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“Calendar Snob” by Cynthia A. Lovely

 IN MY WORDS – I confess. Freely. Unreservedly. 

I am a calendar snob.

I love new calendars and appointment books. But not just any one will do.

I spent a lot of time searching for the perfect set of blank pages artistically arranged for my life this coming year. And on a recent trip to Vermont and a stop at Northshire Bookstore, I found it.

The rich, ancient brown binding with gold embossed trim called to me.

I picked it up and the slim volume fit perfectly in my hand.

7 inches tall and 3 and 1/2 inches wide. With plenty of space inside for all my exciting, upcoming events and plans.

I know many use their iphones and ipads for their special appointments. But alas, I am a calendar snob. Don’t have one of those new-fangled smartie-phones.  Because just like my actual books-in-hand-not digital, I prefer the real thing.

Y’all digital people, enjoy. Each to his own.

However, I always have “service” and can check my sweet book any time of the day or night. Just sayin’…   

What type of calendar or planner do you use? Are you a calendar snob?


 


“Church Christmas Programs” by Cynthia A. Lovely

IN MY WORDS – Have you ever been involved in a church Christmas program?

They may range from a very small event to a full scale production. My husband and I have been involved in programs for years and find much fulfillment and enjoyment in leading an excellent presentation of music, drama and worship to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This year we are helping in a new church plant and at this point, most of our people are new converts so the event will be more small scale.

On the other side, we just returned from a full scale production in Long Island at our favorite church, Bethel UPC. A 90 voice choir, music and drama starting at the Old Testament promises, to the Nativity all the way up to the Day of Pentecost! Amazing and truly glorifying God.  They are reaching thousands of people with the full Gospel message in the course of a few weeks. I pray new souls will be won through all their major efforts and commitment. 

Whether a program is small or grand, I pray that our hearts will be filled with worship and our message rings clear: Christ is born, our Savior has come. And oh how we need a Savior!

Be bold this Christmas, share Christ.

Talk of His goodness.

Sing all those beautiful carols and reach out to those around you.

And lend your full participation to any outreach your church is doing to share the Christmas story.

Question: What does your church do for Christmas? Candlelight service? Christmas caroling?

Please share your ideas in a comment.



“Bittersweet Holidays” by Cynthia A. Lovely

IN OTHER WORDS – ” Mothers hold their child’s hand for a moment and their heart for a lifetime.”

Yes, she still holds my heart. Dec. 3rd will mark 19 years since my mother crossed that line over into Heaven’s glory. I cannot believe it is that long. I still feel the deep ache in my heart and long to have just one more conversation.

Because my mother died right after Thanksgiving, the holiday always brings back those memories. And at Thanksgiving, I once again give thanks for my mother. I remember her encouragement and kindness. Her understanding and compassion. A simple woman who never asked much for herself. Always looking out for others and embracing those who may have otherwise been ignored or forgotten.  A determined woman who diligently sought the Lord and prayed for truth in her life and for her family. She left a “religion” to discover a Pentecostal experience and a “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” I will never forget the joy in her heart that shone through her, a true light of Christ in this dark world. My  mother loved Jesus, first and foremost. She believed in the scripture to love God with all her heart, mind and soul. Her Bible is tattered and torn and filled with notes. Her prayer list was written, added to, written over again. She didn’t just pray for individuals, she prayed for churches, for organizations, for entire countries. She fought the hard battles of sickness and disease. Of rejection and disappointments. Oh, but what a reward she has now! I thank God for blessing me with this amazing woman and for granting me the honor to care for her in her last days.And oh, what a glorious reunion we will have one day!

If you have lost a loved one and the holidays are difficult, remember Jesus has promised to never leave us or forsake us. Draw close to Him and He will draw close to you. We have a faithful Father and I pray your holiday season will be blessed with His love and goodness. May God surround you with the comfort and strength of His beautiful presence.

 

 


“Holidays…No More Politics, Please” by Cynthia A. Lovely

IN MY WORDS – Yes, it is November and Thanksgiving will be here before we know it.

Do we all remember what that is about?

Besides all the food and festivities? BEING THANKFUL!

  • I am thankful for the freedom we have to worship God in this country.
  • I am grateful there are no planes dropping bombs over my home.
  • I am glad I have a home, a place to create a cozy nest to rest and renew.

And I refuse to discuss any more politics during this upcoming holiday season. Will you be with friends and family? I imagine there will be differing opinions about our latest world news.

Don’t do it...don’t get pulled into those discussions. Take control over your corner of the world and show kindness, grace, mercy and truth. Repeat after me….NO MORE POLITICS. There are so many other more pleasant topics of conversation. Like listing all of our blessings that we take for granted. 

Heading towards the Christmas season. Hmm…Jesus came to us in the midst of political upheaval and turmoil.

And so He comes to us again reminding us…”Focus on Me, I am the only One who brings Peace.”

Holidays are approaching. Jesus Reigns.

 



“Pumpkin Spice Lovers Ode” by Cynthia A. Lovely

IN MY WORDS - to be sung to the beginning of tune for “When I’m Sixty-Four.”

     As I get older, losing my fears,

     crowds don’t sway me none.

     In the midst of all the hype and buzz,

     my little voice cries, “NO!” because…

              I don’t do pumpkin,

              I really don’t care,

             for the taste at all.

     So will you still like me,

     will you still friend me,

     I don’t do pumpkin spice.

              No more frappes here.

             No chai, no nog for me,

            Pumpkin  spice  won’t  do! 

     So….will you still like me,

     will you still friend me,

    I don’t do pumpkin spice.

 

GIVEAWAY – To soothe the pumpkin addicted person, enter the drawing with a comment on this post and your yea or nay for pumpkin flavors. BUT you have to pull up a version of the song and sing my lyrics through the beginning.  Not sure what the prize is yet : ) – probably a pumpkin tea packet or something similar. IF you get really creative, I’ll add more to the drawing.

 


“Starved for Success” by Cynthia A. Lovely

 

IN MY WORDS – That’s my pizza-man coming to my deserted writer’s island to deliver my lunch.

Okay, not really.

We don’t get pizza delivery out where I live. But doesn’t it feel like a deserted island sometimes? I digress from my topic…

Starving for success is my new clever ploy to accomplish some measure of writing each day. This works best on the days I’m able to work at home and not at my “other’ office job as a church administrative assistant.

My thoughts are better organized in the morning so I try to avoid the afternoon slump. New goal is to complete some form of writing before lunch.

The starving part? I don’t break until I accomplish the goal. And yes, sometimes I’m pretty hungry. Like right now at 1:49 pm. But at least my blog is completed = success!  ;-)

What clever and unique motivation do you use for your writing?

 

 


“The Lovely Plan for Summer Priorities” by Cynthia A. Lovely

IN MY WORDSSummer has arrived offering endless possibilities. My regular job has shorter hours so I have more free time.

How do I start my day?

What needs to be priority in my life?

Introducing the Lovely Plan: WWW. (or 3W)

WALK.  WORSHIP.  WRITE. 

There are many things to follow after these three actions but think of the amazing success if I get at least this much accomplished in my day!

  • W1 WALK – enjoying scenic views on early morning country roads while benefiting my health.
  • W2 -WORSHIP – the walk often leads right into worship, admiring God’s beautiful creation. Arrive back home for a cool glass of sweet tea and time spent in the Word. Leading right into worship and prayer and often journaling bringing me to:
  • W3 – WRITE- If I don’t write early, too many other things start to crowd out my day. Do you find this to be true? Knowing I’ve already accomplished two major goals in my day, I am inspired to dive into writing. 

Once I’ve completed The Lovely Plan, I am free to do anything else. What are your summer priorities?

It may be as simple as: Swim, Sun, Stroll or Fellowship, Friends, Fun. 

Anyone want to join The Lovely Plan with me? Or share your own plan?

 



“Time to move out of the Comfort Zone” by Cynthia A. Lovely

Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference 2016 – Nine years and counting and I keep coming back. There’s just something about Ridgecrest and this special week in May that is a continual draw. Every year is a discovery and I always leave knowing I have learned something new and valuable. Yes, from the classes, workshops and devotions.

But also from the people: from the faculty to the numerous and friendly volunteers and from the first time newbie to the veteran agent.  I also learn something about myself each time I come. This year’s lesson? I’m holding on too tightly to my comfort zone. I wimped out this year. Ouch. Honesty can be painful.

The conference is and always will be a stretch for me. I’m not an extrovert and by the end of the week, I am totally needing my quiet time. But even with this stretching, I have been carving out my own safe path. Wondering why too many classes sound familiar. Duh. I’ve been sticking to the same topics.

Time to branch out into new territory. Face up to the social media and marketing end of the business. Choose some classes that wouldn’t normally draw  my attention. On the plus side, I did choose more “down” time this year and actually spent time in the beautiful new coffee shop. Which led to a lovely conversation with Becky Gansky and Latan Roland Murphy. Becky, you encouraged me in my current status as a newbie pastor’s wife. And Latan, I love your profession of interior decorating and how God is using you to minister in that area. Beautiful.

As I think over this year’s conference, I am prepping for next year, determined to make some changes. And yes, to walk with confidence out of my comfort zone. I pray we will all return with a renewed confidence and determination to allow God to use this writing gift He has placed within us.

Are you already planning for next year’s conference? Is there something you would do differently?

Will you step out of your comfort zone?


 


“A Lesson of Life & Limbs” by Cynthia A. Lovely (or time will work it all out)

IN MY WORDS – We have huge pine trees on our property. A few winters ago, one of the branches ripped off and fell a few feet down the pine tree, catching another branch to break its fall and to hang with determination, daring anyone to reach its lofty height and be removed.

We didn’t have a ladder high enough to reach it. Should we pay a ridiculous price to have someone come and remove the silly thing? Nah. It would come down…eventually.

The stubborn branch hung crookedly in the same position month after month after month…well, you get the picture. We decided to ignore it since it wasn’t a hazard to anything.

One morning I noticed a new branch on the ground. Could it be? Yes! It had finally given in to gusty winds and loosened its death grip on the pine tree. A wind must have caught it just right and unhooked it, sending it to the ground.

I’m sure there is a morale or sermon to this somewhere.

  • If we leave things alone long enough, life will take care of it?
  • Don’t sweat the stubborn limbs?
  • Stop worrying about your problems and they will take care of themselves?

Help me out here with your ending to this story!

 

 


“What I learned from Cinderella” by Cynthia A. Lovely

IN MY WORDS - When Cinderella came to town, I had to see the show. I left the performance with mixed emotions and a new wealth of information. Here are just a few things I learned that evening:

  • Every women, no matter the age, wants to feel like a princess. Many sweet young girls came to the show wearing tiaras. There was also a mix of young adults and older women sporting the jeweled crowns.
  • Beautiful settings, lovely costumes and great choreography make up for other negative details.
  • What negative details? On to the next important lesson.
  • You cannot change a classic fairy tale and think it will be a success. The show was re-written, barely keeping the true story elements and adding in a ridiculous politically correct agenda. Really, people? This is Cinderella!  Get the story right!
  • Good acting makes a huge difference. Fortunately, the lead character playing Cinderella did an excellent job. But it would have been so much better if they had remained true to the story.
  • Leaving us with the final analysis: Cinderella is and always will be a rags to riches story, a tale of dreams coming true, and overcoming obstacles and of course….it’s always about how different your world can be if you just have the THE RIGHT SHOES!

Have you ever been disappointed when a classic tale is totally re-written?

 



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