Learning from Animals

For the first time in my life, I dog sat. This year, I am really stepping out of my comfort zone. I am not a pet person, so I was quite amused by pet behavior. It was new to me and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The dogs were charming, irritating and funny.

I realized I am not cut out to be a pet person. Pets have too many characteristics of people but none of the reasoning capacity. They were much smarter than I imagined. They opened doors, threw fits and read me like a book.

I got amused watching the dogs interact with each other. Loulah, a Cathoula/Shepherd mix would tease the chihuahua, Roscoe, who was tied down with just a limited area he could roam through. The chihuahua was the newest to the mix and had not adopted all of the house rules, so he had to be limited. Loulah is a sweetie, but she has her moments.

Loulah

Loulah would get the squeaky squirrel dog toy and take it to Roscoe. She would walk around him, like musical chairs, while he  chewed on it and made it squeak. And just when he was comfortable, she would snatch it and run out of his range. She would take it to another room, them after a few seconds would skip back into the room with it, but careful to stay out of Roscoe’s range.

I got a kick out of watching. Roscoe fell for it every time. Loulah definitely enjoyed it.

That is what Satan does to us. He tempts us with something we think we want. We get to chewing on it and comfortable with it, then he snatches it from us and takes it out of our range. When we are good and dumbfounded by it, he skips back in with it between his teeth taunting us with it.

Needless to say, I am not amused when I am tricked by Satan in that way. Unlike, Roscoe, I have God’s word to guide me. Last month’s verse was Psalm 19.

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul,

The statues of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.

The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

If Satan is taunting or tempting you, there is a place you can go so that you don’t keep falling for it over and over again.

Each Moment is Precious

If I had known it was the last time I was going to hug her, I would have hugged her a little longer.  I would have said a few other things. I remember wrapping my arm around her and greeting her. I remember she said some words to me, but seemed preoccupied. We were on our way to somewhere, so I didn’t investigate.

That is the great adventure of this life, not knowing if you will ever see someone again. Every encounter we have with each other should be treated as a moment we might not get to repeat. The headlines of the news are filled with instances of people who never got to say goodbye.

We feel entitled to the privilege of saying goodbye to the people we love. God did not promise us that. (John 16:33)

He promised we could live forever with Him in eternity if we accepted Jesus as our savior. When he planted the tree in the garden, He knew what kind of world this would become. As we are stunned each day by the atrocities, He whispers I have a plan in place for this. (John 1: 1-5)

He loved us so much that He sent the most precious thing He had, his Son. (John 3:16) He said if you believe in Him and accept Him as savior, you can join Him in heaven where you will not experience this type of misery ever again.  As sad as I am to lose a love one, I hang on to the promise that it won’t be the last time I see them. I know we will meet again in heaven and finish the conversation we didn’t have here.

Every year at the end of BSF we sing a song. We hold hands, hug and sing this song.  Many of us know it by heart because we have sang it so many times. It reminds us that we are parting, but this is not the end. I sing this song every year, but I never think that I won’t see my sisters in Christ again.

We memorize the verses. We sing the hymns. We do the church thing and all the other feel good stuff. Some days life calls us to live those words out. That is when it gets hard, but He promised He would guide us through it. He didn’t say it would be easy, or we would like it or we would even understand it. He asked us to trust Him. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Hold on to that. If you are in Christ Jesus, this is not the end. And you are not alone. He is with you. He has promised never to leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

UPP Creative Publishing

Privateers is available on Nook Press.

privateers book cover

A single young woman is tricked by modern day pirates losing everything she owned. As she tries to figure out what happened to her belongings, her world crashes around her as government and private agencies treat her as a suspect. Determined to find the man who did this to her, she stumbles onto a government top secret. Finding this modern day pirate turns into a race against lethal forces.

Dancing During The Storm

It is the last day to get a free Amazon Kindle copy of Dancing During the Storm. We will be making the book available on other platforms, so no more free Kindle copies. You can order paperback versions from Createspace or by email uppcreative@yahoo.com

dds-ebook-cover

Dancing During the Storm is a collection of stories from projects that I have written over the years. They represent a desire to praise God despite the storms in my life. As the saying goes, you are going into a storm, in the middle of a storm or coming out of a storm. All of these stories tell of people who enjoy the life that God has given them and live it to the fullest. Each character has a storm in their life which they are going into, in the midst of, or coming out of.
The first story is about the first man to ever encounter a storm and the impact on his life.
The second story is about an African American book editor on her first date with her boss and allows him to see more of her life than she wanted revealed. She is heading into a storm over which she has no control.
The third story is a science fiction tale of the journey of a young woman who is searching for peace and quiet after spending the last two years on a planet that had to resemble hell. As she emerges from the storms of her life, she sees that things are not a easy as she thought they would be.
Enjoy these fun, light hearted stories, but hear the underlying intent. All of the main characters know that God is in control.

When You Forget Your Phone

This book too will be heading for other ebook platforms, so watch for it’s last free date. It will be coming soon.  You can also order this paperback at Createspace or by email uppcreative@yahoo.com.

When You Forget Book Cover

In my phone are hundreds of names and numbers. Without my phone, I only remember two phone numbers. I don’t even know my daughter’s phone number. When you have you bible with you, or access to it, you are probably pretty confident. But when you are in the midst of a trial and your bible and the app are not available, what do you rely on? When You Forget Your Phone is a devotional that challenges you to memorize God’s word. If you know God’s word, it is easier to stand on His promises when your world is turbulent.
The fifteen verses included in this devotional are verses that God has spoken in the life of the author over the last year. This book will give some insight into her journey with the Lord.

God’s Plans

Many many years ago, I took a class. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Some of it stuck. One of the rituals I do every years is make goals for the year. Physical. Emotional. Spiritual, Etc. If you don’t have goals then it is difficult to tell if you are making progress or being static. I try to plan out my year. Review quarterly to see what is working and what is not.

Sometimes the things that I want are not in line with what God has planned. I am learning to trust God. If something doesn’t work, don’t push it. I go back to Him and ask what He wants me to do. Most of the time He says “Be still.”

I set goals with long term planning in mind. I understand that I have plans but God’s plans trump mine. Normally I try to plan according to the guidance God has already given me. If He hasn’t told me to change, I keep doing what He has told me to do.

One of my goals this year was to lose weight and get off my blood pressure medication. I attacked this goal with the intention of it being a long term goal, taking 3 to four years. I increased my exercise and worked on my diet (but I do love fried chicken.)

Roughly three or four months into this year, I lost about 10 pounds. When I went to my doctor, I asked her if I could stop taking one of the medications I had been taking.  She said,”Sure, lets try it.” She was very helpful and encouraging. I was so excited. I had reached a goal for the year. Yay me!

This year has been one of the hardest years I have ever lived physically, emotionally and mentally. My mom passed in December. One of my aunts got sick in April and I spent many a days by her beside until the Lord took her home. I have found myself challenged at all points to where some days I was ready to fight anyone who got in my face.

But God blessed me.

He gave me the funnest job I have ever had, but it has come with challenges. When you face challenge after challenge it is easy to get discouraged, but my God always has something in the wings. I sprained my ankle on vacation and had to go back to the doctor.

Routine blood pressure found my BP so low, I could get rid of another medication and in addition to that I lost 5 more pounds. Praise the LORD! If my ankle wasn’t sore, I would have danced out of there.

Some areas of my life, God is moving like an out of control freight train going down hill on a track. Some areas are at a complete stand still. I am learning to find my contentedness in whatever my circumstance. He is so good to me!

This year He is teaching me to live Philippians 4:11-12.

Destiny’s Dilemma is available on Amazon Kindle

You can get the Kindle version of Destiny’s Dilemma on Amazon. The paperback will be available by July 31. You can order online or by email.

An African American woman moved home to take care of her dying mother giving up the opportunity to experience a world beyond segregation. Zoraida Hughes Williams finds that some things have changed about her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas while some have stayed the same, like Hell’s Half Acre, an area where saloons, prostitution and gambling runs wild. Like most of the residents, she wants to keep her head down and stay away from trouble, but it comes in the unlikely form of an Anglo Baptist preacher. He messes up everything and almost gets them killed.

Destiny_Dilemma book

Destiny’s Dilemma on Amazon

Purpose and Passion

Lately,  I get to meet some of God’s people and photograph them. It has been the kind of blessing your really can’t describe because you need to experience it yourself.

I have met a woman drowning in grief because her fiance was murder.  I met another woman who survived stage three colon cancer. In spite of their circumstances, these people have continued to trust God. I appreciate being able to contribute to their lives.

God has placed people in our path for a purpose. Every time you think your story has reached its worst possible conclusion, God introduces you to someone who has it worse than you. If you are feeling down, look up. There is someone who needs your encouragement.

Every day of my life I get to remind people that there is beauty in this life God has created, whether in photos or videos or books.

God has called you to something. What passion has He ignited in your soul?

Privateers is Available!

The first story in the series is available.

privateers book cover

Privateers

A single young woman is tricked by modern day pirates losing everything she owned. As she tries to figure out what happened to her belongings, her world crashes around her as government and private agencies treat her as a suspect. Determined to find the man who did this to her, she stumbles onto a government top secret. Finding this modern day pirate turns into a race against lethal forces.

You can purchase this book on Amazon Kindle.

Privateers on Amazon

The print version will be available by the end of July.