Clamoring for Someone Else’s Crown – 2 Samuel 15

My friend Karen* has just had surgery, and her husband is away. (This is not uncommon for military folk like us.) We have spent three days holed up at my place—she as the patient, me the attempted nurse—so she can begin to heal. Now she’s ready to be back on her feet and at home, but her cupboards are bare. So we go grocery shopping on the way over to her place. She chooses the food, I push the cart and lift the heavy things.

We arrive at a seasonal display in the produce department. Bags of cherries are stacked up in piles: a couple rows of deep red, a couple rows of red-yellow, then a couple more of red. It is at this point when Karen reaches out nonchalantly and grabs a single Ranier.

“I always taste-test these to make sure they’re good first,” she explains, popping it into her mouth. Her official assessment is a slight pucker.

My internal response to this cherry-pick is instantly surprising to me, for two reasons.

Does God Have a Split Personality? – Ezekiel 5

My relationship with Marcie (not her real name) took several permanent steps backward when she called up my parents one day and told them she wanted to kill me. According to Marcie—who, up to that point had been a casual friend—the flash point for her murderous thoughts was a conversation from years earlier, which Marcie apparently had remembered selectively and fixated on.

That previous conversation was mildly memorable to me too, mostly because the question that prompted it had seemed to come wildly out of the blue.

Marcie: “Lisa, do you get A’s in school?”

Lisa: “Yeah, I get some A’s. But it’s not that important to get A’s in school, Marcie.”

Marcie: “OK.”

She wanted to kill me, she was now saying, because of the A’s. According to a report given by authorities a couple days later, a bigger reason was that Marcie’s guardian had been ill, and as a result Marcie had stopped taking her meds.

On one hand, Marcie posed no plausible serious threat to me. It seemed reasonable to believe that with her medications back on schedule, her mind would sort out properly. Plus she was a tiny woman on a limited income who at that point lived 200 miles away from me and had no driver’s license.

Aside from concerns about my safety, though, there remained the issue of my sanity. That mental space had suddenly become complicated. How do you deal with someone who has shown such enormous deviation? How do you arrive at a scenario where you even want to deal with that person again? It agitated me, just thinking that Marcie and I might cross paths again someday. To distrust Dr. Jekyll for always, must you meet Mr. Hyde only once?

Which brings us, some would suggest, to the question of God’s character in a Bible passage like Ezekiel 5.

Recently Published by Lisa

Links For Your Perusing Pleasure

Here’s a quick compilation of the articles I’ve had published recently. They’re all online, which hopefully keeps things handy for you.

If you’re a blogger who’s looking for me to guest post or an editor who’s looking to hire me for your publication, I’d love it if you’d email me and say so. If you’re a reader looking for more, you can subscribe to my blog and consider immediately picking up your copy of my latest book, Craving Grace.

So You Want To Write? Part 2

Long, too long ago, I posted the first part of this series. Then, being in a state of general pregnancy, I never followed up.

At the beginning of this year, though, a former colleague of mine emailed with some great questions about how to get started writing. It prompted the second half of this “So You Want To Write?” series, and made me think that maybe in time I’ll add even more. But for now, you can find what amounts to part 2 over at the WordServe Water Cooler, because I’m one of those fortunate WordServe authors, and because I decided it was OK to double-dip.

Check it out: How to Get Started Writing: Hamster Wheels and Hurdles

You can also sample some of my former colleague Christina’s and her sister Nicole’s work at Cheers to writers starting out!


Related: So You Want To Write? Part 1

Craving Grace Crosses the Pacific!

For all those who have been asking, Craving Grace is about to be released in the Southeast Asia!

With a cover-refresh and in paperback to boot, Craving Grace is heading off to the islands. Courtesy of OMF Literature, you’ll now be able to find my latest project for sale in the Philippines. Upon last check, it hadn’t yet hit the OMF website, but be on the lookout and you should find it there soon!

Special thanks to all those who asked for this—you’re getting your wish!

Book Signing with Pam Farrel & Friends

Thanks to the great folks at Berean San Diego for hosting these lovely ladies and me!

(Left to right: Pam Farrel, Marcia Ramsland, Susan Meissner, Lisa, Arlene Pellicane)

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of participating in a book signing with some local Southern California authors. It was a fantastic hour, and all kinds of fun. These ladies are fabulous—check them out, and buy their books!

Pam Farrel, co-founder of Love-Wise and co-author of Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti and many others.

Marcia Ramsland, Organizing pro and author of Simplify Your Holiday Season

Susan Meissner, Fiction author of The Girl in the Glass and many others.

Arlene Pellicane, author of 31 Days to a Happy Husband


Book Review: Serving God And Country

A story of Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish military chaplains in World War II.

Recently the folks over at Christianity Today asked me to interview Lyle W. Dorsett about his new book Serving God and Country. Hello, fabulous assignment. It was a pleasure on three levels:

One, reading the book.
Two, getting to talk to Dr. Dorsett about the book and more.
Three, getting to share a bit of our conversation with CT readers in print and online.

But since an author interview is (rightly) about what the author has to say, here’s what I as a reader thought of Serving God and Country.

Q&A on Book Releases

Here’s one big Q and one big A, courtesy of a fellow writer about-to-be-author and me.

Someone who attended college with me recently contacted me on Facebook with some great news and some confusion. The news: she’s publishing her first book! The confusion: how in the world to promote it?

I had a few minutes, so I hammered out a response and sent it off. Then I thought, Hey look! Moms can accomplish things! A real message sent to a real person! I was so excited about this, that I figured I should make the most of it and fling it to the world. Who says you can’t double-dip?

The following are the first things that came to mind when I was posed this: I’m wondering what your experience has been on the other side of publishing a book when it comes to marketing and selling your book. How much time do you spend speaking, traveling, promoting, etc? How much financially have you had to spend to do this?

Fifty Shapes Like Grace

Introducing Celia Grace, born late April.

Because mama wants to feel somewhat professional again, for at least 20 minutes.

And because grace is the loveliest thing, and because graciousness, gracefulness, and gratitude all take shapes that point in its general direction—here are 50 little celebrations from my corner of the woods.

(1) You are still reading this, despite my cheesy riff of a title.

(2) The safe arrival of our baby girl, who (3) is a redhead, (4) has the best gummy smile ever, (5)  sleeps like a dream, (6) screams like crazy beforehand—keeps things interesting, (7, 8, and 9) got her dad’s cute upper lip, and (10) is learning how to giggle.

(11) Baby nap times, which tie you to home much of most days, making sleep deprivation less painful.

(12) Mountain views from the postpartum floor at the hospital.

So You Want to Write? Part 1

Before we get to some answers, first ask yourself this question.

It never ceases to amaze me, the number of people who’d like to someday publish a book. I hear it from friends, from acquaintances, from the guy in the airplane seat next to me, from people who sort of knew me in middle school, from eager folks lined up at events and signings.

Those who are somewhat serious about getting published often seem baffled or frustrated by the most urgent-seeming question there is: How do I break into the biz?

As one of those grateful persons who received helpful start-up advice from other writers, and with a couple real-life books under my own belt now, whenever I’m asked this question I always want to help in some way. What I’ve found over the years is that an important first answer to the Biz Question is yet another question: