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Monday, July 31, 2006
Winter cold
Yesterday morning, it was 0 Celsius or 32 Fahrenheit. It would have been nice to have had a logfire to snuggle up to.

This road has four lanes and is usually busy. Guess I must have been the only idiot silly enough to go out in the cold so early on a Saturday morning.

Anyway, I was just studying this photo and it somehow reminded me of life. Our sight is often limited by the seasons we're going through. Some days our way is clear and we can see what's on the horizon.

Other days, the dark, cold mists shut us in and our vision is short. Our course isn't always clear, but as we walk in faith, the Lord guides our way. His word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.

Trust in the Lord and He will make your path straight.
posted by Rulan at 5:17 AM | Permalink | 14 comments
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Alone with my thoughts

posted by Rulan at 6:24 AM | Permalink | 10 comments
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Christian Writers
Hi everyone. Today I learned that not all my blogging friends know of ChristianWriters.com so I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you a little about my favorite web site.

ChristianWriters.com is a community where writers gather for fellowship and to polish their craft. There are even forums where you can place your poetry, fiction, nonfiction and screenplays for critique.

Come on over, sign up for a free membership and join the family. Be sure to introduce yourself and tell them that Hawkie sent you!
posted by Rulan at 5:04 PM | Permalink | 9 comments
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
I visited Cowboy Sunsets this morning and he had a post there about a thunderstorm. As he listened to the storm, his thoughts strayed to Israel, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan.

I was moved to pray and so I felt to post my edited comment here as encouragement to us all to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Oh Lord, raise up Your army to protect Your chosen ones. Let all the earth see Your glory. May the enemy tremble at the mention of Your Holy Name.

The battle belongs to You; Oh Lord Who rides the Heavens.

Come in power and majesty, oh Mighty Father. Raise up a standard. Let only Your will be done.

May every knee bow before You in worship.

In Jesus' Mighty name.

posted by Rulan at 10:26 AM | Permalink | 15 comments
Saturday, July 15, 2006
No greater love
“Friend, this I do for you.” The stranger reached out and touched my hand.

“But sir,” I protested. “I don’t even know you. How can you think of taking my place?”

The stranger smiled the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. “Trust me,” He said. “All will be well.”

Suddenly the guards were there. They seized the stranger and pulled Him away.

“No...!” I cried as His hand slipped from my grasp.

In horror, I watched as they beat Him to the ground. He didn’t even struggle or try to protect Himself.

They bound His wrists then kicked Him and spat on Him..

“Stop it!” I yelled. “Stop it! Can’t you see He is innocent? I am the guilty one.”

I shook the bars of my prison door, but the guards ignored me.

“Please,” I begged. “Tell them you’re innocent. Tell them I’m the one they’re after, not you.”

The stranger looked up with eyes full of love and compassion and my heart broke in two.

What could I do? What could I say?

I could think of nothing as the guards pulled Him to His feet and dragged Him away.

In a daze, I staggered away from the prison door. Tears flooded my eyes and I fell to my knees.

I was the cause of the stranger’s suffering. I buried my face in my hands, but could not escape the look of compassion I had seen in His eyes.

Darkness closed in and nothing broke through the gloom.

Then I heard a sound and looked up as the prison door swung open. Brilliant sunlight flooded in and shadows rushed away.

There stood the Son of God; the One Who had taken my place.

In fear, I fell at His feet.

He reached down and lifted me up. “Do not be afraid, I have come not to judge, but to save. I have come to give you life.”

“But it was because of what I have done, that you died. It should have been me.”

“Yes,” said the Lord. “But I chose to do it. I gave my life, so that you could be free.” He smiled down at me. “No one took my life. I gave it as a gift.”

© 2006 Rulan Capper-Starr
- Rulan's Heart For God

posted by Rulan at 6:05 PM | Permalink | 24 comments
Friday, July 14, 2006
Please continue to pray
Hi all. Thank you so much for your prayers for Kay.
She has bone marrow cancer.

David has posted an update. Curmudgeon's Rant
Please continue to pray.
posted by Rulan at 1:33 PM | Permalink | 9 comments
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Prayer request
Please pray for David’s friend, Kay. She needs
a miracle and we know the miracle worker.

Please visit David's blog Curmudgeon's Rantto learn more. And remember, our God delights to do the impossible!

He reigns from heaven on high and He loves us all.All praise, honor and glory be unto our God forever and ever, AMEN!
posted by Rulan at 7:35 AM | Permalink | 8 comments
Monday, July 10, 2006
This was my dog Tessa.
Her mum was a German shepherd;
her dad was most likely a Labrador retriever.

She was my baby before I had any children
and she has long since gone. What a dog
she was. She learned so fast and was so keen
to please. Every time I picked up the lead,
she’d rush to my side, waiting for her
mistress’s commands. She would bark and
growl on command or be silent.

Tessa had a heart. She would face down
anything I set her to. Whether it was a bull or
crazed cow with a calf, Tessa would be
there if I needed her. She would have given
her life to protect me, yet when my children
came along, she was gentle as a lamb.

If I was down the farm and Tessa was a long
way from me, as long as she could see me,
I could raise my arm in the air and then bring
it down with my hand out flat and she
would drop to the ground. She would stay there,
on that spot, until I gave another signal.

I could say, “Over” and Tessa would go in
whatever direction I pointed. She wasn’t
trained to work stock, but I had taught
her many verbal and nonverbal commands
that proved invaluable on the farm.

One day, we were walking around the farm
with our boss and I put Tessa in a down stay.
We kept walking and talking while watching
the hay being bailed. Then the tractor entered
the paddock where Tessa was.

As the bailer worked around the paddock,
it got closer and closer to her. Finally, the bailer
was heading straight for Tessa.

I thought Tessa would move, but she didn’t.
I yelled, but she couldn’t hear me above the
noise of the machinery.

Tessa looked at me, looked at the bailer then
looked back at me. She wasn’t going to budge
unless I gave her the command. The tractor
driver had to stand on the brakes and wait.

I raised my arm then slapped my leg and
Tessa flew to me like a bullet from a gun.

I can't help but wonder what God could do with
that kind of trust and obedience.
posted by Rulan at 4:19 PM | Permalink | 16 comments
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
July 5

Here is something really different. But really cool.

Author (and blogger) Brandilyn Collins has written a novel that comes out in August called Violet Dawn. It is part of a new series she has started called the Kanner Lake Series. She sent out Advance Reader Copies to those who requested them and asked them to choose a character that they liked. Then she asked the readers to send her a make believe post from the character for a make believe blog by the 'Kanner Lake' make believe residents. This is going to be an actual blog full of ficticious bloggers written by real bloggers who liked Violet Dawn. Confusing? Well, it begins today, July 5th! Go check it out by pressing the button for Java Joint!
posted by Rulan at 4:54 PM | Permalink | 11 comments
4th July
Here in New Zealand, it's already
4th July.
Would it be vain to wish myself
a happy birthday?
Anyone for tea or coffee
and a slice of banana cake?
posted by Rulan at 12:37 PM | Permalink | 27 comments
Saturday, July 01, 2006

It is July 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and their latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:
Marilynn Griffith.

Marilynn Griffith is a freelance writer and conference speaker whose online columns reach over 20,000 women each month. Her recent writing credits include Pink(Shades of Style #1), Made of Honor, Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman's Soul, Proverbs for the People, and For Better or for Worse. She is also a blogger! Visit her Rhythms of Grace blog and learn ever so much! Marilynn lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with her husband and children.

Her latest book, Jade (Shades of Style #2), just came out and she has agreed to be our July feature author for the FIRST Day Blog tour.

Having the perfect life isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Designer Lily Chau doesn't know if she's finally got it together or if life is starting to unravel. With a successful boyfriend and a great job at up-and-coming fashion house Garments of Praise, it seems she has the perfect pattern for success. But her mother's health is failing, her boyfriend just won't pop the question, and being a pattern maker is a far cry from having a clothing line of her own. Lily is sure her hands are just too full to draw her deepest dreams.

Raya and Chenille, Lily's pals at Garments of Praise offer plenty of advice and sympathy. Jean, Lily's co-worker and second Mom even goes behind Lily's back to boost her chances of success. When she's chosen for the reality show The Next Design Diva, it seems like the chance of a lifetime for Lily. But the mysterious designer chosen to mentor her sends her spinning. He's fresh, fine—and way off limits. Suddenly Lily's life goes from carefully patterned to nothing but a tangle of threads.

Praise for the Shades of Style series:

"Griffith's ...Shades of Style series features four women in the fashion industry: Raya, Chenille, Lily, and Jean. The women fight to save their struggling business and learn some important lessons about people, life, and faith."— Library Journal

“The …Shades of Style series combines multicultural characters with heartache, drama, humor, and romance.”—Charisma Magazine
Read the FIRST chapter!


The envelope held Lily Chau’s future. She held a letter opener, stabbing under her nails for the remnants of her past. Skimming under the nail of her ring finger, she snagged what she’d been going for, a hunk of prunes caught under her nail last week during the chop and puree fest once known as her mother’s breakfast. A breakfast that her mother had returned as quickly as Lily had spooned it all in, leaving Lily standing in a puddle in her best shoes.

“Jump in the shower. Grab the black pants. Your wrap blouse is clean. I saw it the other day,” her neighbor Pinkie had said, arms going in every direction. “You don’t know how to feed her, Lily. You should have waited for me.”

Lily had tried to wait, but her mother wasn’t in a waiting mood today. The guilt over leaving her mother hungry with their neighbor had sent her into a chopping blending frenzy that ended as such things usually did, seeping into her shoes and staining her best skirt. But that was okay. She’d put a barrette in her mother’s hair and fed her breakfast. Where God chose to store that breakfast was up to Him.

Though Lily was known around the office for her eclectic and exciting personal style, the pants she wore now were turning into her work uniform. But her mother was still alive, her boyfriend was still dropping hints about their inevitable wedding and she grew closer to God each day. Things were good, with hopes of getting better. Becoming stable.

So why was she holding the letter opener in both hands? Lily poked the point of it into the envelope, tracing the letters in the return address: The Next Design Diva Show, Nia Network. Lily slipped the blade into the envelope’s back flap then slid her finger against the instrument’s edge. She pulled upward slightly, ripping the corner and . . .

“Are you sleeping in here?” A husky voice laced with laughter echoed in the hall before its speaker reached Lily’s office. Jean believed in giving people warnings of her impending arrival, even her friends. For everyone but Lily, the announcement was usually warranted since people tended to find Jean a little intimidating. Lily saw through Jean’s fast moves and loud talk . . . to her heart. She hoped her friend wouldn’t see her through her just as quickly today.

“Can’t you ever stay in your office during the creative hour? We’ve got thirty more minutes. Take a nap why don’t you? Or color in a coloring book like that guy over in production.” Though Lily chided her loving workaholic friend for coming to visit when they were all supposed to be spending time alone to refuel their creativity, the interruption was a gift. For a moment she’d let herself consider something impossible. Something still forked on her letter opener.

Jean whisked into the office just as Lily swept the letter into her desk drawer, where it would accompany her secret copy of Modern Bride and a cigarette she’d found after quitting and hadn’t thrown away.

Lily squirmed under her friend’s withering glance as Jean pushed Lily’s huge fossil doorstep into place. Jean shook her head. “Oh my. Now she’s cramming things into that drawer again. Don’t tell me. You’re peeking at those silly ten dollar wedding books? Or were you dreaming of that picket fence on Long Island with your doctor friend?”

Warmth rushed to Lily’s face. “Neither. You need to stay out of my desk, you nosy thing.”

Jean approached Lily like a lioness in a good suit. A hearty laugh bubbled up from her throat. “Listen, honey, nobody needs to be nosy to know anything around here, especially when you stuff that drawer so full it can’t shut. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to come in here and pick all that mess off the floor since you ran the custodian away from here.”

“Here you go with that again. I told you. I did not run the custodian away. He can still clean in here . . . when I’m around.”

“Uh huh,” Jean shook her head in pity.

“He was stealing my rocks!” Lily banged the letter opener on her desk, wanting to shove it into the drawer too, but now to afraid at what might come flying out if she did.

“Listen to what you just said. Stealing rocks. Now I admit you’ve got some of the best pebble and bauble collections I’ve ever seen, but you’ve got to let it go.” She reached around Lily and yanked out the drawer. The magazine unfurled as if she’d pulled the string on a parachute. Fabric swatches, neon note squares and office supplies spilled over the sides and onto the floor.

Jean stuck her hand toward the back and came out with a pitiful excuse for a Virginia Slim. “You’ve got to let this go too. You haven’t smoked in almost two years. What are you doing, planning a slow suicide some time in the future?”
“I-I-just give me that, okay?” Lily reached for the cigarette and peeled back its skin, emptied the tobacco guts into the trash while trying not get too much of the smell on her fingers. As she considered what she’d really saved up for later, disobeying the voice of God, Lily became much less concerned with Jean and more concerned with her own heart. Sometimes it seemed like she’d come so far, but there still those little secrets she tried to keep, parts of her life she tried to stuff in a drawer. And God kept having to come and pick up the pieces when it spilled over the side.

She grabbed a wet wipe from her purse and scrubbed her hands, only to realize what dangled from Jean’s fingers.

The envelope.

The rumpled magazine had covered it, but as usual Jean had left no stone, or mangled bridal book unturned. She looked as though she’d caught a tiger by the tail.

“So they did pick you! I knew they would. They had to. I told Raya I was going to call her father myself if they didn’t.”

Lily froze. She’d carried the envelope around in her purse for two days wondering why the show had written her. She considered submitting sketches several times, but each time something happened with her mother’s health to make her forget it. There was also the quiet that had come over her every time she’d prayed about it. She felt as though she was suppose to wait and see the salvation of the Lord, that what God had would come to her through another way. Now it seemed that her other way might be from the office down the hall. “What did you do?”

Beads from Jean’s bracelets jangled as she shook her wrists. “Nothing much. I took a few sketches from your book and scanned them. Sent that robe you designed for that stupid boyfriend of yours—”

Lily clenched her fists. “The kimono? That was Ken’s Christmas present. I’ve been looking everywhere for it. How could you?”

Her friend smiled. “Easy. Now hush and open the letter. At least I don’t try and match you up with men. Not that you couldn’t use some help there too . . . Don’t look at me like that. I care about you.”

If this was caring, Lily didn’t want to think of what not caring might feel like. She pried the letter from Jean’s fingers and placed it into the drawer, now empty except for a star-shaped paper clip in neon pink and a pencil with no eraser. Lily’s sketching pencil. She stared up at the ceiling. “Why couldn’t I have regular friends who don’t care about me so much. Goodness, Jean, how could you? I mean sure I’d love to have my own line, my own show, but I can’t—”

“Here we go again. You really should have been a Catholic you, know. You’re a natural at the guilty martyr thing.” Jean dropped into the chair a few inches away. “We’ve been over this a gazillion times. You can do this. None of your excuses hold water, especially your first one, that you’re not good enough. You’re good enough and you have the sense to still question your talent. Good enough for me. As for your mother, she can go wherever you go.”

It was Lily’s turn to laugh this time, though there was little humor in it. “Like the way your grandkids could go wherever you go, Jean?”

Her stoic friend grabbed the desk with a white-knuckled grip. “Okay, you got me. I still think you should open it. Just to know.”

“No thanks,” Lily said, taking the letter from the drawer and ripping it to shreds. “Some things are best left unknown. The things that count though, that people care about you and want the best for you, those are the prizes of life.”

Jean’s jaw tightened as she swept the torn bits of paper into the trash with her cupped hand. “Oh, please. Friendship is great and everything, but this is it! Your shot. And you ripped it up. How could you?”

Lily covered her friend’s hand with her own. “I don’t know, but I did. If it’s mine, God will bring it back . . . at a time when my hands are free enough to hold it.”

From JADE, by Marilynn Griffith, Revell Books

0800730410, June 2006, Copyright © 2006. All rights


posted by Rulan at 6:16 PM | Permalink | 7 comments