Friday, April 30, 2010

Author Spotlight - Tammy Doherty

This Author Spotlight is on Tammy Doherty.

Tammy Doherty is the author of three historical Christian romance novels. She lives on a small farm in central New England with her husband and two children, where they grow and sell perennials and also raise chickens. Her daughter currently has thirteen Bantam chickens – all pets. When not writing, taking care of the plants or chasing after her youngest child, Tammy enjoys reading, connecting with friends on Facebook, and watching Dr. Who. Visit Tammy at her website or at her blog, Faith, Fiction & Friends.

1) How long have you been writing?
I learned to write at a young age and started writing stories soon after. But I didn’t get serious until 2000, when we bought our first computer. By then, I had matured and so had the stories in my imagination. Even so, it took a year and an epiphany of sorts to figure out exactly what I wanted to write.

2) If you could give new writers one piece of advice, what would you say?
Get involved in a critique group and listen to your critique partners. Don’t dismiss criticism – if you don’t learn and change, you won’t grow and your writing will always be half-rate at best.

3) What was your best decision as a writer?
Joining American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) has definitely been the best decision I’ve made as a writer. The fellowship alone is worth the membership fee, but there are so many more benefits. I participated in a few on-line courses (free to members!) which helped hone my skills. This year I joined the critique loop and through that I’ve hooked up with 5 fantastic critique partners. One of my CP’s, Nike Chillemi, and I have started a blog with fellow ACFW member David Arp. I can’t stress enough how wonderful this membership has been for me. I recommend it to all who write Christian fiction, or Christian writing of any kind.

4) I understand you have a book coming out, tell me about the book.
This spring I am officially launching my third novel, Celtic Knot. This novel was published in 2005 but released at the same time as my son was born. It never received any promotion or marketing, since my time was taken up with the baby.

Celtic Knot is the 3rd in a related series. The story takes place in 1890 Colorado. Secret service agent Kyle Lachapelle is working undercover on the Big L-O ranch, looking for a counterfeit ring. He’s immediately attracted to Abby Finnegan when they meet, yet he’ll be moving on when this case closes. It wouldn’t be fair to toy with her affections, especially since her heart has already been broken by the death of her beloved husband. Abby is also attracted to the handsome, rugged, gentlemanly newcomer. But he works for her family. Her father has ruled this town with an iron fist for decades and her older brother is following in his footsteps. How can she trust a man who works for the Bigelows? When Kyle learns of Abby’s connection to his counterfeiting case he’s not sure she can be trusted. Then Abby’s daughter, Milly, disappears and Abby’s best friend is murdered. Kyle and Abby must overcome their distrust to save Milly and solve the case. But can love conquer their fears?

5) What do you hope the reader takes away from your book?
In this novel, I tried to show God’s love vs. earthly love. Abby grew up in a loveless family. Only when she met her husband did she learn about God. After he died, she questions why the Lord allows bad things to happen if He loves us. As she struggles with faith, her best friend believes she is in love with Abby’s brother, and that he loves her in return. But things go horribly wrong with their relationship.

I hope readers will see the purity of God’s love and the need to have a relationship with Him first and foremost. If a reader is not yet a believer, I hope this story will either answer some questions or encourage the reader to seek answers to new questions.

Above all else, my goal is to write an enjoyable story. I hope readers will be left wanting to read more!

6) What challenges have you had in getting your book published?
When I started writing, I knew nothing about getting published. I used Sally Stuart’s Christian Writer’s Market Guide. Everywhere I read, attending conferences was strongly suggested. Yet there weren’t any near me. I got lucky when a NH writers’ group hosted a one-day workshop/seminar with Steve Laube as keynote speaker. At that time, Steve was with Bethany House. His advice sticks with me to this day.

Because I felt there was little chance of attending a conference to pitch my work to an agent or editor, I chose to self-publish my books (POD). The first book was so well received it encouraged me to continue writing. I published the two follow-up novels in the same manner.

()Many people pooh-pooh self-published books. The company I chose, Xulon Press, designed beautiful covers for all three of my books. The books each have IBSN numbers. Xulon Press helped with getting them listed with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and hundreds of other on-line booksellers. The drawback to self-publishing is that the author is responsible for all editing. I worked extremely hard on the copy edits and even made sure to get permission to use KJV Bible quotes. Despite all that work, there are typos, just like all books by any well-known author from the “big” traditional publishers.

For my next novel, a contemporary romantic suspense, I am going to go the traditional publisher route. Because the other drawback to self-publishing, even POD, is the expense. I don’t have the money to publish this one myself. But I do have a fan base eager for my next book. I hope that, along with a well-written story of course, will convince a publisher to take a chance on me. You can purchase Celtic Knot below:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

Today, I was irritated. Circumstances were not smiling upon me, and everything seemed to go wrong, causing me to start the day tired, irritable, and frustrated. It’s funny how that big problems aren’t the things that usually weigh us down. It is the little things. The things that feel like sand in our shoes.

During my morning commute, I usually listen to the Bible on audio. It is a time that I normally enjoy, but today I didn’t want to listen to the Bible. I felt irritated and wasn’t in a spiritual mood. I felt compelled to listen anyway, so I thought, “I’ll do it. But I know I won’t get anything out of it.”

I was wrong. During the course of listening, I heard Psalm 50, and I was struck by something I heard at the end of the chapter. Psalm 50:14-15

14 Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High.
15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me."

The passage is talking about how Israel was focused on offering sacrifices to God, and the Lord asks what man can give that he doesn’t already own. The Lord spends several verses stressing that our religious acts, sacrifices, and offerings mean nothing in themselves. But then in verse 14, God tells us to offer to God thanksgiving. This is the sacrifice God desires. In fact, it is the only sacrifice that really means anything. Without a thankful heart, righteous acts and sacrifices are merely vain rituals. Keeping the law and commandments may restrain our lives, but the only action that truly touches the heart of God is an offering of thanksgiving.

Ironically, this is the sacrifice that cost us the least, but carries the greatest value. Thirty-nine times the Bible uses the phrase, “give thanks,” including 1 Thessalonians 5:18

18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

How many times have we asked God to show us his will? Of all the things that we imagine as the will of God, he chose to specifically direct us to give thanks – in everything. Ah, therein is the problem. That nasty little word, ‘everything’. It would be easy to thank God for my job, my house, family, possessions, health, and any number of things we consider to be a blessing, but everything?

I certainly didn’t feel very thankful. I began to muse on this command and think about all the things in life. Does God really want us to be thankful in what irritates us? Then I thought on an example from the Old Testament. As Israel wandered through the desert, God sheltered them from the heat of the scorching sun, gave the light at night. He gave them streams of water in the desert, and manna from heaven. When they tired of manna, God sent quail. And this is after God broke the will of Pharaoh and freed them from 400 years of slavery. Slavery was a burden so heavy, they couldn’t bare it and cried to the Lord for deliverance.

All the miracles and benevolence of God was laid out in their midst, and what did they do? Did they sing to God with a thankful heart? They did when God first destroyed the army pursuing them, but in a matter of days, they forgot and began to focus on the things that irritated them. Then they focused on the things they didn’t have. This people, who begged God for deliverance, actually started forming a party to return to Egypt to go back into bondage. The things they didn’t like blinded them to God’s goodness, and blinded them to the very pain they left behind. They actually thought it would be better to be beaten by taskmasters and make bricks for no reward than to follow God. Oh, the absurdity of human nature.

The truth is that they were not thankful because they were focusing on what they didn’t have and what they didn’t like, and could not see the goodness of God right before their eyes. Their thankless hearts were blinded to the loving-kindness of God.

As I mused, I began to realize that I struggle with the same things. Why can’t I be thankful in all things? It is because I allow the things that I don’t like to blind me to the loving-kindness of God that fills my life. Like Israel, I find myself murmuring and questioning God. As if, I somehow know better than he does. The truth is that my role is to fulfill the will of God in my life by being thankful in all things. That means taking my eyes off what bothers me, and placing it on the Lord as I look for his hand in all things.

Since I know the Bible says that all things work together for my good within God’s purpose, and are foreordained by God to shape me into his image, I have to decide whether to walk by faith, or by sight. God declared that we are to walk by faith, and if we draw back, he has no pleasure in our lives.

So why does God allow seemingly meaningless things to irritate me? How could something that has no apparent value and only serves as an irritant be for my good? I may never know, but after thinking about it, I found a couple of things to consider.

One. Have you ever met someone who has had everything given to them and has only known a life of ease? I’ve known men who have scratched and clawed their way into a successful business and have become rich. Yet, their children have never experienced what it feels like to have nothing, and they expect everything. Often the second generation feels like life owes them everything. Their character is tissue thin and they become spoiled by luxury. A spoiled child looks at everything from the perspective of how it makes them feel. If they want it, they think they have a right to it. If they don’t like something, they feel violated when they don’t get their way.

This is evident in the lives of children, but it is prevalent in our lives as well. It’s human nature. As Christians, when we are blessed by God, we’ll begin to expect God to answer every expectation unless something changes in our hearts. When I don’t get my way, my first response is to react negatively. Instead of thanking God, I murmur. There must be a conscious effort to turn my eyes off the things I don’t appreciate and focus on the love of God as I acknowledge his wisdom, and thank him for his work in my life.

I talked about those who have never needed, but also consider those who have lacked. When someone has gone through a difficult time, they quickly recognize good and appreciate what they have been given. During the Cold War era, a Soviet ambassador came to America and was given a tour of the sites we consider part of our national pride. Nothing impressed her until she walked into a grocery store. The woman broke down in tears when she saw the full shelves, wide selections, and people shopping and taking whatever they wanted. When is the last time you walked in a grocery store and felt moved by all that we have available to us? It has been such a common blessing that it never crosses our minds.

Two. The things we don’t like can force us to look for what is good. In many ways, it is a test of our faithfulness. Let’s go back to our example of Israel. After God showed his mighty works and promised the people that they would inherit the land promised to Abraham, he sent twelve spies into the land. God told them they would find a fruitful land, flowing with milk and honey.

The twelve men returned and declared that the land was exactly as God had promised it, but the people there were too strong and the challenges too great. They turned back from the promise of God because they couldn’t accept the test of their faith. Their faith was overthrown by giants in the land, but we are overthrown by gnats buzzing around our heads.

Every Christian struggles with this to one degree or another, but I am trying to learn from the example of Numbers 14:27-29

27 "How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me.
28 "Say to them, 'As I live,' says the LORD, 'just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you:
29 'The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above.

Fortunately, we don’t face the danger of dying in a literal desert, yet many Christians are dying in a desert of a fruitless Christian life. We dry up and die inside because we can’t see the blessings of the Lord and his perfect plan in our lives. The only thing we notice is what causes us to complain, and since our lives are foreordained by the Lord (Romans 8:28-30), our complaint is against him.

God will allow things that bother me to irritate me in order to see if I trust him and will do his will – offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving in all things. So, through Psalm 50 I realized that I was falling into the same trap that has plagued humanity from the beginning. Before me was a choice – give thanks and choose to lift up a thankful heart to the Lord so I can walk in his promises, or toss my own irritable human nature in his face, and complain about the handful of things that aren’t going my way. As real as my problems may seem to be, they are still filtered through the hand of God.

I found what I already knew to be true. When I began to thank him, the buzzing gnats grew faint and had no power to irritate me. Song of Solomon says to catch the little foxes that spoil the vines and rob from us the tender grapes. That is a murmuring spirit. Like a fox that steals the fruit, murmuring steals the joy of salvation and the blessings of the Lord. A fruitful life cannot coexist with a murmuring spirit.

The command to have a thankful heart is a price that will cost you nothing, but gain everything. I say nothing, but that’s because I consider pity parties as nothing. All God is asking me to do is give up what darkens my soul and lift my eyes to the light of his loving-kindness. Understanding this adds new meaning to Psalm 36:7-9

7 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
8 They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
9 For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light

The light that opens our eyes comes when we trust in the Lord and submit ourselves under the shadow of his wings. A place, by the way, where distrust and unthankfulness aren’t welcomed. I’m reminded of the words of Jesus as he wept over Jerusalem. He said, “How I longed to gather you under my wings as a hen gathers her chicks, but you would not come.”

I realized that I must heed the same voice, or refuse the shelter and promises of God. He calls for me to come with a thankful heart, drink and be refreshed from his river, and be satisfied with his abundance. Why then should I cling to the things that rob me of this pleasure? What an amazing God we serve. He asks me to sacrifice my murmuring attitude and replace it with thankfulness. A thankful heart itself changes my life, but it doesn’t end there. As I thank him, the Lord draws me to the river of his pleasures – the place where blessings and promises flow directly from his throne.

Eddie Snipes

Statements to Ponder

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap
when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm
pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you
how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a
moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...AGAIN.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this - EVER.

15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello
?), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voice mail. What did you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

17. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

18. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

19. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

20. Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.

21. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

22. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.

23. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

24. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

25. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

26. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

27. Is it just me or do high school kids get dumber & dumber every year?

28. There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure
you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

29. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

30. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

31. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Three Things - A questionaire

Here is an interesting questionnaire someone sent me a while back.

-1- Three Names I go by:
1. Eddie
2. Ed
3. George Edward (Only my mother calls me this)

-2- Three Jobs I have had in my life:
1. Burger flipper
2. Computer Technician
3. Manager

-3- Three Places I have lived:
1. America
2. Germany
3. Panama

-4- Three TV Shows that I watch:
1. Forensic shows (the real kind)
2. Sports
3. A blank TV screen

-5- Three places I have been:
1. Disney World and Land
2. Paris
3. Crazy

-6- People that e-mail me regularly:
1. Dozens of people through my website
2. Hundreds of people at work
3. Thousands of spammers

-7- Three of my favorite foods:
1. Chocolate
2. Collards and Cornbread
3. Beef vegetable soup (My wife makes the best in the world!)

-8- Three things I would like to do:
1. Survive parenthood
2. Move to the country
3. Tap dance on oatmeal and recite Shakespeare

-9- Things I am looking forward to:
1. Getting home everyday
2. Moving out of a neighborhood
3. Eternity

-10- Foods I won't eat:
1. Raw Onions - they are pure evil.
2. Potato salad - it is impure evil
3. Sushi - it is a foreboding evil.

-11- Things I notice first about people:
1. Smile
2. Eyes
3. Attitude

-12- Things I love to do in the summer:
1. Garden
2. Eating what came out of the garden
3. Watching thunderstorms at night

-13- Things I hate to do in the summer:
1. Cut grass - I don't really hate it unless the lawnmower is having problems
2. Dealing with Mosquitoes
3. Killing fire ants. Actually I love killing them, I just hate having them in the yard.

-14- Things I wish I did better:
1. I wish I could speak slower (My wife just corrected me to say, "It should be 'more slowly.'" Not really, but I know she was thinking it.)
2. I wish I had a good memory. Even so, I have never forgot anything least not that I can remember.
3. Be a better father and husband.

Post 'Three Things' and link your blog in the comments.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Joy of Tax Season!

It’s tax season! Saying this to Uncle Sam is like saying, “It’s deer season” to a hunter. Government officials are loading up while IRS agents point out the big game. Uncle Sam is so excited, he’s already spent what he’ll bag this year. And next year. And the next. I could go on, but you’ll bore if I list how many years Sam has already hocked.

Each election season, our Uncle may change his appearance, but he’s been remarkably consistent in presenting his smiling face as he gives a warm hug, and pats his people on the wallet. A few years ago, one of our Uncles inspired us with a sacrifice of giving seventy-dollars to charity. Another year, his first lady declared her used underwear as a contribution, and wrote it off her taxes. Now that’s inspiration! What more could our leaders do to show their intimate care of the American people, than to share their undies with the less fortunate?

I have a limited amount of undies, but I’ve taken my fingers, forced the corners of my mouth into a smile, and finalize my contributions. Generosity is such a part of my nature, my Uncle has taken liberty to pull contributions directly from my paycheck. I didn’t even have to volunteer! Sometimes, when he is pleased, he gives some of it back. Some are opposed to this, and call it ‘giving to the rich’, but I don’t mind.

Once, I almost lost the joy of contributing. Shortly after marriage, my taxes became complicated. Today, I pondered the fond memories of my first tax season of Married Filing Jointly. Looking at the forms, I had to choose between 1040EZ, 1040 E=MC2, 1040 Egyptian-Hieroglyphic, 1040 Mayan-2012 edition, or one of the other options. I thought the EZ sounded promising until I read the instructions. It had three lines:

1-How much did you earn?

2-How much have you contributed?

3-Subtract line A from line B. This is the amount owed.

I was feeling confused until I saw the Tax information hotline. I pressed buttons until I heard, “Press 8 to speak to a friendly representative.” I poked the key and waited patiently for three and a half hours. I was so excited about contributing my fair share my wait only seemed like minutes. Many minutes. A woman answered – at least I think it was a woman – and said, “You may now ask your irrelevant question. Please.”

When I explained my need, she said in a friendly sigh, “I need to ask you a few hundred questions. Grab all your personal and financial information and we’ll begin.”

I pulled the drawers from my filing cabinet. “Okay. I think I’m ready.”

“That’s what they all say.” I could hear the smile in her voice. “Do you or have you ever owned a home, trailer, car, luxury yacht, dollhouse, any other material or non-material property, and if so, have you ever market assessed its depreciation, appreciation, deflectuation, had monetarily valuation of the circumference of the said material, non-material, intellectual, or abstraction within the last –.”

I hung up. She was right, I was too stupid to talk to her. I decided to go with the 1040A. It was the first letter of the alphabet, and it only had 7500 lines. It started simple enough, but as I continued, I felt like I was wading into deeper waters. It was ankle deep, waist deep, and then I dropped in over my head.

The problem started when I reached line 2000. The form said, “If totals from line 976 is greater than the total of 421a, but less than 421j, or is less than the total of line 1023, but greater than the total of 421m while not exceeding the combination of lines 85, 130, and 587z while remaining greater than the totals of lines 901, 935a, and 950az, enter that amount here.”

I was beginning to get frustrated. I stepped off the ledge and was now swimming in the sea of stupidity. It was so simple. Why didn’t I get it? I tried again. After all, how hard can it be to add and subtract simple numbers? I walked through the instructions, and felt the pressure building in my head. I breathed deeply. “Okay, calm down, and let’s start again from the beginning.” As an added precaution, I wrapped masking tape around my head to keep it from blowing under the pressure. I began again, and again, and again. Then it happened. There was a blinding light and I started shredding forms and gnashing paper.

My wife eased the door open to see the cause of the commotion. I looked up and our eyes met. I looked down at the pieces of paper that once represented my patriotic dreams, and looked up again. I saw her eyes fixed on my forehead and I remembered the tape wrapped around my noggin. I spit out a wad of 1040A and said, “I can explain.” As I picked tape from my hair, the words wouldn’t come. The only words I could think of were, “I need help.” My wife nodded and closed the door.

I swallowed my pride and began my quest for answers. I found something called Turbo Tax, and for the last fifteen years, it has translated my crude language into something the government can understand. I have no idea what it does, but I put in a few answers and it spits out a return. Unless we adopt the Fair Tax, I don’t think anyone will ever understand our tax system. This software is the closest thing in existence. I haven’t eaten a single tax document in fifteen years!

Now I’m looking for software to help bridge the gap between women and men. If someone from Intuit reads this, can you start working on a product called Turbo-Spouse? It would be nice to answer a few questions and know exactly what my wife wants, and then be able to answer in a language she can understand. Eddie Snipes

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Yet, Even More Modern Proverbs

01. Trust everybody ... then cut the cards.

02. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.

03. Its always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

04. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

05. A lways remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

06. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

07. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

08. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

09. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is probably not for you.

10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat all day long.

11. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment.

12. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember what you said.

13. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

17. Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

19. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

20. Experience is something you don't get until after you need it.

21. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

22. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Even More Modern Proverbs

1. A day without sunshine is like night.

2. On the other hand, you have different fingers.

3. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

4. 99 percent of Politicians give the rest a bad name.

5. Remember, half the people you know are below average.

6. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

7. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

8. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.

9. Support bacteria. They're the only culture most people have.

10. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

11. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.

12. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.

13.. How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand.

14. OK, so what's the speed of dark?

15. When everything is coming your way, you're driving on the wrong side of the road.

16. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.

17. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?

18. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

19. What happens if you get scared half to death, twice?

20. Why do psychics have to ask you your name?

21. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, "What the heck happened?"

22. Just remember -- if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.

23. Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

24. Life isn't like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapenos. What you take on today, might burn your behind tomorrow.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Honk if you love Sunrise Services

It was Easter morning. My mother flicked on the light in my room and shook me awake. I tried to bully the sleep from my eyes with my fists, but when I saw the dark purple sky outside, I pulled the covers over my head and rolled over. My snoozing was snatched away when my mother returned, pulled off the covers, and forced me into action.

I was seven years old, and my sister was eight. We dragged ourselves to the car, grumbling about being tired. Sunrise Easter service was not as exciting as catching a few more winks of sleep. How could we sing praises to the Lord with a merry heart, when we didn’t even have the energy to sit up? My mother relented, tossed a couple of blankets into the car, and we were off to church.

A piano, pulpit, and the choir gathered behind the church on a precipice that overlooked a pasture. As the service progressed, the sun rose over rolling hills, providing worshipers with a picturesque view behind the preacher.

My mother placed us in the front and back seats as she draped blankets over our lifeless bodies, then joined the choir. There must have been something magical in the way the piano played, for once the music hit our ears, our weary bodies were resurrected with new life.

I’m sure my sister started it. She might tell you otherwise, but don’t believe her. I was watching the service and soaking in the music, when she attacked me. I had no choice but to defend myself. We were locked in mortal combat when my sister tumbled backwards and sat on the horn. It was loud and long. We looked to see if anyone noticed. The windows were now fogged up, so we assumed that if we couldn’t see out, they couldn’t see in.

I dove to the back seat, and my sister followed. We then dove to the front seat. My sister fell against the horn again. Another long blare. I fought to regain control of the battle, and grabbed the only thing within my grasp. It wasn’t the horn. It was the steering wheel. However, as I pulled myself up, my elbow hit the horn and it blasted the congregation again. But that was my sister’s fault, because she was pushing down on me.

We continued to leap back and forth like two squirrels fighting for territory. At last count, we had made twenty-five leaps across the seats, and only four horn blares. Three for her, but only one for me. All things considered, that was a pretty good percentage. Have you ever tried hand-to-hand combat in a cramped car without hitting the horn?

My mother and father weren’t happy. After arriving home, my sister and I weren’t happy. For some reason, my mother wasn’t impressed with the fact that only one horn honk was the result of physical contact with my body. She describes the scene as a car, rocking violently with an occasional blasting of the horn. Like my sister and I, she was also grateful that the windows were fogged up so no one could identify the children inside. Unfortunately, everyone watched my parents climb into the car.

This was the day I discovered that car horns were distractions to outdoor services, and that my parents do not enjoy being humiliated in front of the church. When the Easter Bunny came to deliver our baskets, my dad shot him and my mother buried his corpse in the back yard – along with the treats he’d brought for good boys and girls.

Few churches conduct sunrise services these days, but if they do, and you are disposed to go, do not leave weary children in the car. If you do, be sure to disconnect the battery or disable the horn. Have a happy Easter!

Eddie Snipes

Saturday, April 3, 2010

More Modern Proverbs

1. It is only those who never do anything who never make mistakes.

2. Wise men listen to wise counsel. Fools won't take it.

3. Many complain of their looks, but none of their brains.

4. If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

5. Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.

6. I personally think we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain.

7. You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.

8. Patience will come to those who wait for it.

9. Incoming fire has the right of way.

10. Nothing is as easy as it looks.

11. Everything is easy if you know how to do it.

12. Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

13. Success always occurs in private, and failure in full view.

14. If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.

15. Every solution breeds new problems.

16. If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then.

17. If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

18. Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.

19. It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

20. If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong.

21. Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.

22. Everything takes longer than you think.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Modern Proverbs

1. War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left.

2. A man who lives in glass house should change clothes in the basement.

3. A man who scratches his feet should not bite his fingernails.

4. A bird in the hand is safer than one overhead.

5. You can lead a fool to wisdom, but you can't make him think.

6. A Wise Man can see more from the bottom of a well than a Fool can see from the top of a mountain.

7. Hear and you forget; see and you remember; do and you understand.

8. Whining is a condition in which the tongue works faster than the mind.

9. There are no short cuts to any place worth going.

10. A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.

11. A peacock who sits on his tail is just another turkey.

12. He who never made a mistake, never made a discovery.

13. Education makes a graduate, but mistakes make you an expert.

14. It is never too late to be what you might have been.

15. If you are willing to admit faults, you have one less fault to admit.

16. You cannot get to the top by sitting on your bottom.

17. If you rescue a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

18. In golf, as in life, it is the follow through that makes the difference.

19. The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does.

20. The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

21. Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.

Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ

It is frequently argued that there is no evidence outside the Bible to verify the Bible’s claims. Thank God this is far from true; history, archaeology and science are filled with irrefutable proofs that validate the scriptures. In this study we will look at historical accounts that are widely accepted as credible by both biblical scholars and secular historians.
To view this three part study, visit