... Even the worst heartaches can become heartstrings to God's hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace and love...

Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I
read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Fatigue Can Overwhelm

I love the cartoon Maxine; she says things... well, in a way I wouldn't. There is one where she's resting in a hammock & just letting the world carry on without her. I have had to try that lately because I tire very easily & get short of breath with exertion, I am pacing myself better & prioritizing my needed activities. I make sure I have rest times in between all that I do.
The cause is unknown at present. I am having a cardiac Stress Test tomorrow to rule out the heart as the cause.

Meanwhile, I haven't posted so I can use my computer time to prepare for my next God-Event. More on that later as it falls into place with His timing. 2 Corinthians12:9 never meant more to me than now. And Habakkuk 2:2 is my goal.

Today I want to recommend 2 novels by Brenda Rickman Vantrease: The Illuminator and The Mercy Seeker. Although they can be read as stand alone books, The Illuminator is first & sets the scene & characters for The Mercy Seeker. Although not sold as Christian books they truly are and I guarantee that you will never view the Bible the same after reading them Yes, they are fiction, They are based on historical fact, are well researched, & expertly writing. You can find them at bookstores & through Amazon. My little local library has them so check out yours because they are hardcovers.

Shalom, Connie

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Rest Ministries* was founded by Lisa Copen & is affiliated with Joni and Friends to encourage those with chronic illnesses & chronic pain to live a full, quality life regardless of barriers. All members have at least one chronic illness &/or chronic pain, including myself. (I am a diabetic with hypertension, arthritis, degenerative joint disease & chronic depression.)

Today, I am facilitating the first HopeKeepers support group at the retirement center where I live. First we will get to know one another and exchange phone numbers. On bad days- days of not feeling well, of no energy, of increased pain- we can call each other to chat or to ask for prayer. Because of our bond via our chronic illnesses- often invisible to others- we will have an understanding that requires few words.

Outdoors the temperature is expected to rise near 100 degrees; inside, we'll be cool & comfortable as we share a poem, "Shelf Life," by Mariane Holbrook & discuss one of my devotionals, "Soaring Above Adversity."

It is with great joy that I begin this new opportunity of hope!


* "Rest Ministries, Inc. exists to serve people who live with chronic illness or pain by providing spiritual, emotional, relational and practical support." HopeKeepers Magazine and Rest Ministries Website are the foundation of their outreach.

Fireworks: A Celebration

The fireworks just ended & I had my choice of VIP seating. I live one mile from the Butte where they are traditionally displayed. I could sit on my patio or walk next door to the church's parking lot. I chose the latter; & had an unobstructed view of our country's birthday celebration.

Popcorn, lemonade, & other goodies were passed around during the oohs & aahs. A nice way to end the day with friends & fellow believers.

Sadly, conditions here in Central Oregon are very dry & resulted in several fires on the butte. Extra fire trucks came & the fire was controlled, but it is always sad to see trees burn. Thankfully the fire was going uphill. (Many businesses, apartments, & homes are at the bottom of the butte.)

The most important part of my day was earlier during a conversation with my 5 year old grandson. We talked about being free to be Christians, free to go to church, free to speak about God. He, of course, couldn't comprehend not talking about Jesus. And, you know, I really don't fully understand it either as I have never been in a country where it wasn't safe. The closest I have come is when writing to friends in Nigeria. They advised me what I could write & what to avoid so that my letter did not put them into any danger.

Yes, I was blessed to sit outside in the churchyard watching the amazing colors burst overhead with patriotic music playing through speakers behind us. I can think of no better place to say "Thank you, Lord, for the U.S.A.! Help me to understand the freedoms I have and to fully use them to worship, praise, and share Your Word."

Tomorrow & next few days will be 96-100 degrees with possible thunder & lightning- a very dangerous time for wildfires. Pray that homes & lives will not be lost. (Several acres burned today- one a few miles from me.)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mask Removal Time

I told you that I would take off my mask and be honest with you, my readers.

Today, I remove the mask of deception.

I wanted to enter a competition for an Oregon Literary Art Fellowship even though the timing was short- only two days. (It was in our local newspaper on Tuesday and the deadline was Friday at 5 p.m.)

I filled out the form answering all the questions for the Non-Fiction Literary Award and for the Women Writers Award. Then I set about editing the first 20 or so pages of my book.

It was time consuming because the original was on my computer that crashed; thus I had to retype it as I edited it. On page five I lost it all!

The rules stated emphatically that no late entries would be accepted. If I could complete it by 4:30 p.m., I could mail it via overnight delivery; but I am not a fast enough typist to retype and edit the lost five pages plus 15 more to meet that dateline.

I was angry and thought I would write a letter to the Literary Art stating that Central Oregon writers were not allowed enough time to enter... but I didn’t.

Why not? Because I had taken all mention of God out of my story so I would have a better chance of winning the fellowship.

As a Christian writer, I write to glorify God, who called me to write. Ethel Herr wrote, “We tend to think we are first ministers with a pen. However, before we can minister, we must learn to worship and regard all our writing as an act of worship, done for God’s pleasure.”

I am thankful that I lost those pages. I am sad for the loss of a possible $2500 as it could have paid for additional writing lessons through The Christian Writers’ Guild and for their annual conference plus supplies, like ink cartridges, paper, and research.

Being “called to write,” I have a responsibility to glorify and please the One who called me. I cannot and will not wear that mask of deception again. By next year, I’ll be a better writer and I’ll enter The Literary Arts competition with a clear conscience.. As Ethel Herr puts it I must share openly and honestly what represents my genuine self or how can I show others how to face tension and solve problems.

What mask are you wearing today? Is it time to remove it?


Shalom, Connie

Monday, July 02, 2007


My thumb is pain free & I am able to knit, embroider & do counted cross-stitch once again.

I am embroidering a floral picture for my niece's wedding in Sept. & the following gave me a giggle that I thought I'd share with YOU!

Sew Forth & Sew On

My needle vanished in thin air--
Most likely on this couch.
It's sure to reappear some where
If I keep looking.... OUCH!

-Mary Hamlett Goodman

Shalom, Connie