Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Contest Entry Part Two

Chapter Two

Throughout the day, most of the writers came to me for help or inspiration.  Some need a lot of my attention.  Perhaps ‘demand’ would be a better word.  However Clare is not one of them.  She keeps to herself, hiding in her room I assume.

It is lunch before I see her again.  The same scene from the breakfast table replays itself in perfect harmony.  Clare cooks.  Clare cleans up.  Clare disappears again.  My mind works overtime convincing me not to care.

When the supper hour finally arrives I pull myself away from Stuart’s analytical debate on the publishing world to find Clare slaving over the stove.

“You aren’t the hired help, you know.” I say, leaning over the island behind her.

She jumps at my voice and turns around to glare at me.  “I am not aware of a procession of folks attempting to take my place.”

Clare’s attention is now focused on a slab of roast beef that she is carving - or butchering.  Stepping around the island, I move to offer my help.  Her back tenses. 

“May I?” I offer my hand.

She looks from me to her massacred meat and surrenders.  “I have never had the opportunity to do this type of slicing before.”  She says as she backs away from the counter.


She doesn’t reply.  Either she is unaware of my sarcastic attempt at humour or unmoved by it.  After a moment of awkward silence I try a conversation again.  “Did you get much writing done this afternoon?”

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Next Big Author

This is the entry I am posting for The Next Big Author contest.  It will be rated over and over by other writers for the month of June. The top five winners will be announced at the end of June.  They win a critique from a top publishing house.  Please comment if you see anything that could or should be changed.  I am able to make edits and changes all through the month of June.)

I can’t explain why it matters so much to me. 

Aside from her glass-shattering scream this morning at approximately 4:30 that keeps replaying in my mind, I have no reason to give her a second thought.  She is nothing to me.

Stepping silently through the patio doors I steal a chance to absorb the sunrise before she notices me.  Her fire red hair sectioned into two neat braids is more vibrant then the sky.

“Can we talk, Clare?” I ask.

Her head shakes no, refusing to look my way.

“Okay.”  I swallow my pride.  “How about I talk and you listen, then?”

She shrugs as she exhales a loud breath.

“Hmm, I was hoping for a little more commitment than that.”

Suddenly her full attention is on me, as her eyes plough through me.  “Really?  Tell me if this manner of commitment suits you, Mr Fancy Editor?  I will allow you two sentences to attract my interest.  If your manner is agreeable I will consider staying for the remainder of the conversation.”

“Oh.  Okay.”  I chuckle to myself at the irony. At least she was listening last night when I gave my ‘I make no promises’ speech.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Things to grade me on

I am entering a beginning of a novel in a contest.  It is currently online on a website called You Write On.  I have the month of June to receive ratings.  Each writer from the site who rates the story leaves me comments as well.  If you would like to see the comments as they come in please check out the Unwritten tap at the top of the blog.  I am allowed to edit my work based on the comments submitted - up until the end of June.  Although the site is made for writers you can check it out if you're curious.

I have decided to let you help me make the best beginning chapters I can as well.  Here is how I am graded.  Please give me your comments and feedback as well.  I would love to hear what you think.  (Consider it like co-authoring!)

Story (plot)
Pace & structure
Use of language
Narrative Voice
Themes & ideas

These are the areas I will be graded on by other writers.  Please feel free to chime in.  I would love it.  I have added a survey along the right side of the blog page.  I only put a few on there due to space.  The votes are anonymous so please vote honestly.  This is how I will grow as an author!

I am hoping the votes will be for the new additions - the story Unwritten about Nate and Clare.   The story beginning is broken into two posts.  May 29/11 and May 31/11.  


Friday, May 27, 2011

Something borrowed, something blue ... something new!

I need to lay a confession down for all to see.  My husband poked me with a comment that has unsettled me for weeks.  I told him I am entering a contest again but taking out the Christian elements this time.  His profound and puncturing words came out softly.

"Are you ashamed of the gospel?"

Ouch!  That hurt.  But a good hurt - the kind you feel when someone pours hydrogen peroxide over an open sore.  A cleansing 'ouch'.

Here is my official response.  No.  I am not ashamed.  I am afraid.

Oh I bet you all rolled off your chair and hit the floor, didn't you? She didn't use the 'f' word, again did she?  I heard you mutter that, by the way.

Or maybe its just me that is so tired of hearing myself say that word.  Okay.  Okay.  I admit it.  I'm afraid.

I need to know where I stand with my writing.  Do I really need validation?  From my frail human experience - YES.  From God's divine experience - no.  But I am human.  Forgive me.

So the age old question - as old as time itself - is asked again.  I will borrow the words from our Savior. "Who do the people say I am?"  Jesus warned us that the world would not accept him.  They would find him offensive.  That is nothing new.  I do not write novels for the ones who don't know Him.  I write for the ones

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Are you lost or confused right now?  Perhaps you opened the May 25th post of Chapter nineteen, page one.  Then you clicked on anything you could find that was 'clickable', all the while wondering what happened to the rest of the page?  Where's the story?

Well, I am here to comfort you.  You are not alone!

I am sitting here wondering the same thing.   

It is gone folks.  Sorry.  But it truly is gone.  These last few days I have been wandering around in a technology haze.  My mind has been pining for a simpler time; a time when we were not so plugged in. 

I have had trouble with my email.  My server and my internet.  My phone decided to drop every call that came in and then my computer decided to shut down without saving.  Ah, a simpler time when I didn't have to be so plugged in.

So, here it is -

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chapter nineteen, page one

Evelyn and I drove to her home in my car.  We talked about my entire visit – the tangible stuff anyway.  

Evelyn had done a little travelling when she was young, before she married Mitch's father and settled down in England.  She remembered certain aspects of Paris as I shared about my journey. 

"Paris is the City of romance, you know?"  She said with a smile that carried such weight.  "Too bad you didn't take advantage of that.  Seeing Paris with a sister is one thing but ...".  She paused and a look of faraway places and passionate love took over. "Seeing Paris, walking hand in hand with a man you love - that's what it is all about Dear."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chapter eighteen, page three

I took a taxi back to Stacie's house, just as I promised.  It was very hard not to direct the driver to a certain apartment building where I might see a glimpse of Quinn.  

In fact, each day after that called to me to stop by the hospital or the bakery.  My heart wanted one more chance to see Quinn.  I decided to leave it up to God.  He could orchestrate a chance meeting anywhere and anytime.  My heart hoped He would.

My week with Stacie and Neale went so quickly.  I saw so many exhilarating sights around Paris.  Stacie loved my red dress until I wore it to her conservative church service.  It didn’t matter to me, though.  I felt beautiful in it.  Besides, I rationalized that God had shown it to me.  Therefore, he wasn't surprised to see me wear it - not even in His house.  The only people shocked were my sister and her husband.  A fresh, new beginning.

Stacie’s eyes filled with tears as we stood in line at the airport.  I was about to pass through the security gates and leave my sister behind .  Our time together was precious to me.  It surpassed all that I thought it would be. 

Only, that was not the hardest part for me.  I had clung to a small hope that somehow Quinn would find me.  The longing to make Paris all about him and I had been a low rumble in my heart each day.  I knew if I left Paris then I left Quinn behind. 

Sure I had prayed.  The Lord had probably grown tired of my requests to “bump” into Quinn at the market, the mall, or the restaurant.  Wherever I went, I made my wish known.  Today was no exception.  

Lord, please let Quinn be here.  Maybe he is flying somewhere, or he is picking a friend up or something.  I know you can do that Lord.  You can do anything.

However time ticked away.  The tick-tock blared in my ears as I sat in departures waiting.  The seconds loudly skittered past as I boarded the plane for Canada.  I searched each and every face that passed by me.  I checked every seat.  Soon the flight attendants closed the doors and began to prepare for takeoff.  My heart sank as the plane was slowly forced backwards.  My dream has ended.  I will head home to face my lonely life ... alone.

I determined myself not to sleep on this flight.  I read a magazine and then a book.  I watched the television and spent endless passages of time staring out into the cloud masses.  

It took several hours into the flight before I could bring myself to speak to God.  He let me down.  He gave me hope and then took it away.  My house would be too quiet after staying in Stacie’s home.  My solo life would be hollow after my exciting days with Quinn.  Even more hollow than it had been for three years.

As much as I wanted to feel angry with God,  I couldn't.  Buried somewhere deep within me was a seed.  One I planted into Quinn’s life that was probably meant for me.

Quinn is not yours to give up or hold on to.  He belongs to Me.  As soon as you can process that then the pain will dissipate.
Upon arriving in Montreal I found Mitch’s mother waiting for me at the luggage carousel.  She embraced me with her tall, full frame.

“How was your trip, Cathie?”


She looked at me with a curious look.  “That’s good ... I think.”  She squeezed my hand as we stood waiting for the suitcases to fall.  “So, I'm dying to now.  Did you meet anyone new?”

She was from the same camp as my sister.  Everyone - except God, seemed to think it was time for me to meet a new man.

“I met a man on the plane.  He was very friendly.”  I contemplated asking her if she knew Quinn, but I decided not to.

“You didn’t happen to make plans to see him again did you?”

“Evelyn!  I just met him on the plane.  I'm not that desperate.”

She started to scan the crowd.  “Which one is he?  What's he wearing?”

“It wasn't this flight.  I met him on the way to Paris.”

She looked deep into my eyes and I blinked in case she could see right through.  “God has a plan Sweetie.”

“I know.”  I sighed.  He has a plan to prosper me and not to harm me, apparently. He has a plan to turn my mourning into joy and my ashes into beauty.  I'm just waiting.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chapter eighteen, page two

It amazed me how the layout of the mall was exactly what I had pictured.  I grabbed a quick snack at the same food kiosk that Quinn and I had.  Then up the escalator and a third of the way down the mall corridor was the store I was looking for.  Hanging in the window was a black spaghetti strap number.  I held my heart for a minute.  How could a person dream every detail of the future before it happens.  That was confirmation that the dream was more than just a dream.  It was a vision.  I was right to warn Quinn.

I gasped.

If the mall is fact, then so is what is happening to Quinn right now.  His house would be a pile of ashes lining his property.  His bakery would be shot apart.  And Anna will be taking a few of her last breathes.  ‘Lord, hold Quinn up through this.'

I hope he took my advice and saved one of his contracts.  If he left the airport thinking I was crazy and ignored what I said, everything would be a waste.  However I remember his face as we stood behind Stacie's car.  I cannot let my heart believe that he would ignore it all.  In his eyes I saw a twinkle of hope.  He wanted to believe me. 

Entering the store, a tall, slender woman greeted me in French.  She appeared to be in her late thirties or early forties probably.  Not the same sassy young thing I remember.

Puis-je vous aider?”  She asked.

I shook my head.  “No thank you.”

“Ooh.  An American?”

“No.  I am from Canada.”

“I love Canada.  I have an aunt who lives in Manitoba.  Do you live in Manitoba?”  The woman's English was good but her accent was rich.

I shook my head again.  “Quebec.”

She chuckled out loud.

“What is so funny about that?”

“A Canadian - from Quebec - who doesn’t speak French?”  She laughed again behind her hand.

Je parle français.”  I just don’t like to.

She regained her composure.  “Sorry.”

I walked away from her looking at the clothes hanging around the store.  The fashions were fancy compared to my closet.  Then I spotted the lilac colour I remembered.  I quickened my step to its side.  Holding the hanger in front of me I tried to hold back my emotions.  It’s here.

Right away the tall woman was beside me.  “Would you like to try it on?”

“No thank you.  I can’t reach the zipper.”

The clerk’s jet black hair flopped to one side as she cocked her head in confusion.

“But I am looking for a red dress.” I said.

Her eyes lit up.  “I have many red dresses.”  She turned to walk away.

“No.  I know exactly which one I want.”

She stopped in her tracks.

“It has small white flowers and the skirt is wide, so it lifts up when you dance in circles.”  I almost started to waltz in her store. Luckily I caught myself before my memories took over.

She watched me closely for a moment.  Her eyes roaming over me looking for answers.  My face must have revealed my heart more than I had planned on.  She smiled all the way to her eyes and then turned silently to walk across the store.

With no trouble, the woman found the red dress.  seeing the lilac dress didn't prepare me enough for seeing the red one in front of me.  I choked back a tear.  It’s real. 

I snatched it from her and announced I would pay for it.  She tried to convince me to try it on but I told her I knew it would fit.  It would fit perfectly, in fact.  After giving me that same look she did before, she wrapped the dress into the store bag and handed it to me.

As I walked away she called out.  “It's none of my business, but you are not a typical shopper.  Why that dress?”

My eyes closed as my feelings for Quinn surfaced once more.  “There is a man who loves this dress on me.  I guess I figured that even if I can’t have him, I can have the dress.”

My attention had been on my treasured images of Quinn, but when I looked up at the woman she had a tear curving down her high cheek.

I smiled.

“Thank you.  Au revoir.”  I said.

She wiped her face and waved to me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chapter eighteen, Page one

Quinn and I parted with a friendly hug and I crawled inside ‘The Thing’.

“What was that all about?”  Stacie asked.


“Uh-huh.”  She teased.  “He is adorably handsome though.”

I smiled.  “He is, isn’t he?”

Then with a rev of her motor we set out on our way home.  The chatter was light which helped me to utter a silent prayer.  

Lord, Quinn is Yours.  I entrust him to Your hands.  Take my words Lord and give them Your power.  That Quinn might know in his heart You are waiting for him.  Show him the way back to You God, so he can find the peace he is longing for.  I release him to You.

That night I slept like I hadn’t in years.  I couldn’t even be sure that I dreamt.  My heart was fresh and finally at peace after a long drought of doubt. 

Stacie had a wonderful French breakfast awaiting me when I came into her kitchen.  Neale had left for work and she had until three in the afternoon to devote only to me. 

“So, what is on your plan for us today?”  I asked.

“I hope you slept well, because I have a wonderful day planned for you.”

I nodded as I grabbed a baguette. 
Stacie and I had a marvellous morning together.  We visited the famous Louvre, took a walk along the river and ate a nice lunch outside at a local bistro.  Our time was filled with laughter and even a few tears.  I have missed my sister so much. Visiting with Stacie satisfied some of the deep longings of my spirit.  

Yet, Quinn was not far from my thoughts.  As we drove past locations I had seen in my dream, my heart pined for him.  I told myself, 'He is in God’s plan now' and I have to accept it.

When it was time for Stacie to go to work I asked her to drop me off at a mall.  She insisted on taking me to the closest mall by her house, but I had a very specific place I needed to shop at.  That mall was clear across the City.

“I don’t think you should be wandering the streets of Paris by yourself.  You don’t know the City very well.”

I squeezed her arm as she drove.  “I promise I won’t wander.  I know where I want to go.  A soon as I’m done shopping I’ll take the transit back to your place.”

“Not the transit!”

Her outburst made me jump.  “Why?”

“It might not be safe.  You never know who you’ll find on there.”

“I’ll take a taxi, then.”

“Not a taxi!  That will cost you a fortune.”

“Stacie.  I am a grown woman.  I can do this.”

She sighed in surrender.  “I know you can.  I just worry about you.”

“Maybe instead of worrying you can hope I meet a handsome French man along the way.”  In my attempt to distract her I opened a new problem.

“That is a good idea.  Why don’t you call that guy from the airport?  He can drive you home.”

I smiled outwardly, but inside I cringed.

“You know what you say about strangers, Stac.  You need to pick one side of the fence and stay there.”

She chuckled.  “I guess so.”

So she drove me to the Mall I had visited in my dream.  Giving me a hug before she left, she made me promise I would go home before dark.  “And you better call me the instant you arrive at my house.”

I blew her a kiss.  “Go to work.”

NEXT PAGE is here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Another message of Grace to the world!

I have heard about a movie lately.  It is called The Grace Card.  I must be a little behind because the trailer says it came out in February.  However it will be shown in Calgary theatres next week for two shows only.  Wednesday the 25th and Sunday the 29th.

I am posting a trailer and a link to where you can get tickets.  You should get the tickets early apparently.  They are letting people reserve tickets as well as getting them at the door - however the radio says the tickets are going fast.

My family are not able to attend this. I hope some of you can!
Tickets information here and here.

Chapter seventeen page three

Stacie and I walked out to the car port arm in arm.  We giggled at a few of the passerby-ers but mostly rattled on about all the latest news.  I felt content.  Would I ever forget meeting Quinn on the plane?  Hopefully never, but today was a new day and he wasn’t a part of it.  It was just Stacie and I and the beautiful city of Paris.

I plunked my suitcase in the grungy, packed trunk of her Green Machine car.  As I slammed down the hood, Quinn’s presence startled me.

“Sorry for startling you again.”

“Oh no.  I’m fine.”  I lied as I scrambled to slow my frantic heart.

Stacie walked up behind me for curiousity or support.

Quinn offered his hand.  “Hello, my name is Quinn Fowler.”

She quickly shook his, being wary of him.  “Stacie.”

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chapter seveteen, page two

Somehow, I managed to stagger my way into the ladies washroom.  I needed to freshen my face and rid myself of the dreaded tears before I found Stacie.  Hopefully that part of my journey is factual and my lovely sister is awaiting my arrival on the other side of the terminal.

I bent over the sink to splash water on my face when a woman spoke.  It wasn’t déjà-vu.  This woman was a young, spritely thing with the biggest mop of red curls I had ever seen.  Much like a grown up Shirley Temple.

“Hi there.  Do you speak English?”  She asked.


Her eyes glanced upward.  “Thank you God.”  Then she turned her gaze on me.  “I was praying that someone who wasn’t French or Japanese or German or ... whatever would come into the bathroom next.”

No way Lord.  I thought.  I’m out of the vision casting, dream-reading business.  No more crazies, please.  I could not be sure God was listening to me because the young red-head had his attention as well.

As she raved her praises to God, she reached into her pocket and pulled out a tube of bright red lipstick.  She began to tighten her lips and rub the vibrant colour across them.  “I never travel alone.”  She managed to speak despite her gaping mouth.  “You?”

Friday, May 13, 2011

Chapter seventeen, page one

“Quinn, I am sorry to do this.  I wish things were different.  Trust me.”  I hung my head a moment as I grieved what was in the dream and yet would never be again.  There is no love in his eyes today.

“Try to get past the question of how I know all these things and focus on what you are to do about them.  Okay?”

He half-nodded.

“I think I have been given this information to warn you about some things.  So, I am just going to say it as if it is all factual.”  I inhaled a deep courage-searching breath.  “For starters don’t go to the pub tonight.  Dean is looking for you.  He wants his money now.”

Already I could see Quinn’s mind racing – probably asking, ‘how does she know about the pub?  Or the money?  Or who is this crazy woman?’

“Dean is going to take drastic measures over the next twenty-four hours to destroy your copies of the contract.  You know, the one you have in your safe at work and the other at your home - the one in the blue envelope.”

Quinn’s face, bent out of shape with confusion and general ‘weirded-out-ness’ slightly nodded again.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chapter sixteen, page three

Quinn returned balancing two paper coffees cups and his travel gear with his usual charismatic flair.  He is exactly as I imagined.  His smile, with so many different flavours, that filled my heart with joy.  His sunburnt-blonde hair that makes him look so young and handsome.  An intriguing sparkle behind his eyes that radiates his personality. There isn’t anything about him that I haven’t already seen. 

“I brought you a muffin as well.  You look dreadfully white.”  He sat with the goodies, passing mine over towards me.  Then he looked right into my eyes.  “Are you sure you’re alright Cathie?”

I nodded.

He cracked open the lid on his coffee and proceeded to dump several sugars packages in. 

“Um Quinn ... can I ask you something?”


“Please don’t get all weirded out though, okay?”

“Do I look like the kind of guy who gets weirded out?”  He offered a stellar smile.

“No, but ...”

Monday, May 9, 2011

Chapter sixteen, page two

“Excuse me Miss?”  A soft voice broke through my tired, vacant state.

My eyelids resisted the movement but eventually managed a flutter.  As my senses awoke I could tell Quinn was next to me; his warmth and his smell, unmistakable.  My head was against his shoulder so I snuggled in further.  He must have come back form the hospital.

“Sorry to waken you, but we have arrived at our destination.”  His soft and sweet accent raised my blood pressure enough to jolt myself to alert.

“Destination?”   My eyes popped open to gather more information.  A woman in a navy tailored suit coat that contrasted nicely with her red hair and sharp blue eyes was leaning over the top of a high back chair.  A chair with a television imbedded in it.  I’m on an airplane?

Amidst my haze, the woman spoke in a motherly voice.  “Are you well enough to disembark Dear, or do you require assistance?”

I turned towards Quinn beside me.  “Where are we Quinn?”

He chuckled.  “You are in Paris.”  He paused as his eyes probed deep into mine.  “How is it that you know my name?”  His accent rolling swiftly from his lips.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Power of Words

I am 'borrowing' this video off another blog I have been reading. It is powerful.  Enjoy and take it to heart.

As an author, words are very important. I am researching about editing and there is a lot of advice out there on sloppy words and ineffective phrases. (Which I am certain I use too many of them.) Just remember the term ... learning curve, as you read my story.

So as I edit my six manuscripts over the next while I will be using the great advice of the video.

By the way, if you haven't wished your mom a happy Mother's Day yet, make your words count!

To my Mom: I love you for everything you have shown me. Your ability to love others has increased my definition of friend and family so much. Your kindness to everyone I have ever seen you with has allowed me the eyes to see the unlovable and the hearts that are searching to be loved. You have shown me that today is a beautiful day and I MUST see it while I can. Love you MOM!

I made two posts today, so don't forget to scroll down. 

Chapter sixteen, page one

Reminder that I am not writing this scene out.  Check out this post if you are not sure why.  I will give a short synopsis of what I think you need to know and understand in order to move on.  Then we will ... move on.

Quinn and Cathie continue on with their phone call talking into the wee hours of the morning.  A few of the topics that are important to the flow of the story are:

  • Cathie attempts to 'help' Quinn see the revelation she has seen from God.  Only Quinn doesn't respond to it that well.  Sometimes we think the amazing thing God is teaching us is for everyone - but God seldom works that way.
  • The two of them argue a little over the role that God is playing in Anna's condition and in Quinn's chaotic circumstances.  Quinn, in frustration wants Cathie to butt out.
  • The two end on a bitter note, saying good night but Quinn promises to come see her in the morning.
Now, let's get on with the story.  "We have our heading!"

NEXT Page is here.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hello my faithful followers!

You may be disappointed to see that my post (chapter sixteen, page one) is missing today.  My deepest apologies.  Here is where the rubber meets the road folks.  I have mentioned in a past blog (here and here) some of the struggles I've had in attempting this little adventure.  Well, here is another.  No journey is complete without bumps and bruises.

Typically when I receive a story and begin to write it, I don't worry too much about the things that don't make any sense to me.  I only focus on writing it down.  Often there are scenes or tidbits of information that I can not explain as I 'm writing.  (Remember I see these stories in my mind as a movie.  I, like you, only see the part that is in front of me.  I have to travel through the story chronologically in order to find the ending.  And often there are these little items that I cannot account for or justify to the story while I'm writing it.  Never failing though, God always provides a solution by the end.

When I am finished writing the story, I can go back and edit those loose ends.  The amazing thing is most of

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chapter fifteen, page three

For hours, I tried pacing my hotel room.  I tried watching French television.  I even tried chatting with the bellman at the doorway.  Nothing could remove Quinn and Anna from my thoughts.

So I did the only thing I could do to make myself feel better.  I changed into my red party dress and crawled on my big bed with my bible.

The Lord got me into this shenanigan mess and so it only seems fair that He will get me out of it.  I turned in my bible to the Old Testament verse I had considered in the shower earlier.  My bible tumbled open and I thumbed through the edges until I reached Isaiah.  In chapter sixty-one I found so many words of comfort from God.

Although I had read this portion of scripture before, tonight it seemed to be highlighted.  ‘The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me.’  The words came alive as I read.  ‘He has sent me to bind the brokenhearted ... freedom for the captives ... release the prisoners.’

Now, I know the scripture is

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How Great Thou Art!

My sister in law directed me to this Youtube video.  I do not have cable tv so I am a little behind the times.  (Thanks Kristi!)

Recently, Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill performed this hymn at a music awards show that is televised around the world.  It is powerful. (see video here)

It tickles my heart (and tear ducts) to see My God worshiped and glorified on National television.  Then to receive a standing ovation to boot.  I am sure many folks out there think that the audience was standing for Carrie's amazing voice.   However I have a different thought.

There are countless people who grew up on bible stories and prayers of a faithful grandparent. Some were sitting in that audience.  There is an abundance of folks who know what they believe, but with the pressures of fame and fortune they have forgotten how to live it.  Some of them were sitting in that concert hall.  There are endless stories of individuals who have an ache in their heart but they don't know what fills it. They have tried fame, they have tried alcohol and drugs, or relationships and money.  Someone once penned it as a God-shaped hole that nothing else will fill.  Some of the awe-inspired faces in that crowd were these people.

I think this performance is a perfect example of what God will do to bring His people to Himself.  He took a willing servant, Carrie and Vince, and poured out His love on a mass of unsuspecting Country folk.

People were clapping for God that night.  At least the ones who stood first.  (I believe that!!)

This video also reminds me a scripture that I often consider.  It is in Isaiah, chapter 55, verse 10 and 11.

"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty."

Let us, the ones that love God and love His people, storm the gates of heaven in prayer for every soul that was present in that building that night; and every faceless soul that watched over the TV airwaves; and every precious one that has viewed it online - let's pray that the impact that song had will not be void, but that it will return to Jesus filled with prayers of redemption, renewal and recommittment.  

Psalm 48:1  "Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised."   Amen.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chapter fifteen, page two

It felt like forever.  Time ticked away but hardly a heartbeat joined it.  We sat there immobilized in our fears.  Then Quinn wiped his face and leaned back onto the carpet staring up to the ceiling.

Softly whispered words came from his motionless frame.   “Why are you here?”

“Me?”  I quietly asked.

“Yes.  Why are you here Cathie?  Why are you feeding me information about my future, but it is all too late?"  He voice rose in decibels climaxing with his last two hurtful words.

Quinn didn’t wait for my answer before he swiftly pulled out his cell phone.  I watched as he dialled and then held the phone to his ear.  He spoke in French requesting to be directed to the third floor.  I knew he was calling the hospital to check on Anna.

After the conversation was over, he put away his phone and quickly stood to his feet.  I could not read his face.  Other than his anger tightened jaw and his red eyes there was nothing new there.

“What did they say?” I asked cautiously.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

chapter fifteen, page one

We drove like a Nascar through the darkening streets to Quinn’s Bakery.  Slowly he passed in front of the building and we saw the wood boarding the windows and doorway.  There was police tape stretched across.  Quinn drove around the block and parked in the back area.  He instructed me to stay put.

 After a few steps he was out of my line of sight.  So I prayed.  Please let the envelope be there, Lord.  Please let us find something to get Quinn get out of this mess.  Please.  I believe You are in control.  Show us.

When Quinn returned to the car less than ten minutes later, his black jacket was no longer on his back, but draped over his right arm which he cradled against himself.

It wasn’t until he was inside the car with the interior light shining on him that I noticed the blood. 

“What happened?”

“I broke a window to get in.”