Saturday, July 30, 2011


I have to shake my head when I read or hear of someone saying, “Would you like to learn how to create ideas for a story?”. Ah, NO! I have pages on pages of ideas. The problem I have is getting enough time to write.

I’m in a season of my life with young kids and a busy schedule that’s not my own. I sneak in a few hours here and there, continuing to learn the craft as I go.

I know God is preparing me for the future, when the time comes that I can dedicate more hours to writing, and one day receive my very first copy of my own novel.

His timing is always perfect.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


The Prison Pen Pal Program has blessed me beyond anything I could have imagined or put into words. This is just one of the many blessings I’ve received from two remarkable inmates in Texas, Clifford and Bill.

Thanks guys!

May God bless you in all you do.


Sunday, July 24, 2011


I’ve been involved in the Prison Pen Pal Program since 2004. I write to several guys that are incarcerated. Through this amazing ministry, God has blessed me in countless ways. I also handled the miscellaneous mail that comes into Willow Creek Community Church from the prisons and jails. One of the letters I received had a heart shaped necklace with a cross in the middle of it, along with a request for a faith based non-fiction book.

One letter led to another and this particular one to a group of girls in a Sunday class at Willow, by an inmate in Texas named, Clifford. He made each of them necklaces which lead to many questions from the girls. They wanted to know his story, and he was gracious enough to write them this letter. It touched my soul and brought tears to my eyes.

Later each of the girls in the group wrote him a thank you, many accompanied by a hand drawn picture. Each heartfelt, filled with compassion. God truly blessed several lives in what started out as a simple request for a book to grow ones faith.


To my young friends at Willow Creek Community Church. Hi from Clifford the cross maker in Liberty Texas. First let me say that I am very happy to hear that you like your crosses so much. I had fun making them for each of you. Let me know if you would like another one, okay.

I hear that you are about eight-years old, maybe nine. I guess you know that I’m in jail. The reason I’m in jail now at the age of fifty-two is because of decisions, mistakes, and wrong choices that I made when I was nine-years old, your age. Hard to believe that the choices we make at such a young age can have consequences that last a lifetime.

Are you working what I could have done at your age that could cause me to be in jail? I was warned by my mother and father not to do it. They had some special classes and films at school too. You are all very smart and I know that your parents and your teachers have told you the very same thing that mine told me when I was your exact age. Now you will all have to make a decision and a choice just like I did. I’m taking about drugs. I wish I could find just the right words to tell you how bad they are and not to ever try them. It’s even worse today than it was when I was your age. They are everywhere. I let an older friend of mine talk me into smoking marijuana. He said it wouldn’t hurt me. I wish I would have said no. I did at first but I was curious and it didn’t seem to be hurting him so I tried it. That was the biggest mistake of my entire life, a mistake I made when I was nine-years old. A mistake that has cost me everything, broke my mother’s heart and put me in prison.

It doesn’t happen all at once. At first it was fun. It didn’t seem as bad as they say. I lived in California back then and had a real nice family. I started playing guitar on Christmas day when I was seven-years old. I loved my guitar and still do. It was so much fun. I loved it. I hung around with older guys that played guitar and they would teach me. They were all using drugs so I did too so I would fit in. Little did I know. As I grew older I started playing in bands at different places and everywhere we went there were drugs and beer and alcohol. It took some time before all the bad stuff started happening. It tricked me. Before I made it to college to be a guitar major, several of my friends had died from drugs in car accidents, but that still didn’t stop me. In college there was even more drugs.

Suddenly I realized that I was addicted to different drugs and couldn’t quit. If I didn’t have them I would feel really bad. They made me do things I knew I shouldn’t do but I wanted the drugs so bad. That was a terrible feeling and I got scared and didn’t know what to do. I was afraid to tell anybody the truth. Afraid to stop and afraid to not stop. Before I knew it, drugs took control of my life. I had to quit school because I couldn’t think and do all my homework. I was failing. I quite school and joined the Navy. Thought if I moved and quit playing my guitar that would fix things but it didn’t.

I started playing guitar in the Navy band and made two trips to Europe, France, and Italy, all the while in the band. Everywhere I went there were still drugs. I got worse and worse. It was horrible.

I had two bad car wrecks and by a miracle, didn’t die. Then I woke up in a hospital and didn’t know what happened. They said I almost died from too many drugs. For some reason God had saved me. But He didn’t keep me from jail. I have to pay for my mistakes. He kept me alive though. Maybe it was just so I could write this letter and tell you about a bad choices I made when I was nine-years-old.

“God, I pray that you will let these special young people learn from my mistakes so none of them will ever go to jail or prison or die from using drugs.”

Thanks for letting me share a little of my story. I don’t want to leave you feeling bad or sad though. I’m doing really well here. I’m not on drugs anymore, have a job here and lots of friends. My mother is still alive and lives in Oklahoma. We write a lot and talk on the phone. We have been through a lot together. I told her all about ya’ll and that I got to make you some cross necklaces.

Thanks again. I would love to hear from you. I will be here for awhile so let me know if you want more Heart Crosses. Oh, I learned how to make them in jail.

God Bless all of you,


Sunday, July 17, 2011


Who knew? Certainly not me. My love of God, animals, writing and books has me wanting to run out and read this man’s work.

Friday, July 15, 2011


July 9th, 2011

A total of 1,462 people attended Returning Hearts Celebration!
621 kids
262 dads
160 guardians
419 volunteers

The temperature was 97 with a heat index of 103! This was the hottest RHC at Angola!

We ate 2,000 hamburgers and 1,700 hot dogs! All the food was cooked by a volunteer ministry, Cooking For Christ, from Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge. Our thanks to them for their ministry year after year at Angola!

Please pray for the dads, kids and guardians of Angola. Pray that reconciliation will continue between the dads and their kids. Also, pray that the dads, kids and guardians that don’t know the Lord will come to know Him as their Savior.

Mark your calendars for next year’s Returning Hearts Celebration: Saturday, May 19, 2012!

God is sure to bless you.

You'll leave a changed person.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


It has been some time since I last read one of LENORA WORTH'S books, but only because she changed genres. She was one of the very first inspirational fiction authors I read, and I fell in love with her writing. I was excited to discover HOMETOWN SWEETHEART.

As I began to read this wonderful story, I wasn't disappointed, being instantly swept away. The writing was just as amazing as I'd remembered, with three-dimensional characters you'll fall in love with. The storyline was unique and rich.

Shanna White is pretty and sweet, always sporting a sunny smile and a bubbly attitude. Simon Adams is not happy when she disrupts his reclusive live by moving in to the rental cabin next door with seven unruly kids on a church retreat.

As Shanna breaks through Mack's stone heart, he opens up Shanna's heart to the hurt and pain she'd been hiding from, revealing the warm, kind and sensitive man he once use to be. The unlikely match discovers their lives would be incomplete without the other.

Friday, July 1, 2011


And the winner isJenny Milchman.

Congratulations Jenny on winning a copy of Tessa Stockton ‘s, THE UNFORGIVABLE.

And thanks to those that stopped by and participated.