New Job Description

Even though I’m well past retirement age, I still work 25 hours a week at our local print shop. My tasks have been to man the front desk, answer the phone, handle basic customer service, create page layouts, assist with finish work…   You get the picture.

Now I have a new job. We have a new, 24/7 website where you can design and order your printing online. It isn’t completed with all our products, but you can design your own business cards, letterhead, invitations, note cards, or posters, then you upload the files, and we print them.

It’s my job to spread the word, update the Facebook page, and generally handle our internet presence.  We’ll see how that goes.

I’d appreciate it if you would check us out at dumondprinting.com and let me know in the comments below what you think of our website. Please be advised that our gift page is not yet completed, so you’ll need to check that out later.

I look forward to your input.

 

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Political Season

Because political discussion tends to generate passionate emotions, I try to stay away from those topics on social media. Sometimes, however, something needs to be said. The following is not directed at any person or party in particular, but toward the process in general.

Is anyone else weary of the political season now in progress?  The name calling, the insults, the crude language, the jockeying for position regardless of the consequences all remind me of a school yard brawl. None of which makes me optimistic for the future of our nation.

The media hasn’t helped the situation. Reporters strive to ask “pertinent” questions which are actually impertinent and designed to generate more heat than light.

The public laps up the sound bites, thinking with their emotions and reflexes, not considering the ramifications of all the promises. At this point, it’s difficult to ascertain the truth.

Without a large dose of discernment, the public will go to the polls, salivating like Pavlov’s dogs, hoping that their choice will be able to deliver on the impossible promises that have been offered.

And the situation in this nation will continue to spiral downward.

We need an individual of real character, with an accurate moral compass, who has the heart of a servant rather than the arrogance of privilege to fill the oval office. I’m still waiting for that person to appear.

God help us.

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Review: Dancing Up a Storm

Dancing Up A Storm: 9 Christian Short Stories offers nine unique and well written stories: two romances, four contemporaries, and three speculatives.

My personal preference runs to the romances and romantic contemporary stories. When I’m Gone, Dancing in the Rain, Dancing Hands, Teething Troubles, and Fred and Ginger fall into those two categories. Each writer had a unique voice, believable characters, and a plot that moved well, some with a twist or two. I found them delightful. The other contemporary, The Last Waltz, was almost a romance with a unique ending.

Not being a fan of speculative fiction, I found The Confession and The Dance of the Light Brigade a little difficult to negotiate. When we’re so far into the future, it confuses me. On the other hand, Night Dance was interesting – intriguing even. Having been reared on fairy tales, I generally feel at home with ogres, trolls, gnomes, elves, pixies and fairies.

Dancing up a Storm provides a wide variety of reading entertainment. The main similarity between these stories is that they are written by authors whose passion shows, always a delight to the reader.

Please note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Love Blossoms – Review

The Love Blossoms boxed set is a lovely mixture of voices and plot lines. Children color A Handful of Flowers by Kimberley Rae Jordan at the beginning of this set and Spring Break by Susette Williams at the close. Between times we get to tour Australia with Narelle Atkins in The Bridesmaid’s Hero and Savannah with Jan Thompson in Walk You There.

Autumn MacArthur (A Lesson in Love) and Lynette Sowell (Spring at the Barncastle) are authors with whom I was unfamiliar until this publication. Both enchanted me with their characters and their writing voices. You can bet I’ll be looking for their other stories.

Marion Ueckermann lived up to my expectations with A Match for Magnolia. Since I’ve read practically everything she’s written, my standards for her are high. She’s well matched with equally talented writers in this box set. Although I was provided a free copy for my review, I’ve already purchased my own copy from Amazon. I’ll be re-reading these stories for my own pleasure.

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Together?

My friend, Shirley Corder, posted this on Facebook.

“Words of wisdom for a new year. Let’s work together this year to make it a success. Where do we start?”

Where to start is an interesting question.  How do we manage to work together with diverse people, some of whom we may not like at all?

After all, there is the co-worker who continually drums his/her fingers on the desk while talking with you. You can’t hear what he/she is saying for the throbbing. And when you’re finished with the conversation, you have developed a screaming headache.

Then there is the naysayer, the person who always throws cold water on any suggestion you might make.

And we have the whiner, the person who knows someone who tried this and had terrible results.

Moreover there is the constant talker, the one who never hears anything anyone else says.

Enough already!

There is a way to overcome these obstacles, but we have to go back to the beginning.  “In the beginning, God…”  God is our answer, not in some distant esoteric way, but in a very tangible way. The trick is to see what God sees in that person.

God designed each of us with a purpose in mind. He has a plan for your life and mine. His plans for my life have not yet been fulfilled, and I’m willing to bet that your life is in a similar state of incompleteness. But God sees us through the lens of His Son and His plans for us. He doesn’t consider our faults and shortcomings as part of His finished product.

Now, all we need do is ask Him to let us see others as He sees them. He sees them, as well as us, through the eyes of a loving father. Despite our infidelities to His purpose, He loves us still. He loves them as well.

God doesn’t shine a floodlight on our faults and foibles. He illuminates them one by one so that we can amend them.  There is an old saying “Life is hard by the yard. Inch by inch, it’s a cinch.” So He lets us take one step at a time toward becoming who He intended us to be. We need to extend that same patience and grace to others.

If we can learn to see others as God sees them, I believe we will be able to work together successfully. At least it’s a start.

Do you agree? or not?

 

 

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Change and Dilemma

I keep wondering who is in charge of the changes in our culture. So many things that used to denote one thing are now used to define something entirely different.

For example, my business card for Reflected Light Ministries features a rainbow.  As a child I was taught that the rainbow is a symbol of God’s promise to Noah never to destroy the entire world with flood again. (You will see the irony when you learn that I grew up in a rural Kansas community that billed itself as The Flood Capital.)

God’s light reflecting on suspended raindrops creates the rainbow.  I would hope people would see only that in the rainbow on my card.

However, the rainbow of diversity and the LGBT community has usurped that common understanding of the rainbow.  Some of my friends have overlaid their Facebook profile pictures with the six color bands of red, orange, yellow, blue, green and violet.  They did so in joyous response to the supreme court ruling that same-sex marriage must be recognized in all states. That is their prerogative.

That decision grieved my spirit. I fear that God really meant what he said in some of the scriptures which prohibit homosexuality. Take for example First Corinthians Chapter 6, Verses 9 and 10:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Please also notice that it does not stop with homosexuality. It includes promiscuity and adultery, as well as those who put other things ahead of God, those who steal, those who are envious, those who drink to excess, those who speak harshly of others, and those who extort money. A whole bunch of us can fall into those categories.  I am extremely grateful that God is forgiving and merciful.

But you will notice that none of those other activities have  been approved by the laws of the land. Therein lies the difference and the source of my dismay.

That does not mean, however, that I cannot like and respect individuals who have made that choice. I can name several people for whom I have both respect and affection who live that way.  I’m not here to judge.

So what do I do? I do not want my rainbow confused with theirs. Mine does not carry a connotation of approval of these alternate lifestyles.  My belief system will not allow me to approve them.

But back to the card. Do I change my design because of the double meaning of the rainbow?

Let me know in the comments, please.

Thanks for listening to my dilemma.

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Mikey’s Not-so-funny for Writers

Mikey’s funnies is a favorite in my inbox. Not every day is a runaway success, but he has such a wry sense of humor that much of what He sends me resonates loudly.  This is shared for all my writer friends.

today’s FUNNY============================

HOW TO WRITE GOODER

Here are several very important but often forgotten rules of English:

1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.)

4. Employ the vernacular.

5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

8. Contractions aren’t necessary.

9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

10. One should never generalize.

11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”

12. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

13. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.

14. Be more or less specific.

15. Understatement is always best.

16. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

17. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

19. The passive voice is to be avoided.

20. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

21. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

22. Who needs rhetorical questions?

Laugh if you will, but ignore at your own peril.

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