Saturday, May 31, 2014

Come Dance with Daddy

I wrote this for my daughter several years ago . . .

Come dance with Daddy, my dear and darling princess
I’ll be your knight in shining armor for a while
I’ll shower you with my affection as you cling here in my arms
We’ll dance together and share those memories for all time

At night I slip into your room and sit down on your bed
And gaze upon my sleeping beauty, softly caressing your hair
I lean down to kiss your cheek and say a prayer for you
And I thank God for another day to love you in this life

One of the deepest hopes I have dear one,
Is to be a faithful father
Pointing you to Jesus in the time we have right now
Thank you for asking me to play dollhouse and see your newest drawing
There’s nothing I’d rather do than be with our family

Sometimes life just won’t be easy, dear,
Clouds and rain will fall
Friends may disappoint you, dreams may fade away
In those seasons of frustration, may your heart return to days
When Daddy picked you up and wiped the tears from your eyes

And when life is over and my work on earth has ended
We’ll know we danced and we had a song to sing

Friday, May 30, 2014

9 Things You’ll Regret When You Look Back on Your Writing Journey if You’re Not Paying Attention Now

The following is a great article by Edie Melson . . .

Life is full of regrets and the writer's life is no different. But since I'm a few years further down the path than a lot of you, I thought I'd share some things I wish I'd done differently. These are some regrets you don't have to have if you pay attention now.

1. Following the trends instead of writing what’s on your heart. It’s tempting to think, this or that is hot right now and an easy sell. The truth is, nothing is an easy sell. It all takes work. And more than that, it takes time. Chasing a trend will doom you to always being behind.

2. Not investing more time in your dream. All around you are opportunities to grow as a writer. Whether it’s local writing groups, online classes or chats, or conferences. Making your dream a priority is important.

Fantastic Family Friday: What Really Matters

View my article What Really Matters on the Just 18 Summers website.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Picture of the Day


This is his "I am so excited to be sitting next to the dessert bar at Golden Corral" look.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

'Cuz I has to . . .

Eugene Peterson coined the phrase that discipleship is a long obedience in the same direction.  What a terrific picture.  Much of the Christian experience consists of putting one foot in front of the other, learning endurance, and staying by the stuff.

Alton Gansky shares great insight into what it means to take that long obedience in the same direction.  For him it is in writing.  For you it may be medicine, teaching, law, or ministry . . .

I have an odd hobby. When I meet someone new and we strike up a conversation, I ask, "So, what do you do?" Nothing strange there. Men are prone to this. While on an airplane, I asked that question of the guy next to me. At the time, I was still a pastor, speaking five times a week. He looked like a professional to me and I was correct. "I'm a doctor."

"Really? What kind of doctor?"

"I'm an anesthesiologist. What do you do?"

Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Discipleship Tuesday: Enjoy that Bite!

The following devotion I wrote was featured this past Sunday on the ministry website of Christian Devotions:

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. Psalm 34:8
At the end of church one Wednesday evening, my daughter handed me a caramel from her cupful of goodies. She knew I liked caramel drops, and she picked it out just for me. I stuck it in my pocket to enjoy later. After I arrived home I slipped into her bedroom to kiss her goodnight.

“Did you eat your caramel?” she whispered.

Sometimes God selects good gifts to give His children. Those gifts, hand-picked for us, come from the Father’s heart of love and affection. It may be something common like a new appliance needed for our home, a nice meal at our favorite restaurant, or a new pair of clothes. It could be something that can’t be purchased, like a quiet conversation with our spouse, an encouraging letter from an old friend, or the beauty of a sunset enjoyed on the beach.

At times, God’s gift to us is a transition to a new job, the beginning of a new season, the choice of a mate with whom to share life, or the beginning of a friendship or church family. The point is, He wants us to taste what He’s given us.

When life presents those fresh opportunities, instead of stepping back in fear or guilt, thinking “I don’t deserve that,” embrace these blessings as gifts from the Father. He is the One who offers small and sometimes large bounties along the way. His gifts are means through which He reminds us of the magnificent love He has for His children.

Instead of shrinking back, taste and see that the Lord is indeed good. He still offers caramels to those he loves.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fantastic Family Friday: A Clean House One Day

The following poem won third place this week in the 2014 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Awards for unpublished works in poetry.

A Clean House One Day

There is coming a day when our house will be straight,
No legos on the den floor, no beach towels on the gate.

I won't trip over Star Wars men in the middle of the night,
And he won't ask me when I come home if we can wrestle and fight

The train table and its many parts will have long been stored away,
And we will have a clean floor and tidy house instead on that day.

The yard will no longer overflow with balls, bikes, and swings,
And I won't find in every nook, cranny, and room baby dolls, stickers, and rings.

Crayons will not be found, spills less frequent, and diapers no more,
Except for a few crayon marks penned long ago on a wall, table, or floor.

Yes, Mom and Dad, there is coming a day when your house will not be cluttered,
For the day will arrive when your child moves away, and then your heart will flutter.

And you will recall olden days of toys, games, and snacks.
The dress-up clothes will be gone, no cowboy hats on the racks.

Dad, forget the golf course! Your hobbies can wait for these oh so precious years.
Stay at home, be silly and play, and give a listening ear.

Mom, make your family number one after faith in God.
Care for them and share your love, like a shepherd's firm but gentle rod.

So please be patient in these years to remember what really matters.
Enjoy your children, embrace them now, and thank God for spilled-milk splatters!

- Rhett H. Wilson

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Old Friends

I ran into these guys last week.  I am the one
in the middle with the big biceps.

Ready for Blue Ridge

This week I am attending the Blue Ridge Mountains Writers Conference at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina.  The BRMCWC experience includes an almost-overwhelming assortment of agents, editors, and authors from the world of Christian publishing.  This year's conferees total almost 400 people with attendees flying in from as far as Germany and Japan.

So, the next several days my head will be loaded with workshops, classes, and loads of information.  Getting ready to attend the conference, I found help and encouragement in Edie Melson's article, "The Value of a Conference isn't Always in the Pitching."  She shares the following . . .

As many of you know, we’re just days away from the 2014 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. If you’re following the blog or part of the Yahoo Eloop it seems that all the talk is about how to pitch your project. And while pitching is good, sometimes it’s not always the best use of your time at a conference.

So what do you do at a conference if you’re not pitching? 

I think the answer is three-fold, and in my opinion, these three answers truly are the most important things you can do at a conference, whether you have something to pitch or not.

Read the entire article here.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Taking a Break

Our family is preparing to enjoy some vacation time the next several days.  It was Vance Havner who said, "If you do not come apart, you will surely come apart."  Looking forward for some family time to just devote to each other and exploring God's creation.  No blogging during those days!

Why Couples Stop Talking

I once heard a story about a retired business executive and his wife. One evening, the wife called friends to ask what they were doing.

"Oh," said the other wife, "we're just talking and drinking tea."

The executive's wife hung up the phone. "They're drinking tea and talking," she told her husband. "Why don't we ever do that?" The executive said, "So, make us some tea." Soon they sat with their freshly brewed tea, stirring the tea and staring at each other. And stirring. And staring.

Read the entire article by Greg Smalley here.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Quote of the Day

Nothing will keep a Christian more immature than trying to keep a list. 
– Charles Swindoll

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Willing to Wait

From the mundane to the profound moments of our lives—from waiting on traffic lights and elevators to the end of suffering or the fulfillment of dreams—life gives us no choice but to wait. Yet patience is becoming a rare quality in today’s world. How often do we complain when something doesn’t happen on the schedule we have in mind, or when some unforeseen obstacle prevents us from moving forward?

For those of us who call upon the name of Jesus, patience is a characteristic we should cultivate. No one is born with it—just look at a newborn baby! Rather, patience is spiritual fruit, which is developed over time (Gal. 5:22-23). Without it, we’ll never become the people God desires us to be or achieve what He’s planned for us to do.

Patience Is Essential for Every Aspect of Life.

Delays. God wants us to respond with calm acceptance to moments and seasons of waiting, while trusting in His sovereignty over every situation. Though the delay may seem annoying and senseless, the Lord uses these times to mature us. One of the first lessons a young child learns is how to wait. And our displays of irritation and anger are really just adult versions of childish tantrums. Each time you feel impatience rise up in your heart, remember that this is an opportunity to choose a mature response instead of acting like a spiritual toddler.

Read the entire article by Charles F. Stanley at the InTouch website.