Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Write to the Point with Peg Phifer July 18, 2012

This week we get write to the point with Peg Phifer.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

Of my birth family, I am the only one left. Mom, Dad, brother, sister, all waiting for me in Heaven. I’m a transplanted Wisconsinite now living in Las Vegas, Nevada, and I really love my adopted hometown. Met the love of my life here, too. God does give us second chances. How long I’ve been writing is up for debate. As a serious writer seeking publication, somewhere around the time I hit 50, +/- (grin)

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I was blessed to be born into a Godly home with Godly parents, so I was raised in the church. I had my rebellious times, but I found Jesus as my Savior in my early twenties at a revival camp meeting preached by my grandfather Blann. He knew how to send a spear of conviction straight to the heart, bypassing all my pretentions.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

TO SEE THE SUN is about forgiveness and second chances. Everyone Erin Macintyre loves has been taken away from her and her well of faith has run dry. Her life and future is a pile of twisted metal at the bottom of a mountain ravine. Now widowed, pregnant, and scared, Erin sees no clear path ahead. When things go from bad to worse, threatening her life and that of her unborn baby, Erin realizes she can no longer handle this alone. God doesn’t abandon us . . . we abandon Him.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

 My blog, Whispers in Purple is a bit eclectic and my posts tend to be sporadic. However, every Friday I do a column I call BookBites in which I feature new book releases (mostly fiction) and their authors with a guest post, usually with giveaways. Otherwise, I blog as the whims hit.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

Oh, goodness. Just one? In the past, my stock answer would have been “Exodus,” by Leon Uris. (the movie, too!) But as I think back recently, I have to change that answer to “Chesapeake,” by James A. Michener. A lot of folks don’t care for Michener, I guess because his writing can be ponderous. But his research is meticulous in both historical fact and setting. “Chesapeake” as the title would suggest, is about the history of the Chesapeake Bay, its history and its people down through the years. It is especially meaningful to me because my paternal family history is deeply rooted on Eastern Short Maryland. I found the entire reading experience fascinating.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life? 

 That would have to be the day my (first) husband asked for a divorce. (I’ve never understood why.) Nowhere to go, no family anywhere close, and hating living in the cold north woods of Wisconsin, I chose to head for some warmer climes and ended up in southern Nevada. Here I met my future husband, found my faith again, after feeling totally cast adrift, and I’ve never looked back. Well, almost never.

So sorry to hear about your divorce but so grateful that God used all of that for His good and to bring you back to His Love and the love of your future husband. He is good.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

At the present time, my life-verse is Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

This verse speaks to me on so many levels. Though I’ve not been through as much as Erin Macintyre, life here in Phiferland has been anything but easy.

Where can we find you on the web?

            Blog: http://www.whispersinpurple.com

            Website: http://peggyblannphifer.com

            Facebook: www.facebook.com/pegphifer

            Twitter: www.twitter.com/pegphifer

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Not that I can come up with.

Peg, thanks for much for sharing with my readers. I love the cover of your book : )

Readers, Peg is giving away a Gift Card for TO SEE THE SUN for an e-copy on Amazon (Kindle) or B&N (Nook) winner’s choice. Just leave a comment for her by July 24 at 5:00 PM to be entered.

 

Part XXII-Sharing Begins July 17, 2012

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:12 pm
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We are in August of 2009, only two months from the affair. Even though I knew God would have us share our story I thought that time couldn’t possibly be now. I felt raw and not ready.

But just because I’m not ready doesn’t mean God isn’t ready.

As God continued to write our story, adding new chapters daily, He showed us a couple we needed to share with.

Once you have been through something like this you can spot the same patterns in other marriages. Probably like if you have lost a child you can see that same hurt in another persons life without that person telling you. Once you see the pain in your life you can identify it in the lives of others.

I did not want to share, we were still healing. But I knew I couldn’t sit by and see another marriage destroyed if we could help in some way.

So for the first time, only two months to the day of the last time I saw the man, we shared our story.

The couple was astonished to learn everything just happened months, not years, ago because of the strength we displayed. Not our strength but the strength of God.

The other cool thing that took place was the love. Once again, undeserved, but lavished on me. The couple still loved me.

Also, the healing. When I shared I felt a little more whole, a little more healed.

Because of our sharing they sought counseling and their marriage is going strong. Their eyes were open to things they had been neglecting.

I went back to work in September. Honestly, I wondered if I would tumble back into my old patterns. I could easily contact the man while at work.

Shannon Ethridge said in her book Every Women’s Battle, something that stuck with me. I am paraphrasing but she said something along the lines of: don’t think I am never going to talk to that man again, I will never see him again, because that can seem overwhelming. Instead think, today I will not contact him, today I will not allow myself to think about what happened. And you do that everyday. Before you know it you don’t have to think that way because the desire is gone.

It worked. I had no desire to get in touch with the other man. No fear that I would try to reach out to him. My chains dropped and  freedom found me.

I had the best teaching year of my life. I believe it was because of the my relationship with God and my husband. I wish every year could be so good.

During that school year, 2009-2010, we didn’t share our story with anyone else and I was good with that.

God wasn’t.

We joined a life group in 2010 and we knew one of the other couples had gone through the same thing. They shared in church but we didn’t feel like we could talk to them, or I didn’t because of my position in the church. Once we joined their group we knew eventually we would tell them, but I never thought I would tell the whole group. Ha!

In July of 2010 I went on an Emmaus Walk. If you don’t know what that is, I can tell you it is life changing. I can’t tell you a bunch about it because that is part of the wonder, all the surprises. But I encourage you to go if you never have. If you are someone who knows me personally and would like to go let me know. I will sponsor you. Seriously.

While there I met woman. When I talked to her we had an instant connection. Our first day getting to know each other I wanted to tell her everything. I thought how weird, I just met her. But I didn’t tell her.

The next day she came to me after an emotional time and told me she had an affair. I began to cry and confessed to her as well. God is amazing isn’t He? I have no doubt He put us together that weekend.

Her affair happened many years before mine, yet I seemed more healed.

She also shared that she had been sexually abused as well. She never received help for any of it.

I am telling you all right now, if you have been through something traumatic you need help. You cannot fix it on your own. You can try and you might even have a day or two that you feel good, but apart from God you can never truly heal. I believe He has placed good Christian counselors in this world to led us to that healing.

My affair was a year ago yet I was comforting her, her affair was five years ago and she was still carrying the weight of her shame.

I told my new friend I wouldn’t share my story with anyone else on The Walk.

I should learn to stop saying never.

I did. I told my table group everything. I was sure the little old lady that was in my group would hate me and think I was a horrible person.

Another shocker. She told me before we went home that she just wanted to hug me when I told my story and she said, “You are beautiful.”

What a sweet spirit she possessed.

One final thing to share that happened on my Emmaus Walk. During an emotional prayer time our last night, I sat in the quiet of the sanctuary and just listened for God.

I heard: You will tell your story to Pastor Gayle and to your life group.

I literally gasped out loud. No doubt in my mind God gave me a command. One I was not ready for but one I knew had no choice but to follow.

I went home and told Patrick the time had come. He looked surprised but agreed that if God told me I needed to be obedient.

Next week I will share what happened.

If you have a few more minutes click here. I woke up with this song in my head.

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16 NLT

Patrick and I are very excited to share something with you. As we draw to the close of our story we would love to hear your stories. We have created an email account just for that. Do you have a Genesis 5020 that needs to be told? It doesn’t have to be marriage or abuse, it could be anything. Don’t think your story is too small. Nothing God does is small. If you prefer to be anonymous that is no problem, just tell us that in your email. We would prefer you paste your story in the body of the email, do not send an attachment. You can start sending your stories at anytime, we will contact you when and if we use your story on the blog.

We would also like to use that email to help you. If you are going through something and you need to talk to one of us don’t hesitate to email us and let us know. We are not counselors and don’t pretend to be but we know the joy that is found on the other side of pain. We can’t drag you to the other side but we can encourage you along the way. 

email us at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com

We can’t wait to get your Genesis 5020’s out for the world to see God’s glory. 

 

Part XXI-A Mighty Stream July 13, 2012

This week and last week has been what we in the fiction writing business would call character deepening or development. I’ve given you a glimpse into my inter-life instead of moving things along. Next week I will move the plot again, and rather quickly.

Today I am going to share one more encounter with God.

To other writers who are reading this; I know there are a ton of passive verbs. I wrote this before I knew what a passive verb even WAS (passive verb) but wanted to keep it close to the real thing, so forgive me : )

See His love, feel it. Pictures yourself in the moment. Make it your own. Know that His words are not for me only, but for all. For you.

August 16, 2009

I was mediating on the words, “I run in the path of your commands for you have set me free.”

I saw myself running on a path in the woods. The sun streamed through the tree leaves. It was warm and beautiful as I ran, feeling like my heart was free.

All was yellow and green around me. My hair blew behind me. I flung my arms wide up while I ran. I twirled around.

The next thing I knew I stood beside a stream and there my Savior, my Lover, my Friend, sat upon a rock. He turned to me and smiled as if He were expecting me. I’m sure he was. He was radiant.

“Come sit with me,” He spoke gently.

Beside Him sat an empty rock, so I ambled down and sat with Him.

He immediately took both my hands in His and asked what was on my heart today. I told Him and He imparted words of wisdom, words of peace. He knew my hurts, my disappointments before I even spoke them. He assured me that all things happen in His time and He would provide me that timing, it would be perfect.

Then I lifted up my prayers. I asked for wisdom, He said He already gave that to me. That I need to stay in His Word and there I would find it.

All this time he still held my hands.

He then urged me to just let Him speak to my heart. He let go of my hands and stood over me. I faced the stream and closed my eyes.

I felt the heat of the sun, the warm, gentle breeze dance in my hair, I heard the birds sing me a song and I heard the stream.

It was then that I felt Him speak to me.

My love for you is like that stream, my life in you is like that stream. It never runs dry, it is constant, always there.”

He then poured His love on me. Whispering that I have captured His heart. I kept hearing that; I have captured His heart.

It was overwhelming and beautiful.

But He knew. He knew I was still troubled by something I shared earlier. Again, He sat down and took my hands. He looked deeply into my eyes and shared my burdens.

He told me again I should not be anxious. These where not my burdens to bare, that he had them, they were His. I should just be filled with peace.

Finally, I  felt myself let go. I fell to my knees before Him and poured my love out to Him.

Oh, I love Him so.

He held my head to His chest and stroked my hair. He knew I loved Him.

I told Him I was so sorry for all the times I didnt’ show it, or live it.

He knew and He forgave me. He reminded me someday we would be together forever and I would truly feel His arms around me. For now He has given me Patrick to hold me. When I feel Patrick I am to feel Him.

Someday we will have real moments like this. I don’t question how, I just know we will.

I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. Psalm 119:32 NIV

Who has God given to you right now to hold you until He can? A spouse, a parent, a child, a friend?

 

Write to the Point with R.L. Copple July 11, 2012

Congratulations to Jo who won Joi Copeland’s book from last week’s interview.

This week we get write to the point with R.L. Copple.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing fiction in earnest since October 2005. I’ve written non-fiction prior to that, not a lot published, but devotionals, sermons, and bible studies mostly (not counting research papers in college). In high school I did a little writing. A couple of short stories, a Shakespearean comedy, and several comic books, including the drawing.

I graduated from college in 1984 with a BA in religion, and pastored two different churches back in the 90s. Mostly worked in bookkeeping/finance for the last several years. Been married to the love of my life since May 15, 1982. I have three children, all out of high school. Oldest is my daughter who we just married off. The other two are boys, one of which is going to the Universityof Texasthis fall.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

My dad was a Baptist pastor in my early years, but eventually our family drifted away from God, and we didn’t go to church or talk about God or Jesus from about 8 years old and on. But in 1976, I began to get interested in what was in the Bible, thanks to a classmate I overheard talking about giant scorpions that would be stinging all the non-Christians on the last day. I ended up reading the New Testament and realized I needed a church where I could be helped to understand it better, so I started praying to God. In what would otherwise appear to be purely circumstantial, He arranged for a pastor to come by our house, stop, and invite me and my brothers to vacation bible school. So here I was, a 16 year-old, attending vacation bible school with all these kids. But that Friday after a brief homily, I gave my life to Christ and asked him to forgive my sins. And that turned my whole life into a new direction. Been learning and growing in that direction ever since.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

My last book completed “The Reality Chronicles” trilogy and is titled Reality’s Fire. The first two are Reality’s Dawn and Reality’s Ascent. It is a fairytale fantasy in a parallel world with a Medieval feel. Being a parallel world, there are similarities with ours, but also differences. Some events have progressed at different rates than our world has.

The book details the adventures of Sisko, his wife Gabrielle, and his children Kaylee and Nathan, along with several friends and characters over the course of the series, in relation to a ring that attaches to the wearer and enables them to do miracles to help others, but will be a curse if one uses it for selfish purposes. Written on the ring is the verse, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” The story begins with the entrance of the ring into the world in Reality’s Dawn and ends at its final destination in Reality’s Fire.

This last book focuses on two points-of-view, Gabrielle, and her daughter, Kaylee. Romance is involved in this book more than the previous two, but becomes the battle ground for not only the ring, but Kaylee’s soul as she struggles between her moral beliefs and the temptation to break them.

The meaning that binds these stories together is how the presence of God reveals the character of the individual, and how God’s presence can use even one who has sinned to accomplish great feats, but the most powerful of this world are defeated by it. It is the revelation of God’s reality into the world. Which should give us hope who depend on His grace to redeem us and enable us to “do all things through Christ Jesus, our Lord.”

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I probably break the rules a bit in that I don’t have a set schedule, some post are on the longer side, and I don’t always use pictures. But it also gives me the freedom to put up how-to articles, like the recent one about how to use Open Office Writer and Calibre to create ebooks. I’ve also done a few book reviews, some opinion pieces on various writerly topics, as well as some writer tip pieces, like the one titled “7 Common Pitfalls of Critiquers.”

I also do a monthly blog column at the review site, Grasping for the Wind, usually comes out the 16th of each month. Also, I’ve done several guest blog posts here and there.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

One of my favorites, in large part because it is the book that sent me down the path of reading speculative fiction, is The Runaway Robot by Lester Del Ray. It sent my imagination into overdrive. Because of that book, I also read the likes of Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. But I absorbed the science fiction books in my high school library and my only regret is that there didn’t seem to be much Christian oriented literature among science fiction writers. That has changed some since the 70s, but there is still a lot of good territory to cover.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life

During my last job as a city financial officer, the political climate changed so that the controlling group sought to get rid of everyone with the previous administration. False accusations were made against me that never stuck (because they were false) and I had to literally watch my back. Doing what was right got me in trouble. They finally got rid of me last July. At first, I was worried about our financial situation, but God has blessed us and it has ended up giving me more time to focus on writing as well as searching out new avenues that I might not have considered before. And my stress level is now a hundred times less than it was while on that job. I don’t know what the future holds, but as the saying goes, I know who holds the future. And I’m not worried. They ended up actually freeing me to live again.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

Yes. Matthew 6:33, “Seek ye first thekingdomofGod, and all these things will be added to you as well.”

Where can we find you on the web?

Website: http://www.rlcopple.com

Blog: http://blog.rlcopple.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rlcoppleauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rlcopple

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Yes. Do I have any links to articles or posts that would let you know more about the books? Why yes. I’m glad you asked.

I have two character interviews I’ve posted on my blog. One is an interview with undoubtedly the most eccentric and interesting character in these books, Joel.

http://blog.rlcopple.com/?p=417

And a recent interview with Sisko’s wife, Gabrielle, who is one of the key points-of-view in Reality’s Fire that just came out this month.

http://blog.rlcopple.com/?p=652

I think your readers would not only find them entertaining, but informative.

And thanks for having me. I enjoyed it.

Thanks so much for taking the time to share with my readers.

Readers, enter to win an e-book of Reality’s Fire. Just leave a comment by July 17 at 5:00 and you will be entered.

 

Part XX-On a Mountain July 6, 2012

Last week I told you God started showing up in highly visual ways to me. Since most of my trouble began in my mind this made sense for me. God wanted my mind fixed on Him. At the risk of sounding crazy I will share my first big encounter with Him. I wrote down the first few because I never wanted to forget how God met my needs.

As I said last week God will speak to you in the way you will hear Him. Although you might want an encounter like the one I am about to share, you might not get it because that might not work for you.

If you recall on August 14 I wrote that I walked along the beach with Jesus. This next meeting took place the day after that. This is written directly from the notebook I began writing in at the time (different from my small scripture notebook).

August 15, 2009

“I enjoyed our walk on the beach. Where will you take me today?”

Before me loomed a mountain covered in brush and trees.

“Lord, you know I don’t like that kind of thing. I am afraid to go there.”

“It is because of your fear that you have missed many good adventures. Come, take my hand and don’t let go, then you can do it. Just don’t let go of my hand. The journey will be worth it, I made something for you.”

Before I knew it I stood at the top of the mountain.

“I did it.”

“Because you never let go of me.”

“Yes, I don’t ever want to let go.”

“Look. See. I made this for you.”

Surrounding me was the beauty of the earth. He put His arm around my waist and I giggled with joy. All for me?

“Let’s sit down and talk.”

So we sat side by side and I leaned my head on His shoulder. He gently touched my hair.

“What is on your heart dear one?”

So I talked to Him and He gave me words of wisdom. I didn’t want to leave.

“You can find me here whenever you wish. I will be here.”

I left and my heart was at peace.

At that point in my walk with God I desperately needed to know Him as the Lover of my Soul. I needed to feel Him and to realize that His love is better than any attention I could get from a man.

I remember telling my counselor, “I never knew I could be so in love with Jesus. That I could have these excited, giddy feelings when I spent time with Him.”

She smiled and nodded. I knew I wasn’t crazy.

Three years later these encounters are few and far between. I believe that is because I am stronger now, God speaks to me in new ways that make sense to me now on my journey. I miss those times, though. I relish the moments I do have when I feel Him beside me so intensely.

Next week I think I will share the following encounter. The next one is pretty amazing.

Hope you don’t all think I’m crazy. Of course, I am crazy for Jesus and I am not ashamed of that fact one little bit. Without Him Patrick and I would have never survived all that we went through.

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,  your justice like the great deep. Psalm 36:5-6 NIV

Have you ever had a time when you worried people might think you were “a Jesus freak”? Want to share?

 

Part XIX-A Whisper June 29, 2012

 I am not sure of the exact dates of the next couple events, but I know they happened at the end of July or beginning of August.

Patrick and I realized we needed time to be us. To get away and just be a couple. We love our children, but married people need time for just the two of them.

We had seen a Bed and Breakfast several times called The Claddagh. The Claddagh is an Irish ring. Actually, our first Christmas together Patrick gave me a Claddagh. We thought it fitting to go away for a night and stay at the Claddagh since we both always wanted to check it out.

We enjoyed a lovely time together. I can’t say things were normal, things were better than ever. Our marriage before the affair was not a picture of what God desired. He wants so much more for His children. Patrick and I were just beginning to grasp God’s design for marriage.

A wonderful thing occurred on the morning we were leaving. Patrick was in the shower and I walked out onto the balcony that adjoined our room.

The sun shone bright and trees surrounded the property. I leaned against the railing and took in the wonder of it all. I praised God for His beautiful creation. I praised Him for my husband who loved me after all I had done.

Sadness filled me. I hated what I did to Patrick. I hated that girl who could be so selfish.

“Lord, am I a horrible person?”

“Am I just bad?”

“Will I never be good enough?”

“Will I always be an adulteress?”

“Who am I?”

A breeze tickled my ear and I felt the Lord speak to my heart, “You are none of those things. You. Are. Mine.”

For the first time, since all this began, I believed Him.

I am His. And He is mine.

That moment changed me.

I finally let go of the lies and embraced the truth my Savior held out to me.

Those words are not just for me. They are for all.

You.

Are.

His.

Someone needs to hear that today. Someone reading this needs to believe those words desperately. You are His. Nothing else matters.

After that moment I seemed to grow more aware of God’s voice.

During a  prayer time with Him I felt a whisper in my heart again.

“Write.”

What?

Yes, I have always wanted to write but life kind of got in the way of that dream.

In one of my many journals I wrote a list of life goals when I was in middle school. I had marked off every one…

Become a teacher

Sing on Broadway (I didn’t sing on Broadway but I was a soloist in Carnegie Hall, so I figured the was close enough)

Royal Singer (anyone who graduated from the same high school as me will know what that is)

Honors choir

Lead in music

All where checked except: Become published.

Why now, Lord?

“Now you are ready.”

Up until this point I never looked at my abuse, I never dealt with my brokenness. Now God gave me a command to take my pain and help other women.

I saw women in a new way. Instead of judging them, as I did many times, I looked deeper. I saw their brokenness.

How many other women where like me?

How many marriages where in trouble?

How many women had been abused and never told anyone?

I knew when the time was right, I would be ready to share, because God gave me the command.

The dream to write came back to life and I shared this dream with others.

Now I just needed to convince my logical husband that this made sense.

Thankfully, the  Christian Writers Guild offers courses for credit. Because I could use the credits to renew my teaching certificate Patrick agreed that this could work. Totally God, appealing to my husband’s planning side and my dreamer side.  We decided to wait until January to enroll and by February of 2010 I received my course. But I am getting way ahead of myself.

After the “write” whisper, God invaded my thoughts.

Shortly after my world fell apart in June, I began jotting down scripture in a tiny notebook. On August 12, 2009 I wrote in the back of that notebook something that was not scripture. What I wrote still sends my heart in double time.

“I have a wonderful plan for you. Stay in my arms and I will lead you to it.”

I believe God spoke this to me. This message was only the beginning.

On August 14 I wrote: “I walked with you today along the beach and we laughed together. I was filled with joy. ‘I love you dear one’.”

“I love you dear one” are the words God spoke to me.

I thought maybe I was going crazy. Was I making this stuff up? Did people really have encounters with Christ like this?

But this sense for me.

My emotional and physical affair all began in my mind. God knew what I needed. He showed up in my mind in highly visual ways, in ways He knew I would understand.

After this two tiny encounters they grew more elaborate. I would like to share one or two with  you next week.

Remember, God speaks to everyone in a unique way. The way His showed Himself to me is not the way He will show Himself to you. So never compare. God knows what His children need. Just like you (if you are a parent) know how you comfort one child, or discipline one child, might not work for the other. You do what works for that individual child. God will speak to you in the way He knows you will hear.

Listen. Your Father is talking to you.

After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19: 12 NIV

Have you heard your Father speak to you? Mind sharing something He told you?

 

Write to the Point with D.M. Webb June 27, 2012

Congratulations to Morgan who won last week’s giveaway!

Today we get write to the point with D.M. Webb. I hope you will take the time to read this interview, I was deeply touched by the things D.M. shared, I hope you will be too.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I’m a widow (only 37 years young) with two sons, Caleb (17) and Blake (10). Lived in Mississippi all my life, even though I have flirted with the idea of moving. I have visited 29 of the states. And until they build a highway to Hawaii, then it will probably remain off the list. Or if I play the role of B.A. in the A-Team, the only way I will be able to fly since I wasn’t granted wings. As for writing, well since I was 6. Wrote my first poem about cats. Still have the “original” manuscript. Stopped writing when life intervened in my twenties, then I was inspired to pick it back up. Never give up, never surrender, my motto when confronting defeat and fear.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

It was a gradual process. I wasn’t raised in church. Started attending when I was 12, my bus driver was the pastor’s wife. Then regularly attended by the time I was 14. Back in the 90’s, it was okay to hold revivals on school property, especially the gym or auditorium. It was a hilarious show, with a ventriloquist and one of the funniest jokes I ever heard. Still remember it to this day. Anyway, when the time came to come to the altar I was pressured into it. The pastor there contacted mine and told him that I wasn’t ready. Unlike some people, I didn’t understand it all. Then one day at school weeks after the revival, I was standing outside waiting for the homeroom bell to ring. My boyfriend at the time was sick, and I was alone on the back side of the school. I remember staring at the blue sky with its wispy clouds breezing by overhead. The wind picked up and made my hair dance around my shoulders. I laughed. “I know you. I know who you are now.” And it happened. Just like that. One lone moment in time.

Wow, that brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful picture you just painted of your encounter with God.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

Mississippi Nights: I want the readers to realize, no matter what Jesus is always there, waiting for us. Plus, when we look to the world to heal us or to help us, we will ultimately fall further away from God. Nothing is ever an easy fix, but with God, nothing is impossible.

My next books: I don’t know yet. So far the characters have been hush-hush about the whole ordeal. They just demand that I write their tale one step at a time.

Back cover blurb for Mississippi Nights: Two brothers, one death–the bond of brotherhood faces its greatest challenge against resentment and guilt.
Cant the love between two brothers eventually win against pain and guilt?
When Firefighter David Boyette’s fiancee perishes in a car fire, he blames his brother, Sgt. Jeremy Boyette, for her death.
Three years later, David returns home with a dark and devastating secret. With help of family, a woman’s love, and a small child’s devotion, can David overcome insurmountable odds as he and Jeremy face the bitterness that enslaves him?
Together the brothers must decide if the bond of brotherhood is stronger than resentment and hate.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I blog about one a week. Every once in a while, I get a wild hair and post TWO.

And it will cover just about anything: whatever is laid on my heart, jumping about in my brain, or sometimes just a rambling that eventually has a point.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

That’s like saying share your favorite food or choose which is your better feature or choose which hand you like better. Each has its purpose. Since I am a collector of stories and old books, I have so many. If I had to choose one, it would be The Blue Flower by Henry van Dyke. The book I have is over a hundred years old. I read a little in it at a time. The stories are beautiful allegories of Jesus and a person’s search for Him. A most wonderful book.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

When my husband was killed in the line of duty (he was a firefighter), my father died in my arms barely three months later. For a few months I was lost, not caring about what I did or anything. I was numb, emotionally and mentally. Spiritually, I still relied on Him, but I started growing ever further away. In a nutshell: I was kicked out of my mother’s home, ended up in a wrong relationship, floundered about wondering what was wrong with me. In the space of those four years, I found me in my own home, myself published, my heart, dreams, and life held safely in God’s hands. And just when I thought I would forever be alone, God led me to someone. Just recently, too. A devout Christ follower and someone who has always been around. I still struggle (starving artist is a role I aptly play at the present), but no longer worry. The devil may intended for these hardships to hurt me or damage me, but I drew closer to God. I’m His…forever.

Thanks for sharing that, I am so glad you are seeing God’s goodness through your heartache. He will continue to hold you.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

My favorite. Mark 4:39 “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”

Jesus continues to rebuke the storms in my life.

Where can we find you on the web?

www.dmwebb.com

www.dmwebb-writebyfaith.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/LaurelTree

https://www.facebook.com/WebbDM

https://www.facebook.com/MississippiNightsNovel

dmwebb2009@gmail.com

dmwebb42@gmail.com

Twitter:  @DaphMichele

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Hmmm…

Everything and nothing. Basically this: when I hear God speak to me, I don’t hear it. I FEEL it. A peace that is beyond words. A confidence that this is what needs to be done, this is the path to travel. That gate is narrow and the world offers a broader path, but if you want to follow Jesus, never conform. Never compromise your beliefs, even if it means standing alone.

Beautiful. Not only did you give us a great interview I think you gave us all some things to think about and praise God for. God bless you as you continue to write for His glory.

Readers, D.M. is giving away a copy her her book Mississippi Nights. Leave a comment for her by July  3 at 5:00 PM and you will be entered to win.

 

Part XVIII-Genesis 50:20 June 22, 2012

Even though I was healing things were not perfect. Patrick struggled many days. There were times he would tell me he was going over to the man’s house to beat him to a pulp.

I begged and pleaded. That would not fix anything.

Those times usually resulted in us talking things through, of Patrick needing more information and me feeling all the shame of what I had done.

Anger fueled Patrick. I couldn’t blame him. I knew I did this to our marriage. I brought this on by my choices and there are consequences for turning away from God. Things weren’t going to be wonderful, I disobeyed my Savior. I grieved Him.

I didn’t always react in the best way either. I would get angry. I was changing, couldn’t Patrick see that? My outbursts didn’t help Patrick and only caused more tension and stress between us. We wondered if things would ever be normal again.

And what did normal look like? Was normal our life before the affair, because that didn’t work out so well?

My birthday is in the summer and Deanna heard that Tenth Avenue North was coming to a town near us and the tickets were really cheap.

The day after my birthday we went and saw them. I needed that concert. I cried and danced. All the songs that God used to speak to me I heard in person.

At that concert they played a song that had not been released yet. I felt like the words were written just for me. The song is called You Are More. I desperately wanted those words to be true. But could I  believe it? Was I remade, was I new?

Most days I still didn’t feel new.

I prayed Psalm 142:7 again and again. The verse became my cry on days I felt like I couldn’t escape the horrible thoughts that invaded my mind.

Set me free from my prison,
    that I may praise your name.

At our first meeting with our counselor she told us about a book  Torn Asunder. I highly recommend this book for any couple suffering through any type of affair.

Hidden in that book is a verse that would forever change the way Patrick and I saw my affair. I am sure I heard the verse before but now this verse spoke to us in a new way.

The verse was Genesis 50:20.

In that book we found the verse that would become the foundation for this blog.

At that point I didn’t want to tell anyone what I had done. My parents could never know. I was the child who didn’t make bad choices, or at least I was good at hiding them. My church couldn’t know, what would they think of their worship leader? My Pastor couldnt’ know, we were good friends with him.

But God knew that verse would change our lives.

Genesis 50:20 is our lifeline. We believe in that verse with all our being. We didn’t know how God was going to use our pain for good. What we did know is that God keeps His promises. If he said our heartache will be used for good then we believed Him.

I am so excited to share the next part with you. God is about to do some crazy stuff!

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.  Genesis 50:20 NIV

Can you share a song that  you felt was written just for you? Come on, don’t be shy : )

 

Write to the Point Roger Bruner June 20, 2012

Congratulations to H.A. Titus our winner from last week’s giveaway.

This week we get write to the point with Roger Bruner.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

Melissa, I’m a Preacher’s Kid. Although I was born in Miami, we lived there only a few months after my birth. I grew up in Virginia and North Carolina—if at age sixty-five I dare to claim I’ve grown up—and I ended up living in Maryland for quite a few years starting with my college years. I started out as an English teacher (back when ninth grade was still “junior high”), then worked as a job counselor/interviewer at the Maryland State Job Service, and finally moved to Richmond, Virginia, where I still live, to work as a programmer at the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

I’ve always been a writer (or so it seems)—poems, short stories, dramatic monologs, short plays, and songs—I sing and play guitar, too. But it wasn’t until the IMB downsized me and I ended up with a part-time job at Target—it helped pay the bills—that I found the time to write my first novel. I made the mistake of self-publishing for a number of reasons, none of which turned out to be as good as I thought at the time.

Only after starting to consume writing books by the dozen and attending a minimum of  one Christian writers conference yearly did I begin to see what an awful job I’d done on that self-published book. So I pretend it doesn’t exist anymore—fortunately, fewer than 150 copies exist. The progress from that point has seemed slow at times, but I’ve always sensed that it was very God-directed.

I’m married now to Kathleen; this year makes nine wonderful years. I have a twenty-five-year-old daughter, Kristi, who now has a husband and young son. And two talented step-daughters who are a bit older than Kristi. None of them lives close to us, unfortunately. We love our privacy, though, so maybe the distance between us isn’t totally unfortunate.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I wish I could give you a Saul-to-Paul conversion story, but I can’t. Growing up as I did in a Christian home, I considered myself a Christian from a very early age. Making my commitment public was something else, though; I had a severe fear of the water, and the very thought of baptism put me into a panic. As a pre-teen, however, I finally let God overcome that fear enough to make a public profession of faith and be baptized.

I can’t say that my life changed much immediately after that—not until the eighth grade, when I came down with acute viral encephalitis and almost died. The doctors told my parents that—even if I survived—I might end up as just a vegetable. During my non-vegetative recovery, my parents told me about all the people who’d been praying for me. I realized that God had performed a very personal miracle on my behalf, and I consider that the beginning of my real growth as a Christian.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

I have two published books—Found in Translation and Lost in Dreams. Both came out last year as the beginning of a proposed series called Altered Hearts. Unfortunately, Barbour Publishing decided not to continue with its Young Adult line, so my series died prematurely—much to the disappointment of many of its readers, I might add.

Both books are from the point of view of a spoiled eighteen-year-old named Kim, and both involve mission trips—one to Mexico and one to the mountains of northern California. It was fun seeing Kim grow and mature, and I think the lessons about forgiveness and the importance of relying on God are huge take aways from both novels.

I have a contract pending on a very humorous mid-life romance—the working title is The Lady & the Impractical Jokester, but my agent is also shopping an inspirational novel called The Devil & Pastor Gus, which is one of my favorites; it’s a modern day cross between the story of Job and one of the many tales about someone selling his soul to the devil and then trying to get out of it. I’ve recently completed a novel for teen boys—teen girls will like it, too, however. Misfits seriously challenges teens to look at themselves and learn to accept themselves as they are—and as God does.

For my local readers (you know who you are) I have seen Roger’s books at Sounds of Light if you wanted to pick one up and give them a little business.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I have to smile at this question, because I have three blogs. “Have had” is more accurate. I do have one active one, however. I post to “As I Come Singing” twice a week. It has a very specific purpose: to offer original song lyrics for other writers to use in their writing at no cost.

Although my followers are few so far, I think it will catch on eventually. Most writers can’t afford to pay to quote other peoples’ song lyrics in their books. While practically nobody has ever heard of my songs, that doesn’t mean they might not find something appropriate to borrow—or even adapt.

Incidentally, I got the idea for this blog when I ended up using some of my own lyrics in my two published novels.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

Oh, man, Melissa, you ask some tough questions. *L* Not tough because I don’t have favorites, but because I’m not sure I can limit myself to “a favorite.” Even though I’ve never written suspense, I especially enjoy books by DiAnn Mills, Brandilyn Collins, Al Gansky, and—most recently—an Australian author, Martin Roth, whose books are available at Amazon for almost nothing.

Then again, I’ve also enjoyed some of Ted Decker’s books (just finished The Bride Collector), and I will automatically buy any new book by Jim Rubart.

Not everything I read is suspense, though. I occasionally read a women’s book (especially by Deb  Raney, whom I once told that she writes women’s books that even a man can enjoy) or romantic suspense. Christy Barritt is not just a friend, but a delightful writer. I. . .

Okay, you don’t have to keep flashing that light, Melissa. I can see I’ve overshot this answer and need to let you ask me another question.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

That’s an easy one. It’s something I’ve already alluded to. My downsizing from the IMB could have been the worst disaster of my life, especially considering I had felt “called” to work there and wouldn’t have left willingly.

But at the beginning of what turned out to be my last year there, I was assigned to a project I just never really caught onto. I tried awfully hard, but my job performance was headed further and further downhill.

So the downsizing provided a release from that suffering. I view it now as God’s way of setting me free. And who knows when or whether I would ever have written that first novel, otherwise?

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

Although a number of writers have a verse they quote when doing a book signing, I don’t. John 3:16 says it all, of course, but Romans 8:28 is probably my favorite verse otherwise. And not just because it’s a verse I can locate in the Bible.

Where can we find you on the web?

All over the place! *laughing* My website is RogerBruner.com. There, you can not only learn more about my books, but sample the unpublished manuscripts and see some of my other writing. You can also see some of my favorite photographs and listen to some of my songs. My active blogsite is “AsIComeSinging.wordpress.com,” but you can also get there from the “Blogs” tab on my website.

Although I have Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts and respond to anyone who posts to me there, I tend to ignore the social media in general—it just takes too much time to keep up with.

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Having the freedom to write full-time is a real blessing. While the little bit of extra income is nice, that’s not my purpose in writing. I believe God has given me something to say—I communicate much better in writing than I do verbally—and I pray daily for my readers. That each one may receive the message God has for him or her. . .and that God will lead His desired choice of readers to my books.

Thanks so much for letting me visit your blog today. I hope I haven’t been too longwinded. *G*

Thank you Roger. My readers always love hearing from authors. Thanks for taking the time to share.

Readers, Roger will give away your choice of either book in paperback or both books in e-book for Kindle. Just leave him a comment by June 26 at 5:00 PM and you will be entered to win.

 

Part XVII-Opening the Gift June 15, 2012

We left our first appointment with the counselor, holding a folder. Inside the folder was a paper. On that paper we were supposed to fill in ten memories that made us feel uncomfortable.

I knew what I needed to write. But I didn’t want to. I still believed the abuse played no role in my behavior as an adult.

I sat at my dinning room table one day and allowed myself to remember.

I remembered the first time. The confusion. The questions.

I remembered other times when my requests were ignored.

I remembered me initiating the abuse because I wanted love.

As these memories took shape on the paper something happened inside me. I grew angry.

Patrick said something to me as I worked, I don’t remember what he said. But I know I yelled at him.

He looked at me, shocked. He did nothing wrong, but I snapped.

And then I cried.

He came and sat down beside me. “What’s wrong?”

For thirty years I lived in denial about my abuse. For thirty years I pretended it didn’t matter.

“This is really hard.” I pushed the paper away. The memories glared back and seemed to taunt me.

“Take a break.”

I grabbed the paper. “No, I just want to get it over with.”

I went back to work. When I finished I placed the truth of my past back in the folder but knew I only hid the facts temporarily.

At our next appointment our counselor said she wanted to meet with me by myself for a while. She wanted to work through my abuse. She told us about a technique she used, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Truthfully, I thought this sounded a bit new age for me. I thought this was a Christian counselor.

She gave me a book to read about the treatment. After reading the book I realized it wasn’t some weird thing but might actually help me reprocess my memories.

When I returned for my individual session we first worked on a memory unrelated to my abuse. She thought it might be easier to get into by taking a step away. This memory I had from my freshman year in high school. I shared something in a class that was personal, I cried in front of a bunch of the popular kids. I felt shame for letting people see a piece of my heart.

As we processed that memory I saw how God was preparing me even then to share my heart as a worship leader. I have had many people thank me for being so honest as I lead. In high school my honesty caused me shame but now my honesty brings God glory.

We moved on to the memories of abuse.

I won’t go into detail but an amazing thing took place over the next few weeks. I saw God beside me the whole time. He hated what happened to me. It wasn’t okay with Him. But he whispered to me, “This will be used for good.”

I had no clue how God wanted to use my abuse or my affair. I never wanted to tell anyone what I did.

But I heard His promise. I felt His love. I was never alone. Even when no one else saw the little girl silently crying out for help, my Father saw, He heard. He had a plan to rescue me all along. He waited for me to reach up and allow Him.

He extended the gift of healing. The gift I thought was too pretty to open, the gift I placed on the shelf when I asked Him into my heart, He took down from the shelf and handed it back to me.

To heal I had to tear off the pretty paper and receive the gift. Week after week at my appointments I tore off a little bit more of the beautiful wrapping. The more I tore the less it hurt. The more I tore the more love I felt.

I finally reached inside and accepted the gift of healing. This took several weeks of counseling.

I could look at my abuse and not feel angry. I saw what had been done to me for the horrible sin it was but that it did not have to define me. I saw my abuser in my mind and I forgave him. I would never say that to his face (yeah right, never say never to God) but I could forgive him in my heart.

The same thing happened with the verbal abuse. I could finally forgive my father for his hateful words. I knew my Heavenly Father would never speak to me that way. And I heard His voice more clearly every day, drowning out the lies I lived with most of my life. His promises of love, forgiveness, hope.

The abuse did affect my behavior as an adult. I didn’t know boundaries because there were no boundaries when I was a little girl. I knew one way to receive love, that was to give myself. The rules didn’t apply to me when I was a child why should they apply to me as an adult? Abuse messes up the way people think. Our normal is different from people who have not been abused. If you have never been abused this will be hard for you to understand, if you have been abused you know what I am talking about.

But there is hope. God can heal us.

The abuse is not an excuse. It is not an excuse for anyone. I will never use the abuse to say it was okay for me to have an affair. But the abuse was the chosen route the enemy took to try to destroy me, my marriage and my family.

I sped through about a month in this post. I will go back next week and share some things God was doing in my personal relationship with Him and what was going on in my marriage as well.

She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13 NIV

Have you had a time in your life when you knew God saw you? Have you had a time when you know you saw Him?