Monday, December 31, 2018

Who's Gonna Go Through Your Stuff?


A two car garage with no place for a car.

Between the womb and the grave, we collect a lot of stuff. After you leave this earth, who will sort your belongings? Who will keep a few things, give some items to charity, and throw the rest away?


Here's another question to ponder. What will they find?

You can't continue to hide secrets once you vacate this life.

My hubby and I recently sorted through our daughter's home. Her hubby died and she's desperately ill.  She couldn't help or supervise.

The big, five bedroom 3.5 bath house took days to organize and go through. It was a second marriage for both of them. They each brought stuff to the marriage and then bought new stuff together. Sorting through the place was overwhelming and mind blowing. But we did it. Whew!

We explored all drawers, attic, nooks and crannies.  We had to empty the house to sell it. I found items a mother doesn't want to see. Neither does a dad.  

Not immoral or illegal stuff, merely embarrasing items. 

As we approach the New Year, 2019, let's think about the "stuff" we add to our collections. Is it necessary? Would it embarass someone? Can I afford it? Could the money be better used somewhere else?  Would God be pleased for me to have this? Why have a big house to fill with junk? Is a smaller, simplier way of life easier and better?

A smaller, simplier lifestyle is easier and better....especially for the ones left to go though your stuff.









Saturday, December 22, 2018

Angels at Christmas

If an angel appeared out of nowhere, would you become terrified?

People in the Bible had no forewarning one would materialize. They didn't receive a text message at breakfast stating, "an angel will show up and talk to you at 10:00 this morning."

Of course, if you received such a text, you'd think you'd been hacked or someone had played a joke on you.

Angels appeared without warning to the main characters in the nativity narrative. The Israelites had been promised a king, a savior. The ancient, scrolled, Word predicted He would come as a baby.

Knowing a promise and experiencing it first-hand are two different ballgames.

Angels needed to prepare the people who would be directly involved with this miracle. An angel surprised Zacharias while he was fulfilling temple duties. The messenger told the priest he would have a son and to call him John. The angel left old Zack speechless.

The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and later to Joseph. Gabriel explained what their roles would be as they brought Jesus into the world.

Zacharias, Mary, and Joseph, although scared out of their oatmeal at the time, committed themselves to believe the angel's messages.

Angels prepare us for what God has planned for us. They did a good job on the long-ago hillside with the shepherds. Can you imagine? Sitting around a campfire with your buddies, enjoying the night, telling stories, and making smores.

Suddenly a whole bunch of angels fill the skies and sing to you. What would you do?

They scared the socks off the shepherds but gave them good news. After finding sandals, the shepherds made their way to a manger to see the tiny miracle the angels had told them about.

Angels can appear as themselves. They can also take on human disguises. Sometimes you recognize them, but often, you don't.

Hebrews 13:2. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. KJV

Who knows? Maybe Sarah will visit you. She's a hoot and I promise you...she'll make you laugh. She'll also make you think. She's a delightful, fictional angel, but she might be real. She makes me chuckle with her antics.  Look her up.

And have a Merry Christmas. Be an angel on earth to others.




Thursday, December 20, 2018

Reasons or Excuses?


Here's a silly senario for you. Someone one said, "I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness. He won't give me a bike, but He'll give me clemency."
 This pun is humorous and sad at the same time. Why do we  ask for mercy before we commit the dastardly deed? We are crazy heads. Or maybe merely human.
We give our reasons to God. “I needed a bike to get exercise, but I can’t afford one. Lord, You want me to stay healthy, don’t you? I'll help you help me. I'll steal a bike and not wait for you to provide one. That's okay with you, right?”
Our reasons are excuses to God. He calls them sin.

How about this one. "My wife doesn't meet my needs. My secretary does, God, You know I require attention, so here goes, forgive me God for what I'm gonna do."

Martin Luther. Remember him? I doubt it. No one is alive now who lived when he did. 


In 1517, Martin Luther realized the sale of indulgences by the Catholic church wasn’t invented or approved by God. Back in Luther's day, one could buy the right to sin before the sin took place. In other words, the premeditated sin was supposed to be forgiven before the petitioner committed the beastly act.

What kind of logic is that?

The story is told how Martin Luther was disgusted when he saw a drunken man lying in a ditch. He voiced his repulsion to the intoxicated guy. The man dizzily held up his printed indulgences, the ones giving him permission to sauce himself until he was blotto. He replied to Luther, “It’s okay. I already paid good money for this sin.”
If you know you’re gonna sin, why do it? Should you plan it, carry it out, and then ask for forgiveness? Wouldn’t it be better to not break God’s heart in the first place and then test His mercy?

What premeditated, sinful act do you plan to commit this holiday sesason? Overeat? Too much alcohol? Overspend? Yes, plots are out there, and some of us are asking forgiveness in advance of the action. We are giving our reasons to God.  

Folks, God doesn't work that way. He says, "Your reasons are excuses. They are a no-no."




Sunday, December 16, 2018

Adam's Quote to Eve




What did Adam say the day before Christmas? Hooray!  It's Christmas, Eve!



Maybe if Eve had selected an ornament from a Christmas tree, sin wouldn't have come so soon to all of us.

Oh, wait! There were no gaily decorated trees. Eve didn't have that choice, but she had other choices. What did she do?

She chose a no-no fruit.

So..............

We have Christmas because of sin!

Sin came first.

Then Christmas.

God gave us His son to forgive us of our disobedience.


Rejoice, Eve! It's Christmas. Your sins were forgiven because God planned a manger scene long before you ate the forbidden fruit. 

We call it Christmas.



Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Birth of Jesus




The Birth of Jesus

Jesus came into this world like we all do. Through the womb of a woman. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit to His virgin mother, but we are formed by an earthly father to our human mother.

The birth of Jesus records a weird set of circumstances, right? These conditions occurred only once in history and will never happen again. And just like us mortals, He would live a few years and then die. Unlike us, He stayed dead for only three days. His Father, our God, and His God, raised him back to life.

His development in the womb cocoon was ordinary, and after Jesus completed his growth, He was pushed out into the world. Just like us.

He grew to manhood in a normal fashion, and yet, He was different. His heavenly Father gave him a mission before conception—live a perfect life and go to a cross and perish for human sins.



At the appropriate time, He began His work. 





And at the appropriate time, He finished it. 

Jesus came as a baby.

He will return as King.




These truths in history are the reasons we celebrate Christmas





Friday, December 7, 2018

Grandma Got Run Over by a What?


"Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."

This funny, silly song always makes me laugh. The first time I ever heard it, my daughter and I were headed to the mall for Christmas shopping. We laughed so hard I had to pull off the road. We were hysterical and it took us many moments to recover. It's a precious memory.

The part where the lyrics say Grandma forgot her medication and staggered out the door and the segment about blue and silver candles matching grandma's wig made me think of my mom.

My mom never drank, but she often forgot medication, and this oversight would cause her to stagger. She had beautiful hair and never wore a wig, but her hair sometimes shimmered a blue/silver.

A few people thought I was disrespectful because this crazy song made me think of Mom. I honor her with laughter and sweet memories, and when she was here, she enjoyed the song and laughed with me when she heard it.

Mom made Christmas special, and the reindeer didn't run over her. 

What's your favorite song that makes you smile?

Here's a few lyrics from Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

She'd been drinkin' too much egg nog
And we'd begged her not to go
But she'd forgot her medication
So she stumbled out the door into the snow


Now the goose is on the table
And the pudding made of fig
And a blue and silver candle
That would just have matched the hair in Grandma's wig

Find the lyrics here.

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/homefree/grandmagotrunoverbyareindeer.html


Listen to the silly song here.


And don't forget to buy my three Christmas books. They will make you laugh!

FAITH AND HUMOR



Friday, November 30, 2018

Anita Klumpers and her Chrismas Passed


I'm introducing a new book to you. Don't you love the title? Christmas Passed. Here's the book, but before I tell you about this engaging novel, I want to present the author, Anita Klumpers.


Anita Klumpers is my friend, and she and I have two obvious things in common. We're writers and we both have white hair. We also have husbands and families, but Antia lives way up north, and I live down south.


  
                           Anita Klumpers                                     Gay N. Lewis

I asked Anita if white hair, or platinum as I like to call mine, ran in her family as it does mine.  Here's her anwer.


Will you still be my friend if I tell you my hair is actually almost white? Which is odd because it was always dark brown, like my dad’s. My mom was strawberry blonde that turned to a delightful silver when she got older. Instead of going gray, my hair turned mom’s silvery-white color and I am way too lazy to dye it.

A lot of women spend multiple dollars on hair color. I guess Anita and I are fortunate to have easy hair styles and natural color. We can spend less time with hair and more time on writing.

In her debut book, Winter Watch, she centered her story around a pocket watch. Here's an excerpt from my review. 

"...We begin with the timepiece in Galveston, TX, and end with the watch in Russia. Over the centuries, the artifact gets into the hands of nefarious people, and this adds to the mystery and fascination. This book has romance and suspense...."

I asked Anita if she'd ever been to Galveston or Texas. Here's her answer. 


I’ve driven through Texas only once, but did spend some time there for a wedding. It was over 4th of July near Dallas (Plano) and hotter than blazes, and I loved it anyway! For being a cool weather junkie who loves rolling hills of Wisconsin, I adored the wide open spaces, the sprawling city, the beautiful homes—pretty much everything about it.

For couples who've been married for ages, I like to hear what their idea of a romantic evening is. I'm gathering ideas, don't you know?  Here's her preference for a romantic night with her hubby. 

Well, it can’t be in front of the T.V. My husband is guaranteed to fall asleep! We like to take long drives with no particular goal, find a place to eat dinner, go for a walk and explore (if the weather permits), then talk and talk all the way home. And then fall asleep in front of the T.V.

Here's a bit more about Anita Klumpers.

       She is Midwest born and bred, except for a brief and exhilarating few years in Denver when she was small. She received a teaching degree sometime in the previous millennium and used it mostly to homeschool her three sons. These days Anita chases her grandchildren around, waving books at them and suggesting everyone cuddle up for a good story.
            Good stories are her passion, especially if they are well-written, have a dose of humor, just a tickle of romance, and a decidedly non-gory mystery. On the other hand, she lists “Frankenstein” and “Fahrenheit 451” as two of her favorite books. Go figure.
            Creating skits was Anita’s first foray into writing. Always up for a challenge and a reason to postpone defrosting the freezer, she tried her hand at a full-length novel. It only took five years, but she did it!
            Daily (honestly) she marvels at how much she loves coffee and her husband; her family, friends and church. Even more, she is astonished at how much she is loved by her Lord and Savior.
            Her blog is “The Tuesday Prude” ( https://thetuesdayprude.com/) and she’s had two books published by Pelican/Prism Books (“Winter Watch” and “Hounded.”)
         Christmas Passed is due December 2018 and “Buttonholed” is contracted with Pelican/Prism Books.

Doesn't Anita sound interesting? So is her book, Christmas Passed. It comes out December 1. I've already ordered my copy and I'm ready to read.





Blurb:
Dinah loves Christmas. She loves history, the old Wagner House, and the elderly women working to preserve its heritage. She loves almost everything except Mick Wagner, her childhood nemesis.
But if they want to save the Wagner House and solve a mystery that's been hiding in the attic for almost eighty years, they'll have to join forces. And they have to do it quickly, before one of them dies trying.

Links to Christmas Passed


Barnes and Noble:




It's a pretty cover. The art work is good, and I know the story will enteretain. After you read it, be sure to review. Those reviews are super important to authors.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Red, Green, Blue Christmas





Sarah helps Beth Marsh in this book. Beth is a rich, Houston widow. She never planned a romance, but now men want her. Or do they want her money? Sarah comes to earh to help. And Boy! Does she hinder! This is Sarah's third mission to earth and she has so much to learn about the angel business.  Beth and her boyfriends are in for a wild adventure. 






Sarah is a little more experienced when she visits earth on this Christmas, but she's still a disaster in the making. Emily, a Dallasite, gets dumped by her boyfriend and sets out to go home to Austin. When her car is stranded, Sarah, appearing as a ninety-year old woman, Estella, helps her find a cowboy to take her into his Texas Hill Country ranch. Masquerading as a mortal becomes a challenge for Sarah, and the mishaps are hillarious.



Fast forward to 2018. Sarah returns with an unusual mission. She must help Nick Claus find a wife. Sarah follows Nick from coast to coast as he attempts to find a wife and a new location for the Santa business. Sarah returns in her disguise as Estella to get the job done.

Blurb -

Nick Claus, the single son of Santa, hates cold weather. He must marry, find a southern location for the family business, and relocate the North Pole operation—all within a year! Haphazard Sarah, the bumbling angel, follows Nick from California to Florida, but discovers no mate. Can Sarah find one for Nick in Texas? Will Texas become the new North Pole?

Here's a five star review: 

I am a "Sarah" fan and this is by far my favorite, and not just because one of the main characters and I share the same name. They keep getting better and better, but each is a delight. Lewis brings out deep theological truths wrapped in a sweet and funny way through the antics of her character, Sarah. The theme of finding Mrs Claus is not new but this one is uniquely refreshing. --Julie C


I write faith and humor. You'll find me here.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Gone is Thanksgiving



The Thanksgiving of 2018 is now in the history books. Our turkey was pardoned, but we didn't spare the pig.

How was it for you? 

Here in our house, it was on the quiet side. We had two of our three daughters present, along with one nice guy who dates the middle daughter.

I decorated the house for Thanksgiving, but minimized the meal. Who needs all those leftovers? Why throw out food? No one in my house needs extra weight. We had treats in a limited amount. So guess what? We weren't stuffed with overeating and guilt this year.

After the meal, we watched the Coyboys beat the Redskins. Well, at least the family did. I sort of watched as I read a book. I like multi-tasking.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, my attention turns to Christmas.



Thanksgiving and Christmas come too close together, at least in my opinion. There's too much work to do and an enormous amount of expense involved for these holidays. Not that one must decorate to the hilt, or spend to the max, but most of us feel pressured to do so. 

Hubby and I are determined to cut back this year, like we did for Thanksgiving. Well, actually, he is more resolute about it than I am. He isn't engineering outside Christmas decorations for the upcoming holiday, but I'm bedecking inside.

What good and kind events do you have planned? 

We have a few things on the calendar already.

We've invited a group of residents at an assisted living facility to trek out to Fulshear and tour our neighborhood. As I said, we aren't going to light up our yard, but just about everyone else will. The residents will enjoy a tour, and afterwards, we'll all troop into our kitchen for cookies, eggnog, and punch.

I'll play the piano for a group at a nursing facility. I don't pound all the correct keys, and my Christmas carols can sound a bit like a nightmare, but those sweet, little folks don't mind. They like music...even mine! 

My advice for the season is to slow down and enjoy what you can do for others.

Make someone smile.


That's what the season is about. Right?





Thursday, November 15, 2018

Are You a Mess?


Most of us go thorough days where we consider ourselves inadequate, or not smart enough. "If only I had more education."

Perhaps we feel stupid. "Why did I make that unwise decision?"

Do you ever feel crazy, lazy, unloved, freiendless, unhelpable?

And the list goes on.

We browbeat ourselves with the mess we've made of our lives. Most of us do anyway. I suppose a narcisstic person doesn't feel he/she is a mess, but if you're delusional about how great you are, you're a mess and don't know it.

So here's the deal.  None of us are perfect. Sometimes we are born with a challenge, othertimes, we give ourselves one. But God can fix messes.  He mends our marred condition.

I know this to be true. He's in the process of fixing me.





Monday, November 5, 2018

Stressed? Squeeze a Ball





While sitting in the administrator's office of an assisted living facility, I found a stress ball located on her desk. I picked it up and began squeezing.

Wow! I squashed the thing with all my might and couldn't believe how good it made me feel to crush something.

I kept squeezing the little thing for all I was worth. Over and over again, I attacked the palm-sized giant. The cute little ball never complained or argued back. This tiny Goliath never changed its structure, never attacked me or hurt me, and it remained the same throughout the ordeal I gave him.

After I finished my business with the admistrator, I gave back her helpful toy, but I decided I need one. After a successful search, I now have my own.

Are you stressed because of circumstances beyond your control? Do you grow weary of political animosity? How about a daily routine that pulls you deeper into a trench?

God expects us to excercise self-control in whatever life throws at us. Oh my!  Dear Lord, help us with that. 

What's that You say? You gave us Your Word and prayer for daily living? You gave us an example in your Son?  Yes! Thank you, but what else can we do to help You assist us? Science says physiscal exercise benefits...like a walk or a jog. Wait a minute! Some of us humans have legitimate exxcuses as to why we can't exercise. Then what do we do with emotions that tear our bodies and minds down?

Coping is difficult, right?

God helps us through tough times in various ways, and occasionally, He gives us something odd to help with temper, frustration and depression. Like a small, rubber, bouncy ball. Others use a small, round prayer rock. A stone to keep in their pocket to remind them to pray.

I'm keeping my bouncy ball handy. If frustration gets the better of me and I throw it at someone, the rubber ball will do less damage that a prayer rock.

Maybe I'll give my fictional angel a stress ball. Nah. Probably not a good idea. She'd drop it from the sky onto some earthling's head. My Sarah, she's such an accident in the making, but she makes me laugh, and that's as good as a stress ball.




Here are some links where you can find my books.






Sunday, October 28, 2018

Ghosts and Goblins


It's that time of year when kids and adults dress in costume.

This ancient ritual began around the 16th century in Ireland.


All those centuries ago, residents on the Green Isle disguised themselves and went to neighbor's houses. They recited songs or poems in exchange for food. Some were poor, and this became an acceptable way to get cakes and fruit.

Most folks during those days believed that spirits came out of the graves on All Hallows’ Eve. These wispy, scary spirits would seek vengeance on people who had wronged them. 

The live people dressed as the departed in an effort to thwart off evil from the bygone person. People gave treats to keep the evil from their doorstep.

 Wouldn't it be really awful if all the people we'd wronged in our life came back to haunt us once a year? As Christians, we know that doesn't happen. But they beleived it back then. Perhaps some still do.

I dressed as a witch one Halloween but will never do it again. I put on a long, black dress, a black hat, and blacked my eyes to look like a raccoon. When a kiddo rang the bell, I started screeching and opened the door. I continued to cackle as I gave out candy.

I scared those sweet little folks so badly that it wasn't fun. For me or them.

For years, everytime those children passed our house, they'd say, "That's where the witch lives."


I was too convinicing.

I'd rather influence all ages for good than for evil, and I want to be known as a Christian, not a witch.

If I were to choose a costume ever again, I'd appear as an angel. I write about an angel who is a sweet, little, helpful spirit sent to help humans. Her name is Sarah.

When people pass your house, what goes through their minds?  Do they say, "A cranky, mean old lady lives there." Or do they announce, "A sweet, kind woman lives in that house."

Enjoy your Halloween, but remember to model yourself after the Spirit of Christ.  Evil has enough personification in this world.


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Sarah Helps Santa!


LOOK!

MY NEW BOOK

SARAH HELPS SANTA

IS HERE!






I had so much fun writing this book. I finished it last July while the temperature hovered at 100 degrees down here in Houston. I longed for winter, a great time to enjoy a fireplace, and a cup of hot chocolate. 

Cooler weather arrived. In South Texas, it is seldom cold, but cool is nice.

Curl up and read with me. Sarah is at her comedic excellence as she helps Nick Claus. Or maybe I should say, "hinders" Nick Claus.

 Nick doesn't like frigid temps. Sitting by a fireplace with a good book is one thing, but working out in it is another.  He wants to move the North Pole operation to a beach!  He wishes to experience warm sand beneath his toes.

Sarah takes him from coast to coast and end up in our Great State of Texas.

Will Texas be the new North Pole? 

This book is fun for all ages. Kids will love the reindeer and elves.

This book is available in eBook or print.


Here's a sample.


Nick Claus strode into his dad’s study carrying two mugs of hot chocolate and a carafe of the sweet drink. “Glad you’re back, Dad.”
“Thanks, son. I made good time this year, and everything went off without a hitch. No bad weather anywhere in the world tonight.”
“I know, I watched you make your rounds.” Nick sigh was loud enough to be heard all over the large house.
“What’s wrong Nick? That sigh I heard sounded like it came from your toes. Got something on your mind? Want to tell me about it?”
“Might as well. I’ve been dreading it, but the clock is ticking. I guess this is as good a time as any to share my thoughts.”
“True, in two years, you’ll take over the business, and your mom and I’ll retire. It’ll be a bittersweet time for me, for your mom, too. I’m sad to leave one life behind but eager to start a new adventure, and your mom feels the same way. We Santas spend the first one-hundred years working and the next hundred years watching our sons work. We’re drawing plans now for a log cabin over on the north ridge. Your mom is getting more excited every day.” Santa gave his famous ho ho ho laugh. “She started out with a small design, but it’s growing. She drew a house with two bedrooms, and now she’s added a third one. She plans to keep grandkids when you produce some for her. We love children—spent our lives with them, but nothing is better than grands, or so I’ve been told. I’ve never seen your mom in such a dither.”
“That’s just it, Dad. I can’t think about children. Holy Mackerel. I’m supposed to have a wife, one is required for this job, and I don’t even have a girlfriend.”
Santa picked up the snow globe and shook it. “This is a mighty fine gadget. We can’t see the future, but we can see what’s happening in the present. I know whose being naughty and nice.” Santa’s well-known ho ho ho laugh burst forth again. “Looks like all the kiddies are nice right now. Look at them down there. Happy with their new toys and tech contraptions. So, you’ve seen prospects for a wife on this gadget, have you?”
Nick took the globe from Santa and honed it to a beach near Malibu. “The ladies in southern California are real beauties. They’ve got blond hair, voluptuous figures and they’re really smart. I’ve watched them enjoy fun activities and wished I could join them. Their laughter alone would make a guy happy. I’d like one of those California lovelies for a wife, but it’s impossible. We’re too different.”
“How’s that, son?”
“They wear bikinis. They can’t dress like that in our place. They’d freeze faster than a popsicle.”
“That’s true. We gotta wear clothes up here.”
***
Santa held up three fingers. “Here’s the last requirement. Even if you relocate, the Santa family needs lineage to carry on. If you don’t find a wife, you can’t produce an offspring; therefore, you must adopt a son to carry on the Santa tradition. We Santas marry and produce sons to carry on the world-wide business. That’s one ritual you can’t break. You can’t expect retired santas to forever do your job. You’ll need to adopt a son, live as a single dad, and groom your son to take over one day. Can you agree to these terms?”
“Find a suitable locale so I can move our entire operation. At the same time obtain a wife. If I don’t find one, I must adopt a boy baby?
“That’s the deal.”
“All within a year?”
Santa nodded.
Nick shook his head. “Dad, you’re driving a hard bargain.”
“True, but you’re the one whose procrastinated and now is asking to relocate the family business. That’s never been done before.”
With a sharp inhale, Nick extended his hand and his dad shook it.
 “Nick, son, you’re lonely. Cold and lonely. A wife warms a bed. If I were you, I’d find one. Cuddling on long, frozen nights is delightful.”
“I can only imagine. I’ll go as soon as possible. Maybe start in California. If I fail there, I’ll try another state. Florida or Texas are in my mind too. I check the daily weather reports. Southern states experience nice climates. I’ll keep you posted, but keep your fingers crossed for me.”
“Son, I don’t cross fingers, but I’ll say a prayer. You’re gonna need a lot of help considering the conditions you just agreed to.”
Nick hooked a finger in his belt loops. “You got that right. I hope there’s a guardian angel up there who’ll take me under her wings.”
Sarah beamed down at Nick and stretched her wings. “I’m not a guardian, but I’m experienced in finding mates for earthlings. I’ll help you.”

Let me know what you think! Writers love reviews and I hope you'll leave one.

Sarah: A Mission of Love

Sarah: Laney's Angel

Sarah at Christmas