Saturday, December 13, 2008

Linda Kozar Interview

The book is titled “Misfortune Cookies” released November 2008, by award winning author, ACFW 2007 Mentor of The Year and all around good friend, Linda Kozar. The back cover copy reads as follows: Best friends Sue Jan and Lovita run a beauty shop/boutique in the little West Texas town of Wachita. They share a passion for food and fun. But one day, over lunch in a Chinese restaurant, Lovita opens a fortune cookie with a sinister message: “Your father was murdered…” a clue that leads them to God, and international spy ring, and several devastatingly handsome strangers. A most unlikely pair of detectives, these girlfriends “comb” the countryside with style, sarcasm, and lots of Szechwan. This tale is like good take-out food—definitely worth bringing home.

Linda, your main characters, Sue Jan and Lovita live in tiny Wachita, Texas. Thanks to your vivid descriptions, the town came alive for me. My keen deduction skills and a Google search revealed that there is in fact, no town in Texas by the name of Wachita. What, if any town, did you base your descriptions of Wachita on?

It’s all in my head! I can tell you this—it’s the kind of town I sometimes wish I lived in. Life would sure be simpler. Plus I’d know everybody. But I guess it’s sort of like attending a small church—you wind up knowing a little TOO much about everyone.

Main character, Lovita Horton, is a born again believer. Her best friend, Sue Jan, on the other hand, cares nothing for the things of God. Without giving too much away, towards the end of the book Sue Jan makes some life changing decisions. In your own personal experience, how do you feel about having a non-believer as a best friend? Do you think these situations often have the happy outcome as in the book?

Yes indeed. I have non-believer friends and have the opportunity to share the truth with them. I live out my life before these friends without compromising—take me or leave me and show them the love of Christ. It is through discipleship that Christians grow in their faith and through relationship with believers that many unbelievers come to know Him.

At times it can be difficult. There is a wall your reach in relationship with an unbeliever—a wall that you cannot get past until there’s a breakthrough. And that can be bittersweet when you’re waiting and praying and hoping they will see the truth.

Lovita deals a lot with her unwillingness to let go of the past. One instance is shown in her reluctance to enter a partnership with Sue Jan in her salon and boutique. What prompted you to write about this particular issue?

I added this because sometimes we are unwilling to let go of things. Lovita is kind of stuck in the past after the trauma of losing her father so suddenly and then later, her mother. She’s going through the motions of living her life, but she’s kind of depressed. Been hurt and rejected by guys because of her weight too.

Lovita and Sue Jan are described as bodaciously big beautiful women. As a plus sized beauty myself, I have to ask; are these characters based on real people in your life, or are you a closet “chubby-chaser”?

Hehehe—actually the character of Sue Jan is an amalgam of three women I love--Sally Nimitz Mann, Dannelle Woody and my Aunt Solie. But they’re all losing or have lost weight! What attracted me to them was the quirkiness. All three women are hilariously funny—they live large, enjoy life with gusto and joke around; they make people laugh whereever they go. What a gift!

The book is near and dear to my heart because it addresses some very real issues in women’s lives. The first is body issues. The majority of women, even stick thin types, think they’re fat. And we’re unhappy with ourselves for the most part. Lovita and Sue Jan wish they were thin too, and they have trouble in the romance department because of their size, but they are more comfortable with themselves than most. They love to eat and aren’t ashamed to admit it. I’ve had lunch with friends who feel guilty for every bite. But I refuse to live that way. Let’s face it—food is good! Another issue is finding husbands. Women know how hard it is to find a husband. And why? Because men all seem to be looking for 22-year old size zero women. Which brings me to the third issue. Age. The older women get, the harder it is to find a husband. My characters are in their late 30s; one has given up hope and the other is desperate. In a comic way, of course!

Lawyer, Monroe Madsen is madly in love with Sue Jan. She doesn’t see anything in him because he doesn’t measure up to her “hottness” standards. Have you known a man or even a woman in this situation before where the perfect person is right in front of them and they don’t even notice?

Lots of people—including me when I was single. I wrote out this list of all the qualities and characteristics inside and out that I wanted in a prospective husband. And then I held it up to God and prayed. I’m thankful though that I ended that prayer with “not my will, but Thine, Lord. . .” Why? Because His list was FAR better than mine! He gave me the perfect husband FOR ME and hopefully vice versaJ

Lovita mourns the loss of her precious father throughout the book. I know personally that you still mourn the death of your own dear father. Is Lovita’s father a sort of tribute to your own dad?

Wow, you really have your saint antenna up! Yes, it is a tribute to my father and reflected from the sudden loss of someone you love dearly. A piece of your own heart should be on every page. That’s what makes a story believable and real. The reader can stand where you’re character stands and try their shoes on for size.

I learned from your author bio that you also work at a local Houston college. How does a wife and mother of two busy teenagers manage to work outside the home, mentor two groups of Christian authors, and write and sell novels?

And teach a women’s Bible study every Tuesday! I really don’t know how I do it, but I am sort of glad to be stepping down from Words For The Journey. Hopefully that will free up a little of my time. Life can sure be crazy.

So tell us what you’re working on now. Will you be taking us somewhere other than Wachita, Texas?

Well, after the two sequels: A Tisket, A Casket and Dead As A Doornail anyway. . .
But I also co-authored a book of womens devotions called Babes With A Beatitiude published by Howard/Simon & Schuster that will release in 2009.

Other than that, I am working on four or five other projects. I’m sort of ADD. It helps to write a bit on a variety of projects—like cleansing my palate! I take my time—don’t believe in rushing. I need to be happy with what I’m doing and make sure it’s done right—or at least to my satisfaction.

Linda, thank you so much for sharing your heart. Please tell us how your readers can contact you and keep up on your latest releases?

Besides these sites, readers are welcome to look me up on Facebook or Twitter. I look forward to hearing from you!

Linda P. Kozar

Monday, November 17, 2008

Patience My Dear

I consider myself a relatively patient person. Waiting really doesn’t bother me. That’s probably one of the reason’s my favorite sport is…surf fishing. It’s not really a sport after all; it’s a study in patience. You bait your hook, you cast it into the surf, and—you wait.

Chapter three, verse twelve of the book of Colossians tells us, “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” So as Christians, along with being generally nice guys, we must also be…patient?

Some time ago I prayerfully submitted a collection of skits to a famous Christian drama publishing company. For a month I waited for a reply. Then an envelope came in the mail with the publishing company logo in the upper left corner! I opened it and read that they had received my submission in good condition! They were forwarding it to their lead reader for consideration! The letter also stated that it would take several months for them to reply back to me. Not a problem…I'm patient.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

“I wait for you, O Lord; You will answer, O Lord my God.” Psalm 38:15

I’ve been told that God answers prayers in three ways: yes, no, and wait. Eight months later and still no word, I think I’m finding out that God is saying…wait. But I’m tired of waiting, Lord!

“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1

There’s an old saying that goes, “Good things come to those who wait.” Okay, Lord, I guess I can wait a little bit longer. But please hurry!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day 2008

I’ll never forget my first time to vote in a presidential election. November 6, 1984, the candidates were Ronald Regan and Walter Mondale. I felt with all my heart that my single vote would be the determining factor of the election. Well—my candidate did win.

It wasn’t my first time to vote. You see, I didn’t turn 18 until the year following the 1980 presidential election. So when I was eligible to vote, I made sure I was the first in line. (But I didn’t quite make it.) It was 1982, and the candidates were Jim McConn and Kathryn J. Whitmire. It was the Houston mayoral election. I remember it so well; bubbling in that scantron paper, making a difference in my world, one pencil mark at a time. My candidate didn’t win that election. Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all.

I’m not voting on this Election Day 2008. Why, because I voted two weeks ago. I don’t like standing in lines. I’m not going to endorse a candidate. But I will give a personal quote from a dear friend.

“If Obama wins, we will become an “Obama-nation” before God.”

What can I say, but VOTE EARLY AND VOTE OFTEN!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

City of Ember

I had never heard of the children’s novel “The City of Ember,” by author, Jeanne Duprau. But my online search for a PG movie suitable for viewing by my 7th and 8th grade Sunday school department brought the flick to the forefront.

So…Saturday morning the 18th at 10:00 am we loaded the eight kids that showed up and four adult sponsors into the church van and headed for the mall. We pretty much had our own private screening as not many are up for movie watching early Saturday morning. We chose the early time because the price is reduced to $5.00 before noon on Saturday.

The movie takes place after the world becomes uninhabitable because of…what, I don’t know? I didn’t catch that part. The “builders” have designed an underground city, powered by a giant generator and lit by floodlights. Storerooms are stocked to sustain the people for 200 years. A box containing instructions for escaping from the city is to be passed down from mayor to mayor. After one mayor dies unexpectedly, the box and plans are stored away and forgotten. Two hundred fifty years have passed and the storerooms are becoming depleted.

The residents of the city have never known sunlight or life above ground. When the generator begins failing, leaving the city in total darkness, two teens begin to worry and investigate an escape. Their adventure reveals that the current mayor is corrupt and also that an enormous frightening mole is on the loose in the city’s pipe works. (I’m told the mole didn’t exist in the novel). Nevertheless, the teens go on to save the day and the city.

The movie is called “City of Ember” because—well I don’t know that either. I’m not even sure if that was mentioned in the movie. I guess I should have read the book. Here’s a quote from one eighth grader.

“The book was boring, and the movie was even worse.” Kyle (He’s in 8th grade, what can I say?)

The movie includes high magnitude stars such as Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, Mary Kay Place, and Martin Landau. The female lead is played by Saoirse Ronan who did a wonderful portrayal of Lena Mayfleet, the main character. And the little girl twins that played her baby sister, Poppy, were absolutely adorable.

I thought the movie was mildly entertaining and I must admit I jumped at least twice during the mole scenes. Would I watch it again? Probably not if I had to pay to see it, but if it came on television, sure why not. Was it family friendly? Yes, although I think little children would be frightened by the mole. My rating: Eh, it’s okay.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Autumn Is

Amber, gold, orange, yellow, red and brown; leaves break free for one final flight
Uber-gigantic pumpkins plump, ripe and ready for funny fancy carved faces
Thanksgiving, turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie and parades; thankful for another good year
Unanimous agreement—summer was hot! Soon cooler weather draws near
Marching bands, football season, fall festivals, scary costumes, candy galore
National decision, casting votes, choosing sides, elephants, donkeys; Election Day is here

Monday, September 1, 2008


September 1, 2008, Labor Day, a day to reflect on the end of the short summer and the long school year that lies ahead. On August 25th Connor started his first day of second grade. Casey began her sophomore year. And Patrick became a full fledged senior.

That Monday morning Patrick and Casey left for school at 6:45; Connor doesn’t even wake up until 7:00. After dropping Connor off at 8:00 I returned home to get ready for my back to school lunch date. On the first day of school, a group of ladies go out for a nice lunch. For some it’s a celebration; for others it’s a support group. For me it was both. I celebrated Connor’s return to school. I mourned what my precious Casey will be introduced to in the year ahead. And I began to cry as I tried to tell a friend where Patrick is thinking about going to college.

Thursday night we attended our first football game. My dad and I traveled from Porter to the opposite side of Houston to see the game. If you’ve ever driven across Houston you can appreciate how far that really is. My dad was impressed by how well our team fared in its new 5A district. Personally, I barely even watch the game—I’m a band mom.

When halftime arrived, I left the safety of the visitor side and hiked over into enemy territory. It’s the only way to see the band march without having to watch their backsides. I got to see my Casey march for the first time as she had successfully earned herself a marching spot. I watched as Patrick nobly sidestepped across the field, trumpet held at attention. It was my second time to cry this school year.

The class of 2009 will always hold a special place in my heart. It marks the end of an era, and the beginning of a new and exciting life for my son. Nevertheless I look forward to what will be a painful and difficult time in my own life as I learn to let go and let God. With that said I close my laptop and grab a tissue as I begin to cry for the third time this school year.

Addendum: on a lighter note, week one of school is passed and Connor has only been reprimanded once for talking in the hall. Here’s how the conversation went…

Connor: Mom, I made a mistake at school today.
Me: Oh?
Connor: Yeah, I was accidentally talking in the hall, so I got a note.
Me: What kind of note?
Connor: I had to write what I did wrong TWO TIMES! And sign it. You have to sign it too.
Me: Well, did you learn your lesson? Do you know why you had to write the note?
Connor: Yes, I understand completely. The reason they make you write the note is so that you will be severely humiliated and you won’t do it again.
Me: (Cracking up) well, are you sufficiently humiliated?
Connor: Yeah, I guess so.
Me: Good…don’t do it again.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Was A 44 Year Old Bridesmaid

It sounds like the title of a horror movie. And (gasp), I’m playing the leading role! Being married, I suppose my official title is Matron of Honor. Sounds important right? In reality, all it means is I’m old enough to have a 46 year old husband, two teenagers and a seven year old to make fun of me in the little strappy number I’ll be wearing. Even if I will be the fattest of the four, at least I have the satisfaction of knowing I’m not the oldest maid in the bunch—yeah, you know who you are.

Okay, picture this; I walk into the bridal store with my girlfriend and one of the other bridesmaids. We’re greeted by someone we’ll call Lola, a wedding coordinator. Queue the flashback scene music. Doo doo doo; doo doo doo…

Amy (The bride): we’re here to pick out bridesmaids dresses.
Me: Don’t forget to tell her we’re old and fat.
Lola: (Laughs) All right Amy, what color is your dress, white, ivory, cream, or something else?
Amy: Well, I haven’t picked out my dress yet.
Lola: And…when did you say you were getting married?
Amy: October.
Lola: (Wildly fanning herself) Oh Lawd! (Picks up telephone and presses speaker button) Paging Miss Shania, please come to the front of the store. We have a code red at the welcome desk.
Enter Miss Shania…a short stocky middle aged wedding coordinator.
Lola: Miss Shania, I need you to help these ladies out while I take Miss Amy to pick out a wedding dress.
Miss Shania: Well, certainly ladies, step right this way.
And you’re the mother of the bride?

In the past, people have always said I look much younger than I really am. But apparently to Miss Shania, I look like I could mother a 34 year old woman. I don’t know what came over me. I couldn’t make my finger stop wagging in her face. I looked over at my “older” friend who was snickering uncontrollably. Well, for the rest of the day I was Miss Shania’s “best friend”. And for some reason, in Miss Shania’s opinion, every dress I tried on from that point on was absolutely gorgeous on me.

Just when I thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse, my body decided to betray me and go into personal summer mode—I’m talking Sahara Desert caliber hot flash. The sweat fountain opened up and my face was brighter than the “red apple” color dress I was trying on.

You know, when God created the institution of marriage He never intended for us to be consumed with bridesmaids dresses, controlling mother’s (not me), or what flavor the groom’s cake should be. Sure God wants us to celebrate the union of two people, but it’s never been God’s plan that we worry about these things. After all, it was at a wedding that Christ performed His first miracle. And thank goodness, He’s still in the miracle business, because it’s definitely going to take one to get me through this wedding. Do you think I’m being repaid for the mauve dresses I made the girls wear in my wedding?

Question: How can you tell whether it’s a first time marriage or not?
Answer: The combined total of children belonging to the wedding party alone is more than sixteen!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Conflict Will Come—And When It Does…

When our church revealed its plan to institute a building campaign I was overjoyed. The thought of worshiping in a real sanctuary with pews and carpet instead of a straight chair on a hardwood gym floor stirred images of pious splendor. Never in my wildest imagination would I have thought that some in our congregation would oppose building a new sanctuary. But conflict, I would soon find out, is a fact of life.

In the article, “The Hurting Church: Why we get hurt and hurt others in church,” Gail Rodgers states, “More and more often we find people and leaders in conflict within the body of believers, robbed of the joy Jesus promised in Him. When we find this hurt hanging on to our own bruised soul, it can make us want to leave the church and sometimes even want to “back burner” our God who seems to have allowed it all.” According to Rodgers, there are five steps to conflict resolution, all of which are based on a framework of God’s love.
Step 1: Know your enemy – When in conflict with another believer, we need to ask ourselves the question, “Am I wrestling against flesh and blood?” The answer in these situations is usually yes, but we must never forget, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers…” (Ephesians 6:12). Scripture tells us to “be alert”, “resist the enemy” (1Peter 5:8-9) be on your guard and “stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). So when irritation strikes…know immediately who your opponent is…know immediately he has schemes and plans in place that will at best steal from you and at worst destroy God’s people and their effectiveness. In addition to being alert we must keep praying, (Ephesians 6:18). When prayer is no longer the oxygen of our spiritual soul or the heartbeat of our church, our defense is down.
Step 2: Keep short accounts – The simple truth of the Word of God in the instruction from Paul to “not let the sun go down on your anger” is so profoundly elementary that we miss it. Scripture tells us “a root of bitterness springs up and defiles many” (Hebrews 12:15). When it finally spills out, or spits up, it defiles us and those around, and hurt is the result. That is why Proverbs 4:23 tells us “above all else guard your heart for it is the well spring of life.” It is the very source of all we are. The trademark that identifies us as His disciples vanishes and the world looking on can see no difference in us. Be alert of the seed you allow in your heart. They all produce fruit of one kind or another. List the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, (Galatians 5:22). Ask yourself, “What fruit of the Spirit is in short supply in my life right now?”
Step 3: Don’t be afraid of accountability – In any given troubling situation we need to honestly ask ourselves, “Am I making choices that allow God to be in control here or am I taking control?” Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “trust in the Lord with your whole heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” If your own understanding is resulting in opinions and actions that bring division, be accountable for what is going on in your own heart. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked (selfish) ways, then I will heal their land” (their church, their heart). It’s a sure promise!
Step 4: Acknowledge pride – Scripture says, “God resists, or opposes, the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Pride is a killer. It is one of the subtlest tools of the enemy. God actually resists the proud. The simple question to ask before opening your mouth is: “Will this lift Jesus higher or will this lift me higher?”
Step 5: Be willing to plant stakes in the ground – You must ask yourself: “Am I willing to acknowledge my part and take steps to prevent a repeat?” James 3:13-17 talks about two kinds of wisdom, one, which does not come from heaven, and one that does. The one not based on heavenly values is centered on earthly, unspiritual values with envy and selfish ambition at the core. Not hard to spot…the trademark of love will be missing as well. The wisdom based on heavenly values will be pure, peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
We have all heard stories of church congregations splitting over something as trivial as the color of the carpeting or the old hymns versus praise chorus issue. I consider our own fellowship exceedingly blessed, having completed a major building campaign with only the most minor amount of opposition. Taking godly steps for conflict resolution, faithfully bathing every situation in prayer and coating it with God’s love is ultimately the answer for most every church conflict.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Book Review-Night Light, by: Guest Blogger Casey O'Hare

This week on Annette’s blog: Guest blogger steals the show! No I’m just kidding. Mom asked me to write a guest book review for the sequel to Last Light by Terri Blackstock. I’ve only had to write a review once before, and that was for Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I wouldn’t recommend that book. But let’s see how I fare in this one… I give you: Night Light
May 24, a day that will live in infamy (couldn’t resist). Cars stopped working, cell phones died, and planes fell out of the sky. But these seemed the least of problems for the Brannings as they cope with the loss of their most prized possession: electricity.
Several weeks into the outage, the murderer has been caught, preparations for a well are underway, and the mayor of Crockett, Alabama has shown up at the gates of the Oak Hollow subdivision with some very good, and some very bad news. The source of the outage has been discovered. In 1999 a star supernova occurred and the radiation caused by the event is just now reaching Earth. The rays shouldn’t be harmful to humans, but the government just isn’t sure. Mail is being delivered, FEMA is handing out disbursements of $25 to every citizen in America, and we all know what happened when they gave the Katrina survivors the $2000 cards. Oh yeah, and the draft is being reconstituted, only they aren’t looking for soldiers, but for mechanics.
While the meeting is going on, a small band of thieves, that would make the cast of "Oliver" jealous, try to break into the Brannings’ home. They make off with a few items, but not before son, Jeff can chase them to the Sandwood Place Apartments. The thieves are four small children living alone since their mother, Jessie Gatlin, disappeared. Finding the compassion in their hearts, Kay and Doug decide to take Aaron, Joey, Luke and Sarah back home till they can either find their mother, or a more suitable relative.
Things go downhill when they find yet another body, Jessie Gatlin’s, and the search for a different killer comes about. Eyes turn to Aaron when he keeps pulling guns out of nowhere. The thrill never ends in the exciting sequel: Night Light.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Vacation Bible School 2008

It’s been one week since Vacation Bible School. My job is grade school crafts. It takes me about a week to recover from the week. I don’t know what it is that makes VBS week so tiring. I guess it could have something to do with the 300 plus kids in attendance.

I so look forward to VBS every year. I guess because I didn’t get to go that much as a kid. At least not when I was old enough to remember it. The one year I do remember going to VBS, we made treasure boxes. It was probably around 1973 or 75. We were given a cigar box, pieces of macaroni and glue. The idea was to glue the macaroni to the cigar box. The next day when the glue was dry the leaders spray painted the boxes with silver paint.

I’m sure there was a wonderful lesson from the Bible that coincided with making the treasure boxes. Maybe something like this one:

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
Matthew 6:19-20

I really don’t remember the story, but I do remember that shiny silver macaroni covered box that was, I’m sure, eventually thrown in the garbage. I also remember giving my heart to Jesus around that same time—coincidence? I don’t know. One thing I do know is that fourteen kids made professions of faith in Jesus Christ this year in VBS. And that’s a treasure worth taking to the bank.

Here’s a link to a slideshow of our 2008 VBS:

Saturday, June 28, 2008

"Last Light" Book Review

I’ve never done a book review before. Recently I’ve noticed most up and coming authors post book reviews on their sites. Since I fall into that category…here goes nothin.

What would happen to the world as we know it if all electronic devices including automobiles ceased to work because of an unknown catastrophic event. Is it a terrorist attack? Or is it something far worse?

I can’t remember having read a page turner as compelling as “Last Light” by Terri Blackstock. No disrespect intended towards Ms. Blackstock, but I’m not sure if the truly captivating lure of this book had anything to do with her excellent writing ability. It’s the subject matter that makes this book so intriguing.

The reader follows the Branning family’s struggle, adjusting to a world without power, transportation, running water, sewage, or heaven forbid, an operational Wal-Mart. It’s difficult to keep from imagining yourself in the same situation. As you read the book it’s all I could do to stop myself from rushing to Wal-Mart, and hoarding “hurricane supplies.” No one needs to know I’m actually stocking up in the event of the “outage.”

The book makes you think how you would react in the same situation. I also found a lacking in my own faith. How easy it is to depend on our own devices in the cushy world we live in. Take away our cars, cell phones, Wal-Mart, and we would quickly turn to God for provision.

“Last Light” also points out how people these days don’t even know how to live in a world without modern day conveniences. I thought about what I would do, and I came up with an idea. I would pack up my family’s belongings and somehow move to a large body of water. I prefer the beach, but there is the sand, and no fresh water issues.

My husband and I read the book at the same time so we could discuss it. Here is his comment:

“God’s judgment or God’s love? How do you react when difficulties in your life arise? The author leads the reader to examine both sides of this coin.” Dan O’Hare

Besides dealing with the daily struggle of sustaining life, the Brannings must deal with people forced into survival mode as well as a murderer who kills for self gain. In closing, I would highly recommend “Last Light” to anyone who loves suspense novels. The book whetted my appetite for the sequel, “Night Light.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ripe For The Harvest

Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:35

What do these three things have in common?
A marriage license, a defense attorney, and a lost person

After moving back home to Houston in the 70’s, my parents failed to connect with a home church. The result was three children who weren’t raised in church as they had been.

Mom did her best, making sure her kids all heard and accepted the Gospel. But I would later realize that faith without a spiritual foundation is like the man who builds his house on the sand—eventually, your house is going to go SPLAT!

Thanks to me and my two brothers, there was a constant stream of “un-churched” teenagers passing through our home. Mom saw the opportunity God gave her; a field ripe for the harvest in her very own home. The Holy Spirit wouldn’t allow her to ignore these lost teens. She lovingly listened to their problems; befriended them and shared her faith. As a result, many came to a saving belief in Jesus Christ.

Fortunately Mom and Dad returned to church, ministering to countless youth over the years. Nevertheless, I can’t ignore the work God did through Mom all those years ago. Through her persistent, consistent obedience to the Holy Spirit, many raunchy, dirty, street savvy, teens heard about Jesus for the first time.

So what do a marriage license, a defense attorney, and a lost person all have in common? Simple—they all need a good witness.

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We've Got Spirit, Yes We Do!

What gives a fifteen year old kid the unabashed courage to witness to other teenagers?

These days, hearing stories of adults witnessing to their friends is rare. It’s even rarer still to hear about a group of kids that aren’t ashamed or afraid to share their faith with friends. We are blessed at First Baptist Porter to have a youth group full of kids who do just that.

Adoption of the F.A.I.T.H. witnessing program at FBC Porter has birthed a whole crop of young people ready, willing and capable of winning their friends to Christ.

“When we first started taking F.A.I.T.H., me, Johnathon, and Michael used the opinion poll on some kids at school. We questioned kids in the lunch room and even during class. It started out that we wanted to practice doing the F.A.I.T.H. outline, but then we realized it was a way we could actually witness to our friends. One kid even got saved.”
David 15

“I was riding the bus between campuses and I asked a girl if I could practice the F.A.I.T.H. outline on her. I asked her, the key question which is, in your personal opinion, what do you think it takes for a person to get to heaven? She said she didn’t believe in that and asked me to stop talking about it. A girl sitting in front of us begged me to keep talking. I went over the outline with her and she ended up praying for Jesus to come into her heart. It was easy.”
Casey 15

“The first time I witnessed to a kid at school I was nervous, but it wasn’t really hard. I used the opinion poll on my friend Tyler in Science class, and he ended up getting saved. I did it because I knew he wasn’t saved, and I didn’t want my friend to go to hell.”
Michael 15

So what is it that empowers these kids to witness?

“You will receive power when the HOLY SPIRIT comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Don’t feel you have the power to witness? Don’t know where to begin? Don’t worry; according to the Bible it’s simple. “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38

David, Casey, and Michael have SPIRIT. How about you?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Graduation Exasperation!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

On June 6, 2008 Victoria Votaw and Alyssa Bounds will walk across the stage of the M.O Campbell Education Building, shake a few hands and accept the symbolic key to their future. The high school diploma—the apex prize of every graduating senior. To hold it in your hand is to grasp freedom!

While Victoria and Alyssa are basking in the glow that is adulthood, their parents might be experiencing a completely different set of emotions—empty nest syndrome. This is a topic very near and dear to my heart. You see in June of 2009, my own son, Patrick O’Hare, will be a graduating senior.

A whole year away, and already I find myself filled with anxiety and depression over letting go of my fledgling firstborn. I’ve even gone so far as to think up ways to keep him close to home. On our way to a college prep meeting this week, I suggested that my son consider going to the local junior college his first year. I even devised a plan for him to take night courses at U of H. He could have the whole house to himself during the day. It would be like he didn’t even live with us. He didn’t buy any of my ideas. It seems he has his heart set on attending that university to our west that people make jokes about, but also produces top notch engineers.

The feelings I’m experiencing as a parent preparing to let go of a child are anything but new. Parents have stressed over letting go since the dawn of time. Only this time it’s my child and I’m the one who has to let go. The question is how will I face this major life adjustment? The answer lies in my ability to stop fretting and turn it over to the One who’s really in control anyway. We are able to handle any challenge life throws our way, as long as we know that God is with us. In the meantime, I’ll put these Houston Baptist University brochures in Patrick’s room. Surely they have an engineering program…don’t they?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Resolve To Reconcile

A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

Seventy Four days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 forcing 110,000 Japanese-American and Japanese nationals into “War Relocation Camps.” Among the Japanese-Americans interned was the man who, on September 11, 2001, grounded all civilian aircraft traffic for the first time in U.S. history. That man, then a little boy, was United States Secretary of Transportation from 2001 to 2006, Norman Y. Mineta

Heart Mountain Internment Camp in Wyoming was more of an adventure than an incarceration to young Mineta. The story is much different for the adults who were forced from homes and universities into the barbed-wire surrounded facilities. That was the heartbreaking reality for Mineta’s immigrant father, a strong supporter of America and the American way of life.

Like Mineta’s father, none of the Japanese-Americans had been charged with a crime against the United States government. Two-thirds were born in America and more than 70 percent were U.S. citizens.

Fast forward about 50 years and see Mineta as a driving force behind the signing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. The Act is a formal apology to the wrongfully imprisoned people and provided for reparations to 80,000 survivors. Mineta has said he never felt bitterness concerning the internment, but his experience did shape his feelings about government and lead to his political career.

The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 combined with the reparation payments, showed America’s willingness to change and its desire for resolution of the problem. These steps paved the way for reconciliation with the Japanese-American people interned during WWII.

Who do you need to reconcile with? Have you done something that has caused the loss of a friendship with a close friend, a family member—a Christian brother or sister? Maybe you are the one who was wronged. You wait and you wait for that person to make the situation right, but it doesn’t seem to happen. Seek God’s help and resolve to reconcile. Ask Him to guide you in the steps to reconciliation. When we sincerely ask for God’s assistance in resolving our conflicts, we honor Him, and reveal our faith in Him.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Repress And Regret Or Forgive And Be Free

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

Humans have a tendency to deal with unpleasant memories by repressing the memory or bottling it up inside. Regrettably that way of thinking has a propensity of coming back and biting us in the rear end. Rather than choosing to follow human nature, Eva Mozes Kor made the decision to forgive, and that choice has set her free.

Mozes Kor and identical twin sister Miriam Mozes survived the Auschwitz death camp, under the control of Dr. Josef Mengele, the “Auschwitz Angel of Death.” Mengele ordered that all twins be brought to him for use in his barbaric medical experiments. Eva willed herself to live, despite being injected with a lethal dose of bacteria. She knew that her death would result in Miriam’s murder so simultaneous autopsies could be performed.

In January of 1945 the Soviet Red Army liberated the survivors of Auschwitz. Eva and Miriam were among the few twins remaining. Having lost their entire family to the gas chamber, the Romanian born twins immigrated to Israel. Eva would later leave her sister behind to start a family of her own in the United States.

It was revealed that Miriam too had received an injection from Mengele. Her kidneys never grew. In a second attempt to save her sister, Eva donated one of her own kidneys. Nevertheless, the disease overcame Miriam and she died in 1993 in Israel.

Eva’s healing began with a trip to Germany where she met with Dr. Hans Münch who worked alongside Mengele. Unlike his colleagues, Münch wasn’t found guilty of any war crimes as it was determined he didn’t perform any experiments on his patients.

Dr. Münch admitted being present during the gassings; a fact that lead to a lifetime of depression and nightmares. Eva expected to find a monster, but instead found a likeable human being. As a result of the visit, Eva decided to write Dr. Münch a letter in which she forgave him.

In January 1995, Eva invited Dr. Münch to join her at the 50th anniversary celebration of the liberation of Auschwitz. He gladly joined her. Kor read a confession of guilt from Münch to the gathered press. She then said, “In my own name, I forgive all Nazis.”

Kor’s decision hasn’t been met with throngs of Jews wanting to join in her rally cry of forgiveness. Quite to the contrary, Kor has been maligned, with some stating that her choice to forgive, absolves the murderers and torturers who ran the camps.

Even though Kor’s decision wasn’t popular or even common, she is sure she did the right thing. “I felt as though an incredibly heavy weight of suffering had been lifted. I never thought I could be so strong.” By forgiving those who wronged her, Kor has freed herself from her victim status. She always says, however, that to forgive does not mean to forget.

I’m not suggesting that Jewish people should forgive the Nazis for the atrocities inflicted on them. If it were my decision to make, I don’t know that I could be as strong as Eva Kor. What I’m saying is that when we decide to ignore confrontation, we inhibit God’s ability to bless us through our trials. To choose reconciliation and forgiveness is to act in accordance with God’s word and God’s will for our lives. What about you? Is there a broken relationship you’ve been ignoring? Take some advice from Eva Kor—face it, forgive, and be free.

(Roman Heflik, 2005-A Holocaust Survivor’s Path To Peace,

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Faith In The Midst of Hopelessness

For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5

I was twenty one years old when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease; a disease of the immune system that causes your body to attack itself, specifically the small intestine. Having suffered with the disease and the horrible misdiagnoses my entire life, it was a relief to finally receive the news. Then it hit me—I have an incurable disease.

At the time, (I’m dating myself) there were only a couple treatments for Crohn’s. The preferred medication being Sulfasalazine, and the less favored drug was corticosteroids. Steroids are less favored because of their numerous side effects and inability to control the disease. I would soon find out that I’m allergic to Sulfa drugs. My only alternative was steroid therapy.

There were times in my late twenties when the pain, exhaustion and constant trips to the bathroom were more than I could bear. The ups and downs caused by the steroids were like being on an emotional rollercoaster, not to mention the damage they can do to your body. And I had to continue working a full time job in order to have medical insurance coverage.

I’ll never forget one night in particular when my pain became so severe that my husband called my mother for help. I was already taking a massive daily dose of steroids, so we knew that a trip to the hospital meant surgery…and surgery is not a cure for Crohn’s, only a temporary solution.

Mama arrived and came to my bedside. She laid her hands on me and prayed. It was hard for me then to understand why she praised God during this difficult time. But the pain immediately left my body, and I praised God right along with her.

There’s a lesson to be learned from Mama. As Christians we should learn to practice our faith even when the circumstances seem hopeless. God’s faithfulness to His children never ceases. So there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be faithful to Him, no matter the situation.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Junior College Bully

I first realized my passion for the written word during my second year at San Jacinto College. It must have been passion, either that or stupidity. I’ve since learned that taking American Literature twice because you liked it so much the year before at North Harris County College is borderline insane.
Being my second time to take Am Lit It stands to reason why I did so well in the subject. I particularly loved the short story, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. Research on the story revealed hidden symbolism that I found extremely intriguing. Deciding to share my brilliant findings with my professor and classmates at San Jac was not appreciated—especially by one fellow student.

This charming young woman, fresh out of high school decided I was a threat to her grade curve, and decided to bully me. I know…I’m embarrassed for me too. My books and papers were purposely knocked off my desk, I was tripped going to my seat—this girl hated me. I was eventually forced to drop the class. Ha, ha, Miss bully, I didn’t need the credit anyway!

I’m telling this embarrassing story because it came to mind while reading one of my favorite Bible stories from the book of Genesis this morning. Joseph, the favored son of Jacob was guilty of the same thing I did. He shot off his mouth in front of people who had the ability to make his life miserable. Telling about his dream where first his brothers, then his whole family bowed down before him, caused extreme resentment among the brothers. Thank God the junior college bully didn’t throw me in a well or sell me into slavery. (Although I think she would have if she could.)

As believers, we will all eventually face being hated or rejected because of our beliefs. The question is how we, as children of God, approach these situations. My advice, don’t “drop out” like I did in junior college. Look at these times as an opportunity to practice your faith. God is either using the situation to teach that person something, or, you never know, He might just be using it to strengthen your faith.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He Knows My Name

Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"

"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."

Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). John 20:10-16

It struck me as strange that Mary didn’t recognize Jesus when she met Him face to face, at the tomb. Why didn’t she know who He was? This same Man that befriended her, that cast demons from her—that loved her, wasn’t even recognized by her. He even asked her a question and she still didn’t know who He was…
Then Jesus said something very important…Mary. That’s all He had to say, and immediately she knew who called her by name.
Even today people don’t recognize the Christ. Still, He continues calling people to Himself. Listen closely, He knows your name.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

First Place...Success!

This past Sunday marked the end of my first ever “First Place” Bible study. The class began on January 6, 2008 and went ten straight weeks. I’m proud to announce a sixteen and a half pound weight loss. God revealed a couple of things to me during this Bible study I’d never realized before. You see, for most of my adult life, I convinced myself that if I had a beautiful, thin body, I would probably be tempted to do things that a little fat girl would never think of doing. God showed me that these thoughts came directly from Satan. Another thing I realized in the study is that I had been trying to lose weight to please three very wrong people…me, myself and I! The main reason anyone should lose weight is to give God a healthier temple in which he can dwell—period.

I didn’t make any major diet changes; suffering with Crohns Disease, that’s almost impossible. Having to avoid most common diet foods such as salad, raw vegetables and citrus, I have to make changes where I can. So here they are…

Annette’s top five diet tips:
NUMBER 5 - 100 calorie packs
They have everything from Doritos to hostess snack cakes in 100 cal. packs. They’re awesome!
NUMBER 4 - Pringles Low Fat Potato Chips instead of original Lays
I don’t eat the fat free Olestra type…remember, bowel disease (that would be suicide)
NUMBER 3 - Hidden Valley Fat Free Ranch
It’s great for the occasional salad, but most of all it’s great for dipping pizza crust and low fat Pringles, and pretty much anything else
NUMBER 2 - Cut down
You really don’t need to eat half of a pizza at one sitting, save some for lunch tomorrow
NUMBER 1 - Give God First Place
When we give God first place in our lives, everything else seems to fall into place

May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Psalm 20:4

Friday, March 7, 2008

Three Nights At The Brown Palace

A light dusting of snow covered the antiquated downtown Denver building. I was happy to be free from the confines of the cheap strawberry scented vehicle. We were approached by a tall man wearing a doorman’s costume reminiscent of the 1920’s. Gold cording embellished his shoulders, brass buttons ran the length of his long coat; the ensemble completed by a stunning black top hat. “Good evening sir, madam, and welcome to The Brown Palace.” (Insert long low organ chord here.) Desperate for a nice bed, we hurried to check in. A prim young man offered a slanted glance and directed us to the elevators. There before us stood wooden inlaid elevator doors encrusted with a pair of winged dragons. To exit the elevator was to enter…da, da, daaaaa…The Overlook Hotel! (FYI, that’s the hotel from the movie, ‘The Shining’).

Seriously, I’ve never been creeped out by a hotel before, but this place pegged out the freak-out-o-meter. Hallways inlaid with spectacular pink and gray granite. Our floor was the only floor that didn’t overlook the grand foyer; instead the hall was lined with a wall of glass bricks. There’s no end to the spine-chilling opulence that is the Brown Palace.

Day One, Monday: Dan is off to work early in the AM. I open my computer to begin writing, get bored immediately and head for the 16th Street Mall. Four hours of walking and shopping produced one plastic encased scorpion necklace for Connor. Did I mention it’s freezing, and I’m severely out of shape? I stayed out until 3:00 to miss the cleaning woman…of course she arrived at the same time I did. Exhausted, I was forced to find refuge elsewhere. I hear piano music playing in the grand foyer; I’ll go check it out. Oh crap, their serving high tea and I’m wearing my “I’m An Alien” t-shirt and my knock-off coach purse. I found a bank of couches off the servant’s entrance and made myself comfortable. I called my daughter who lovingly played a sound byte on her computer for me…it was ‘REDRUM, REDRUM’, another ‘Shining’ moment. I held my room key tight, because I’m quite sure that at least ten of the fifty odd hotel workers that passed by wanted to eject me from The Brown as a vagrant.

Day Two, Tuesday: Dan is off to work early in the AM. Unable to sleep in the night because the 24” tall pillows have caused a terrible neck ache, so I decide to nap. Enter hotel worker one. Knock, knock, “Room service. Here to pick up your breakfast table.” I roll out of bed and grab my bottle of Diet Coke from the table before she wheels it away too. Did I mention they apparently didn’t have vending machines in the eighteen-whatevers, so in keeping with authenticity there are none in The Brown? She informs me, “Ma’am, if you continue sleeping I suggest you put the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign out.” Oh, thanks for that info. After I chained, bolted and ‘signed’ her out, I got some quality writing in; got cleaned up and went out for lunch. But first, I find hotel worker two, inform her I’m leaving, so please clean the room now. Oh, and leave an extra bar of that flesh-extracting soap, because the air is so dry it’s a necessity. Upon returning to the room with my burger and fries I realize I’m not alone. Enter hotel workers three and four, the flower ladies. I guess they didn’t have fake flowers back in the day either, because it’s these two ladies job to replace and water the in-room flowers and plants. While they extract dead leaves from the foliage, I eat my burger and watch the ending of ‘Disturbia’. Not a good idea when you’re staying in The Bates Motel! Deciding to finish my nap from earlier, I crawl into the bed and fall asleep. I dreamed Jack Nicholson axed a hole in my door, stuck his head in and said, “Here’s Johnny!”…another Shining tie-in. Dan comes back from work and we get ready to meet an old friend from Houston for dinner. We met at a place called Maggianos and ate enough Italian food to choke a horse. And then it happened…THE BROWN PALACE REVENGE. I spent the rest of the night and the better part of the next morning puking up enough Italian food to choke a horse. Did I mention I had to catch a plane to Houston at 11:00 AM?

Day three, Wednesday: At least we had a great flight…NOT! I was fine until the pilot decided to surf the plane in. I did, however, make it without losing any bodily fluids.

Honestly, I had a great time away with my hubby. It’s nice to get away and reconnect. But the best part of all is coming home to three loving kids, the wonderful grandparents that stayed with them, and a Weimaraner that won’t let me out of his sight. What’s the moral of this story? If you stay at The Brown Palace, beware of the little boy riding the tricycle around the hallways, (my last Shining reference) and…there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home!

Friday, February 22, 2008


I’m not going to be like some authors, who shall remain nameless. I don’t want to gloat and carry on and make a big deal, but…GUESS WHAT? I GOT PUBLISHED! Okay, so I didn’t receive a publishing contract…or any money for that matter, but still, I GOT PUBLISHED! I received a really nice e-mail from Promotion Consultant, Debbie Sills, with the North American Mission Board stating (, “we loved the drama and have uploaded it to our website.” She went on, “Thank you for sharing your talent through the drama. Many churches will benefit from your work.” What does this all mean? It means that my skit, “That’s Not Funny Annie” is now posted on the North American Mission Board’s website, and…I GOT PUBLISHED!

Don’t get me wrong, I know who is really responsible for every good and perfect gift, and I;
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is GOOD; His love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34

P.S. If you would like to view the skit, go to the Annie Armstrong website above, put the cursor over “Promotion Resources”, scroll down and click “Drama Suggestions”. I’m the second drama listed on the page.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

That's Why They Call It A Medical Practice

I sat at the hospital with a sick friend today. She was having her third hysterectomy. How could she be having a third hysterectomy you ask? Well, I suppose stranger things have happened. It all comes down to certainty. If you have a hysterectomy, it would stand to reason why you might feel fairly certain that you would never have the procedure again…and again. And after what my friend has gone through, it’s easy to see that what we might view as certain may not be the case.

There is one thing, however, that is always certain, and that is the promises of God. In 1 John 3:1-2, the Bible says, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

I’m sure glad that we have a Heavenly Father that is a sure thing. We never have to worry about that. What He says that He is, He is. What He says that we are, we are. What He says that He’s going to do, He does. There are no uncertainties with God.

As for my friend, the doctor said she thinks she got it all this time…but she can’t be certain.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Barnabas Babes :)

I don’t feel like I’m much of an asset to my critique group. If I had to grade my ability to pick out faults in other people’s work I would give myself an F-. I’ve even gone so far as feeling sorry for my critique partners. I brought them all little gifts the last time we met so they wouldn’t kick me out of the group. I make comments on their work such as, “This sentence doesn’t sound right. I don’t know what’s wrong with it, but it’s just not right.” Oh my gosh! Who says stuff like that except me? I’m really glad that all the members of my group are good Christian women who love me in spite of my sucky critiquing skills (or lack thereof.) The only thing I have to offer the group is my ability to occasionally make them laugh. Oh, and I thought up the name for the group. If you’re in my critique group; and you know who you are, thanks for being the encouragers God has called you to be. Barnabas would be proud of you.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Connor on God

Connor is seven. Most of the time, Connor and I talk about things such as Zelda, Avatar, swords or even dragons. Every now and again, however, we have conversations of a spiritual nature. This is my recollection one of those exchanges.
“Hey, Mom, my friend at school saw that movie The Golden Compass and she said…”
“Oh, Connor I told you we weren’t going to watch that movie. “
“I know, but why did her mom take her to see it, if it’s a bad movie?”
“Well honey, her parents don’t go to church, so I guess it’s not important to them that at the end of the book, the movie is based on, two kids kill God.”
“Oh… Mom, pretend like you don’t even know who Jesus is.”
“Okay…uh, who is this Jesus guy that everybody keeps talking about?”
“Mom, you know who Jesus is.”
“I know, but you told me to pretend I don’t know Him. I thought you were going to tell me about Him.”
“Oh…well, he was born on Christmas day.”
“Yeah, I think they call it Christmas day, because that’s when He was born.”
“Then He grew into a fine boy.”
“Uh huh, then what happened to Him?”
“He grew into a man, and he healed lots of people.”
“That’s right. What else happened?”
“He died on a cross.”
“Why did he have to die on a cross, Connor?”
“Because, everybody hated him, and they said, ‘crucify Him, crucify Him, crucify Him! Then they did it.”
“But did Jesus have to die?”
“No, He could have lived a lot longer.”
“I know, but why did Jesus have to die?”
“He died because of our sins.”
“Bingo! So tell me, what did the girl tell you about that movie?”
“Well, I told her that I got a Webkinz® for Christmas and she told me she got a Webkinz® too. Hers is the penguin from The Golden Compass and she got it for one dollar.”
“Oh, that’s cool.”
“Mom, I saw that girl at our church one time. Why did she even come to church?”
“Her grandma used to go to our church, but moved away, so now when she comes for a visit, she takes all her grandkids to church with her. Her grandma knows that it’s probably the only time they ever get to go to church.”
“You should go to church all the time if you love Jesus.”
“Yeah, that’s what I think.”
“I love Jesus more than anything.”
“I know you do, Connor. You love Him so much that you invited Him to live in your heart.”
“That’s right. Mom, I love you.”
“I love you too, Connor.”