?” Shannon blinked and nodded. “I love him as much as you love my brother, Peter. Maybe more.”

    “Well, if you are sure, that is all I really wanted to know.” Kate smiled. “I want you to be happy. You are my oldest and dearest friend. I only want the best for you.”

    “Kate, I love you, too. You know that. I just hope my brother is the man you really want to spend the rest of your life with. He can be a little—”

    “I know you and Peter have never gotten along,” Kate said softly. “But I love him and always will.” “Then I am happy for you and glad that one day you will be my sister.”“I am honored to be your future sister as well as Peter’s wife.”

    Shannon released a deep breath. “I wish I could stay longer, but I must go.” She got up and glanced toward the door. “I promised to help Mama bathe my baby brother before she puts him down for his afternoon nap. Besides, I have last minute packing to do.”

    Kate smiled as she got up and stood beside Shannon.“How is the baby doing?”“Thriving. I think he’s going to be as tall as Peter. Maybe even as tall as Ian.” Shannon reached out and embraced her friend. “I’m going to miss you, Kate Colquhoun.”

    “As I will miss you and Ian. Please, Shannon, promise to write often. I know Ian will not, and I want to keep informed on the doings of my brother and my best friend.”

    Their good-bye was an emotional one—at least for Shannon. Afraid she might break down and weep if she said more, Shannon reached out and hugged Kate again.

    #

    Ian was the one who had been standing in the shadows listening, but he never meant to do it. He’d come in the back way about the time Shannon entered through the front door of the cottage.He’d read all of Pastor Petit’s letters and longed to share them with Shannon, but she was too devoted to the earl to listen to his concerns. He also had news for Kate. He hadn’t counted on Shannon coming over to visit his sister, and he hadn’t wanted to spoil their emotional farewell. However, he was tired of standing there, waiting. If Shannon hadn’t left when she did, he would have made himself known to them.

    Peter was on his way over to speak to Kate. It was important that Shannon not know what Peter had to say. Kate shut the door and crossed to the archway leading to the dining room. Ian stepped out from behind a large china cabinet and stood in her path.

    “Well, Ian. How long have you been here?” “Long enough. I came in to tell you that Peter is on his way over.”

    Kate smiled. “Peter is coming here?”

    “Yes.”

    Kate pushed back a lock of her curly brown hair that had fallen across her forehead. “What is this all about, Ian?”

    “That is what I planned to tell you. But when I saw that Shannon was here, I decided to wait until she left. I did not wish to interrupt your conversation, and if I had moved an inch, you would have known I was here.”

    “And all this time I thought our little sisters were the eavesdroppers in the family.”

    “I’m sorry, but it was necessary.” He motioned toward the settee in the sitting room where Kate and Shannon were seated earlier. “Let us sit down, and I will explain.”

    Kate sat down stiffly, her arms across her chest. “Now, what is this all about?”

    “Peter’s parents do not feel comfortable having Shannon go to England with a group of strangers. They were pleased that I took the mentoring position Shannon mentioned and that I will be going to England. But they want a member of their family to go along as well. Therefore, Peter is also going.”

    My Peter is going to England, and he never told me. I do not believe it.”

    “It is true, Kate. Peter will be here shortly to tell you himself.”

    “If Peter was going to England, Shannon would have told me.”

    “Shannon doesn’t know.”

    “You mean his own sister was never told?”

    “Her parents thought it best that she not know, and you must promise not to tell her.”

    “We share everything. Of course I will tell her.”

    “Peter and I believe that the earl is not the noble soul Shannon thinks he is, but we have no proof of that. Therefore, Peter will be trailing us to England—staying at inns near the earl’s estate but out of sight. He will also be seeking temporary employment there, and together, we will continue our investigation of the earl Shannon is so fond of.”

    “Shannon is in love with the earl, Ian,” Kate said softly. “You must face that truth before you are hurt more than you already are.”

    “I know she thinks she is in love with him. As our pastor would say, we will see how she feels once the scales are removed from her eyes.”

    #

    Early the next morning, Ian climbed in the second carriage behind the one that Shannon, the chaperone, and the earl would be riding in. The earl’s valet and Miss Foster’s maid sat stiffly, facing each other on the opposite side of the carriage.

    The three of them met briefly a week ago, so there was no need for introductions. Ian greeted them cordially, sitting down beside Dickson, the valet, but close to the window. Dickson and Polly, the maid, were about Ian’s age.Polly looked scared to death until she and Dickson realized they came from the same village not far from Luss and that they knew each other
    as children. All at once the two of them were chattering between themselves like a couple of crows on a fencepost. But Ian probably wouldn’t have known them when he was a child even if they were from Luss.

    He’d attended a school for rich young gentleman in England when he was a boy—except he wasn’t rich or English. Ian’s father was the second son of the Laird of the village, meaning his uncle got the title, the family home, and all monies the family had. Ian’s father got nothing. Perhaps Uncle George paid for Ian’s schooling in England to mute a guilty conscious.

    Ian had several conferences with his pastor since the one he had on the day Shannon told him of her plans to marry the earl. In each meeting he learned something new about the Bible he’d never known previously. But some of the things they discussed were about the dark forces of this world and how to combat them. His chores on the farm and other family duties kept his mind and body occupied, and the long journey ahead would give him time to think on the things he’d learned and how to apply them in his daily life.

    For now, he would sit here and wait. Shannon and her chaperone would be arriving soon, and he hoped to watch as she and the earl entered the head carriage in front of them.

    #

    At daybreak on that same morning—before the cock crowed—Peter Aimee had mounted his brown-colored horse and galloped to the edge of the village. He hid behind an abandoned mill and watched as his younger sister climbed into the carriage with the Earl of Northon and his maiden aunt, Miss Foster.

    Their little brother, Andre, was born on the day Shannon told Mama and Papa that she wanted to go to England. Later that same day, as Shannon helped their mother with the baby, Peter sat with his father in the sitting room of their small cottage. “Your sister is a strong-willed young woman, Peter, just like your mama was at her age, and that can be a good thing. It can also be dangerous. I know my daughter. We will not be able to talk Shannon out of going to England to meet the earl’s family—no matter how hard we might try. She will run away if we refuse to give our permission, and we will lose her forever.

    Therefore, your mother and I devised a plan. We want you to follow your sister to England without being noticed. And you must promise not to tell anyone of our plan—even Kate. You will eat in out-of-the-way places—sleep on the ground in mild weather. I have a little money saved which I will give you to pay for your keep until you find employment.”

    “No, Papa, I cannot take your money. You planned to use it to pay for passage to the land across the sea and to buy a farm once we arrive.”

    “We will worry about money for boat passages and a farm when the time comes. Now we must protect your sister from a dangerous young earl who thinks she is as beautiful as her mother.”

    Peter had no intentions of spending all of his father’s hard-earned money. He would take any job he could get once he reached the village near the earl’s estate in England.

    At the time he made that decision, he’d thought he would be the only one going to England other than those in the earl’s party and the only one with Shannon’s best interest at heart. But after his friend Ian accepted the position Shannon found for him, Peter realized that he would have a comrade in his quest to protect his sister from the British earl.Still, he regretted having to say good-bye to Kate.

    They had walked down to the Loch. Kate wore a blue dress that matched her eyes. A summer breeze whipped her long brown hair in all directions, and he’d kissed her before he told her he was leaving. But she already knew.

    “It’s all right, Dear One,” she had said. “Go. I love your sister, too. And I will be waiting here at the Loch when you return.”

    If he hadn’t already planned to make her his wife, he would have known Kate was the one when she said those words.

    If you would like more, view the Book Trailer: http://bit.ly/1c2HJf1

     

    Molly Noble Bull is a Christian novelist, a native Texan, and a graduate of Texas A&M University at Kingsville, Texas. Her first two novels, For Always and The Rogue’s Daughter were published by Zondervan, and later reprinted as
    promise romances from Guideposts.
    She has also been published by Love Inspired, and is the author of The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities. She is a mother of three
    and grandmother of six.
    You can follow Molly and learn more about her writing here:
    Website link: mollynoblebull.com
    Facebooklink:  facebook.com/molly.n.bull

     

    For the previous excerpt for Gatehaven go here:
    March 6: #4 Cheryl Colwell www.inspiredfictionbooks.com


    For the NEXT excerpt of Gate haven go here: #6 Laura Davis www.interviewsandreviews.com/book-of-the-week


    Today’s excerpt of Shadow Stalker is:  Jill Richardson http://jill-theimperfectjourney.blogspot.com/ 
    The next excerpt of Shadow stalker is: Malo Bel www.malobel.com/christian-books.html


    Today’s Excerpt for The Proof can be found at: Emma Right emmaright.com/blog

    The next excerpt for The Proof can be found at: Jill Richardson http://jill-theimperfectjourney.blogspot.com/ 

    Enjoy!  Carol A. Brown