Archive for the ‘blogwords’ Category




 The Promise of a Lifetime

Throughout history, there are a few traditions that are common to just about every civilization. Though the ceremonies and customs may be extremely different, countless cultures around the world embrace some kind of wedding tradition.


It dates back beyond the Greek and Roman Empires, was before the ancient Eastern Asian civilizations. The deepest roots of weddings and marriage are actually found in the Garden of Eden.


The First Wedding

Very early in Scripture, in Genesis 2:18-25, we not only find the first marriage, but also God’s intended design for marriage and the very principles that instruct us on how to honor God through marriage.


I don’t know how much time transpired between Adam’s creation and Genesis 2:18, but some scholars suggest that God allowed that time for Adam to be alone so that he would recognize that he needed companionship.


That companionship is the illustration of a God honoring marriage. As Genesis 2 points out, a marriage that honors the Lord is one where the man and woman are joined together, outside of the governing rule of either set of parents. That doesn’t mean that a man can’t seek Godly counsel from his parents if they are Godly parents, but ultimately the responsibility to lead a marriage falls on the husband. Verse 24 of Genesis 2 illustrates that saying, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cling to his wife, and they shall be as one flesh.”


Backing up to verse 23 though shows us the very first wedding vows as Adam proclaims that his companion is “bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh.” It doesn’t get more intimate than that.


The Modern Wedding

There is no doubt that mankind has come up with some absolutely weird wedding day customs throughout the centuries. Here’s a few:


  1. In England, it was good luck if a bride kissed a chimney sweep on her wedding day because he had special powers that swept away evil spirits.
  2. Egyptian women pinch the newly married bride to bring good luck to themselves.
  3. Korean grooms ask a happily married friend to make 2 wooden ducks for his wedding day because ducks will mate for life.
  4. In Scotland, it’s unlucky to wear green or to eat green vegetables at a wedding because green is the color of fairies and the color of revenge.


That’s just a sample. There is no shortage of customs and traditions that would make you laugh, wonder, or scratch your head in amazement!


How about the modern wedding in the Western world? We also have some things that seem to be adding to the long list of wedding traditions.


We’ve coined phrases like bridezilla to represent a particularly difficult to satisfy bride. We not only send wedding invitations out, but now we send out pre-invitations that we call “save the date.” The focus seems to be on drawing the largest crowds to our wedding celebrations.


In modern weddings, we spend months and sometimes even years and unprecedented dollars on planning the big day. The danger in that is that we are putting far too much focus on the sprint of the wedding day, losing sight of the marathon of a lifelong marriage.


The Promise of a Lifetime

My wife and I were married young. Probably too young. She was 17 and I was 19. Statistically speaking, we should have called it quits long before now.


We celebrated our 25th Anniversary not even 90 days ago as I write this. While there’s a good level of satisfaction at having beat the odds, we also acknowledge that it wasn’t easy. [rem: Congratulations to you both!]


In my experience, my counsel to those who are going to be married are to make the promise of a lifetime. I don’t paint an unrealistic picture of a “happily ever after” wedding and marriage. Things go wrong. Sometimes they even go wrong on wedding days. But when the focus is on the promise of a lifetime, the little things don’t carry as much weight.


Sometimes, even frequently, things go wrong long after the big celebration. There will come a time when almost every married couple won’t like each other. There were times when my wife and I couldn’t stand being in the same room together. We almost walked away from it all.


Those are the seasons that quite honestly make or break a marriage. This is when the promise of a lifetime, when the rubber on the tires of “for better or worse” meet the road.


And without the design of the God honoring marriage, this is the breaking point for many couples.

The Big Picture

The celebration of the wedding day is a day to honor marriage. It’s an important part of the much larger illustration of our relationship with God that marriage provides.


The big picture is that marriage is the earthly image of the relationship between Christ and the church. That’s why we see Christ referred to as the Bridegroom and His church as the Bride.


On the wedding day, a man and his wife become one flesh, just as we become one with our Lord and Savior (1 Corinthians 6:17). Just as a wife is to be led by her husband, Christ leads His church. And as a husband is called to sacrificially love his wife, Christ gave His all for the church in His love.


Marriage is hard work. It’s sacrificial in nature, and it’s absolutely rewarding while sometimes excruciatingly painful. The wedding day is an important part of the total package, but it’s the marriage that is the promise of a lifetime.




Gene Whitehead ditched his first career in order to serve people and share hope. His passion is to help people embrace Christ and apply Scripture to their life, something Gene calls Simple Theology for a Messy Life. You can read about that and download his free eBook, The Armor of God at genewhitehead.com.









#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Gene Whitehead, The Promise of a Lifetime

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Several years ago I was walking around a small lake. It’s a favorite spot, and I take the walk whenever I visit there.

This particular time I had been listening to a certain praise and worship CD, and one of the songs was playing in my head.



As those words sang in my mind, my eyes looked up at the trees—and I wondered (as all good authors do) “How does a tree worship God.”


I had thought it an idle thought. Until He answered me.



So simple and yet so profound.


And as all good writer also do, my mind took it another step.



Of course I knew the answer, even then.



And with an algebraic turn, or perhaps putting the pieces in a puzzle, that meant that I worship Father by writing.


So today (Saturday) as I was sitting outside, basking in a miracle moment today, and praising Father for this long awaited thing, I glanced at the trees.


And I was reminded of what He told me those years ago—to worship Him, I be what He created me to be.

*note the use of “be” vs “do.”


So, and pardon the license with grammar, but I be writing. I be working—and worshiping Him—as I write.


And that brings me even greater joy.



Wha about you? What has Father created you to be? What do you do to worship Him?

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, All Creation Worships


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It’s March still, and I’m all about the Irish. I’ve searched for me recipes this week, and found a few I’d like to try. As with most of me cooking, I’ve adapted to my taste and preference to create my own version. Hope you enjoy—and be sure to let me know when ye give ‘em a go!!



Preheat oven to 400°



1          cup      buttermilk

1          cup      bread flour

1          cup      rolled oats

*          some recipes omit the oats, using all flour instead.

1          tbsp     granulated sugar

½         teas      baking soda

½         teas      salt

* some recipes call for raisins but I don’t like raisins in my bread!




Using a whisk, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add oats and stir in.

Using a wooden spoon, make a well in center of dry ingredients and gradually stir in the buttermilk.

Turn dough onto well-floured surface.

Knead 4 or 5 times, or until dough is just tacky but not sticky.

Shape into a mound and place in greased iron skillet.

Cut an X into the top of the dough.

Drizzle melted butter into the X.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.


Serve warm with Irish butter.





2          tbsp                 olive oil

1          lbs                    lamb or mutton, cubed

1                                  chopped onion

2          cloves              fresh garlic

1          sprig                fresh parsley, chopped fine

3          cups                 stout beer

6 – 8                             new red potatoes, cubed

6 – 8                            medium carrots, peeled and sliced

Salt and pepper, to taste




Brown the meat in olive oil over low heat; add onion and season with salt, pepper, garlic, and parsley.

Coat bottom and sides of crock pot with olive oil and add meat and seasonings.

Pour in the beer.

Add carrots and potatoes.

Cover crock pot and set for high for thirty minutes, and turn heat down.

Let stew for 2 – 4 hours (or longer if desired.) My personal preference is to let it crock in the crock pot for 6 hours or longer.


Turn heat off and remove from crock pot to serving platter.


Serve with Robin’s Irish Soda Bread.



If you’ve a recipe you’d like to share leave a comment below or email me at robinemason212@gmail.com


NOTE: All recipes must be used with permission.


#Blogwords, What’s Cookin’ in Your Kitchen, #RandomRecipes, #AuthorsEat #AuthorsCook, Robin’s Soda Bread and Robin’s Irish Stew


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Reading is My SuperPower

Bookworm Mama

Singing Librarian

Faithfully Bookish

Radiant Light

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

All the Book Blog Names Are Taken

Fiction Aficionado

Bibliophile Reviews

Kathleen Denly

Lauraine’s Notes

With a Joyful Noise



 If you’d like to join us on your blog for First Line Fridays, shoot Carrie @ Reading is My Superpower an email and let her know!




Accidentally Married:

Madison Nichols, aspiring actress, is floundering. Her rent is due and she needs a job. Desperately. After getting a tip about an open position, she rushes to Jameson Technologies and meets CEO Jared Jameson. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, she is put in the awkward position of pretending to be his girlfriend. Not the job she was applying for. And when she finds out Jared lied to her to get what he wanted, she decides to get back at him. In front of his family.

Jared is stunned when Madison announces they are getting married. She pushed her revenge too far. How can he tell them it’s all a lie? And when his sick aunt asks them to be married before she dies, Madison comes up with a hair-brained plan to hire an actor and stage a fake wedding.

What they both don’t know is Jared’s father has found out about the fake wedding. And he’s got his own hair-brained plan.


Reluctantly Married:

Megan Holloway can’t stand her local morning show co-host, Adam Warner, even though he’s a total hunk. He goads her on-air until she says things she regrets. But since ratings increase each time they have an on-air fight, the producer encourages his behavior.

When a relationship specialist comes onto the show purporting that Adam has hidden feelings for her, she reluctantly agrees to go out with him—on camera. What starts out as one date turns into a viral dating show with Megan and Adam alternating between locking lips and knocking heads.

As Megan fights her growing attraction to Adam, their popularity increases and ABC takes notice, offering them their own program. Not a morning show like Megan is hoping, but a dating show in which she and Adam must marry at the end. With the promise of a hundred thousand dollars and the possibility of scoring what she really wants, her own national program, she signs on.

What she doesn’t know is that Adam has fallen in love with her, and his objective is to get her to do the same.


Accidentally Married: Madison pulled her car into the parking spot, relieved she found an empty space so close to the building.


Reluctantly Married: Megan dug her fingernails into her palms and stared at her co-host, Adam, while the camera zoomed in on her. She couldn’t believe what he’d said.



Delightful and whimsical, Ms. Lieske has written a series of most improbable stories—and yet makes them not only come alive but seem actually plausible.




Romantic Comedy



     Fun and whimsical stories with unexpected twists.


#Blogwords, First Line Friday, #FLF, Accidentally Married, Reluctantly Married, Victorine Lieske

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“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” John 7: 37-38 NASB


“Regardless of your circumstances, your age, your health, your finances and your past, you DO have a future and something to contribute.”


rem:  Hullo Karen, and welcome to my nest. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

KAREN:   I have lived all my life in western Pennsylvania, near the town famous for Mr. Rogers and Arnold Palmer.

rem:  So a friendly neighborhood, eh?  😉  #gotgolf  Tell us three things about yourself.

KAREN:  I find the vast beauty of the ocean so restorative.  I am a hugger. My dream vacation is a cruise among the Hawaiian Islands.


rem:  In that case, {{{{{HUGZ}}}}} Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

KAREN:  Coffee, no sugar, flavored preferred.

rem:  Same here. What is your favourite quotation and why?

KAREN:  “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”.  Les Brown

rem:  Thank you! (58 and counting!) What do you do as a hobby?

KAREN:  Read, listen to music.

rem:  What’s the most random thing in your bag or on your desk?

KAREN:  a box of blank CDs.

rem:  Hope that’s on your desk not in your purse… What’s your all-time favorite movie? Favorite TV show?

KAREN:  My granddaughter and I watch “Elf” every year.  I also greatly enjoyed the recent movie “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone”. I don’t watch much TV but prefer mysteries like NCIS and also like Blue Bloods.

rem:  My Sis-in-Law got me hooked on “Elf” – love that movie. What’s your favorite recent discovery?

KAREN:  What a wonderful and interesting group authors are.

rem:  I know right!! If you could go back in time, what era would you choose and why?

KAREN:  I wouldn’t because I like modern conveniences, technology advances.

rem:  Touché! Are you named after someone?

KAREN:  no

rem:  Do you use sarcasm?

KAREN:  Not much.

rem:  Is that a sarcastic reponse??? Would you bungee ?


rem:  That looks pretty definitive. What is the first thing you notice about people?

KAREN:  eyes

rem:  The window to the soul. Favorite season? Why?

KAREN:  Spring. I love to watch grass and leaves turn green and the colors of flowers burst forth.

rem:  Mine too –  it’s a (ahem) robin thing.  😉  Hugs or kisses?


rem:  * see above…  Rolling stones or Beatles?

KAREN:  Beatles.

rem:  Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

KAREN:  Several but Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB is the verse I try to live by

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

rem:  Sounds so easy….. If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

KAREN:  Danny Gokey because his songs speak strongly to my heart


rem:  What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

KAREN:  It is enjoyable yet uplifting and encouraging and includes life lessons.

rem:  When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

KAREN:  Connecting with the characters.  When the plot bounces back and forth and the author knows what it means but you don’t.

rem:  I read one like that – ‘course, I came into the story world several books into the series, but still – I had a hard time keeping up. Which is more important: plot or characters?

KAREN:  Characters

rem:  ‘Cause you wanna hug ‘em all, right? What would you do if you weren’t writing?

KAREN:  Inspirational speaker or traveling

rem:  Which you do anyway, right? What are you reading right now?

KAREN:  God is Good by Bill Johnson; Resonate by Nancy Duarte; Rebekah by Jill Eileen Smith

rem:  What do you munch on while you write?

KAREN:  granola bars


rem:  The healthy choice. You have a teaching ministry other than writing. Tell us about that.

KAREN:  I have led life groups at our church and speak at women’s encounter weekends. I also speak on memory loss, grief and other topics for my work.

rem:  Heavy stuff. What a blessing you must be to those in need. You are also a hospice grief counselor. In my estimation, that takes a special courage and compassion. How did you get started in this ministry and what does a typical day look like?

KAREN:  I believe God makes beauty from ashes when we use our difficult experiences to later help others. My father died when I was 21 and then my first husband when we were 35 so I wanted to share what I learned from that to help others.  I also have been an advocate for hospice and how it can help families for over 15 years. My day is partly computer and paperwork (ugh) but also phone calls and visits with bereaved, attending funeral viewings, leading support groups etc.  Every day is a little different.

rem:  Truly a light in a family’s darkest times. Tell us a little about your writing journey.

KAREN:  I have loved to read since a young child and journaled many years.  I wrote some articles but I have always wanted to write a book.  Following a difficult season in my life, I felt strongly I was to write about it to encourage other women.

rem:  What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

KAREN:  My home is quiet so I write primarily in my living room and dining room.

rem:  Mine is quiet too (most of the time) and I sit on the love seat, lap top in, well, lap. What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

KAREN:  My biggest problem is finding enough time, while working FT and being active at my church.  I wrote my book primarily on weekends. I hope to be writing and speaking FT instead soon.

rem:  I was already on Disability when I started writing so I can’t imagine having to juggle so many plates! What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

KAREN:  Letting my thoughts flow.  Sharing with the reader.

rem:  Nothing like it, is there? What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

KAREN:  Learning the process- it is like learning a new career.  Easiest- being able to write it in Word and upload from there.

rem:  It’s a constant learning curve, too! What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

KAREN:  Only write if you know you are supposed to and have the passion to persist.

Record your thoughts on your phone or a recorder when the inspiration is fresh.  Keep learning about the craft and publishing.

I would not write because someone else says to.  Be open to constructive suggestions but be careful who you share with to avoid negative input.  Don’t try to be someone else.

rem:  All excellent recommendations! Tell us a little about your book? Do you have a new project coming?

KAREN:  This book evolved from going through a dark season of struggles in my life and the journey out toward renewed hope, vision and purpose.   I felt strongly that what I went through was not just for me but could help other women during their own time of struggles.  I plan to write a version aimed at young women 15-30.  I also am in the midst of writing The Journey Back To Joy about finding joy again after loss. I have 2 or 3 other ideas started, also.

rem:  Isn’t that what our life as believers is about, sharing with others – the good, the bad, and the ugly?? What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

KAREN:  I am hoping that this book will truly encourage many women to have hope, to awaken the dreams in their heart and to know that they each are uniquely special and beautiful. I am honored to have 16 other women share their intimate stories of difficult times in their lives. We all were very transparent in the hope that every woman who reads it will identify with one or more of us and be encouraged that they, too, can not just survive their situation but thrive.

rem:  Karen, you’re speaking to my heart!

Please give us the first page of the book.

KAREN:  Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.          James 1: 2-4


  1.      Rising Up From the Dark               

            Have you ever had a circumstance in your life that caused you great despair and hope was hard to find?  Have you felt like you cried out to God but it seemed as though He didn’t hear you?  I have. I recently read a description of the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ as described by St. John of the Cross. I could immediately relate while reading his description of difficult times when it feels like our prayers are not being heard and we experience weariness, helplessness, emptiness, and a sense of defeat.  I believe I have experienced this four times in my adult life.

The first three were traumatic events: one, the shocking betrayal of my first husband who engaged in an adulterous affair.  We were high school sweethearts and both raised in devoutly religious homes.  I trusted him completely.  Many others told me that if they had to guess the one couple this would not happen to, it would have been us.  I thought so, too.  My husband was going through an early mid-life crisis of sorts and searching for why he


rem:  Ashes. And now you have beauty from it. What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

KAREN:  It is never too late.  You always have worth and purpose.

rem:  Where can we find you online?







rem:  Anything you’d like to add?

KAREN:  I appreciate this opportunity to share about my book and I would love to hear feedback from those who read it.

rem:  Thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today!




“Put your eyes on Me! Do not look to the right or the left. Do not wonder how or why. Come to Me and ask for My wisdom and for Me to move on your behalf.”




#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Karen Sweeney-Ryall, Revealing Your Treasures Hidden in Darkness, Beauty from Ashes


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BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 22 March 2017 – WREADING WEDNESDAY – POST-EVENT LETHARGY… (no post today)



My nephew got married Saturday and I have done crashed from the event – and the travel to get there!! (200 miles in the car!!)


P.S.  I wore heels for the first time in years, AND I danced (a little.)!!!






#Blogwords, Wreading Wednesday, Post-Event Lethargy, #onceuponamason


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Chelsea Scott’s past and her future collide—right as she slid into second base. And Nick Pearson. Her best friend had shattered her world twelve years ago when he said three little words.


And Chelsea ran.


And now, Nick is her knight in shining armor—or driver in a shiny rig, hauling her wares to the trade show in Chicago.

Will the hours on the road together have her running from his easy charm and fetching good looks again—or falling in to the pool of love that got skipped years before?


This reviewer knows the struggle to let herself be loved, and the guilt of wrong decisions, and I felt deeply as Chelsea sought to retreat to her safe space—anywhere Nick Pearson was not. But as the reader and the romantic, I chastised her for it. I laughed at the comedy of errors, the seeming “what else could go wrong’s” that conspired to continually put them in the same place at the same time. I cried a little as each of them faced past hurts and allowed them to drive a wedge in a relationship that is not yet solid. And I melted into Nick’s arms every time Chelsea let herself bask in his embrace.



Ms. Tomlinson tells an easy tale, drawing her reader into her story world from the first page. Her descriptions are colorful and vivid, the emotions of her characters genuine and real. She has put a full story into a compact novella, leaving the reader at once satisfied and longing for more. Ms. Tomlinson is skilled in her telling, and her ability shines on every page.



I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own volition, The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.


Laurie Tomlinson is an award-winning contemporary romance author living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her stories are fueled by faith, steaming mugs of tea, and her belief that life should be celebrated with cupcakes and extra sprinkles. When she’s not writing, she enjoys baking with her two little sous chefs and testing new recipes on her husband—especially if she doesn’t have to do the dishes.










#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, That’s When I Knew, Laurie Tomlinson, Love at First Laugh

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