Failure is Not a Four-letter Word

Defeated! Dejected! Those words seemed to sum up my life. I started out strong in my late teens by committing my life to Jesus. Oh, but then how my life became marked by failure. I felt so much older than my numerical age.

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Delay & Divine Direction

When the road stretches longer than expected and delays and detours abound, we dare not deter from the right path. The high road, though often rough hewn, long, lonely, and costly, is worthy of staying the course. In the long run, the cost of abandoning our call is higher than the pursuit of it. Shortcuts out of God’s will shortchange us and all those our life impacts. Look at the turmoil caused by Sarah and Abraham’s attempt to help and hurry God’s promise by Abraham bearing a child with Hagar, Sarah’s maidservant. King Saul lost his destiny because he stepped out of his role and assumed the duty set aside for the high priest when he failed to wait for Samuel and instead made the burnt offering before battle.

“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,” Samuel told Saul. Sometimes obedience means a season of waiting and work in preparation for the journey. It takes time to train a skilled soldier, it takes time to forge and temper a weapon. Sometimes it’s the lessons learned on an arduous journey that prepare us for our destination. 

 “It’s good for you to be out of your comfort zone,” my son-in-law Spencer texted me.

“Remind me again,” I said, “what is a comfort zone?”

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Celebrating and Upholding American Freedom

What fun to introduce you to my young friend and writer, 12-year-old Isaac Barros. Isaac is the son of our beloved family friend, Larry Barros, who went home to be with Jesus in 2014. Larry was a children’s church leader, curriculum writer, and an amazing preacher. I plan to introduce you to Larry’s words sometime in the future.

Following Isaac’s contribution below, you will find a bit of my musings and a variety of fun resources for all ages to inform and celebrate America and freedom. year-round.

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#Writers on a #RoadTrip

“What happens when an introvert and extrovert take a 3000 mile road trip? Will they complete their mission or kill each other trying?” 

“LOL! I’m sure you thought of killing me a few times, Cherrilynn. Rightfully so.”

“No. Just letting you out to walk. — We did really well together.”

“I noticed a pause there, Cherrilynn. Walk right off the highest peak, right? Even though we are writers on a mission from Gad!”

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Life Lessons from the Perspective of a Writer’s Journey

I’m not able to pull off perfect, so I decided I’d be real instead. No matter our call, when we shake off the shackles of perfectionism, and with God’s help pursue excellence for His glory and the edification of others, we find ourselves on a much more peaceful and productive path. (Working on it, or rather, God’s working in me.)

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“‘Til I Drop Dead” (A Nurse’s Manifesto)

“Just home from an extra shift extension because of so many nursing staff testing positive,” she said. “I have written to you about what it means to be a happy and fulfilled long term care nurse in case you are interested. Call it my manifesto to new and enduring nurses. Hope you like it, Rachael.”

“I’d call it your manifesto that needs to be heard by all so we can better understand, appreciate, and support nurses.” I replied to my friend.

With her permission, I’m sharing excerpts drawn from a few emails this beautiful nurse sent me. I pray her heart and wisdom inspires us to action in the work God calls each of us to:

My aides are so great, calling me their littlest big boss woman. I say I am not your boss; we are a team.

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Piece of My Heart

Hi, my name is “Ridiculous” and sometimes it’s “Crazy,” and I am a P.O.T. (Parent of Teen). My support group is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and other mothers. My only escape is prayer.

So I prayed, “God, give me children lest I die!” and He gave us children. Then, sometimes I want to die. And we parents do die, right? Every. Single. Day. For-the-rest-of-our-lives. 

Yeah, this is where I live and I can’t move out because it’s a lifetime lease. How about you fellow P.O.T.s? (And yes, you MOPs and MOAs and ones in between those too.) Do you ever tell God, “Hey God, this was Your idea! You told me to be fruitful and multiply. So God, You have to help me! Help me help them—in Jesus’ name, amen. Please.”

I don’t drink, I don’t swear, and I don’t believe in happy pills, but there’ve been times I wished I did. I used to swear a lot, especially right before I became a Born Again Christian. But then I gave my heart to Jesus and I had no inkling to swear again—until my firstborn turned fifteen. Then I found myself going, “mmmmm…help me Jesus!” And there are three more after her!

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May the Source Be with You

Darkness enveloped me. A chill gripped my chest, hope ebbed, and weariness set in. Obviously, I’d taken a turn off the favored road. I’d trudged the circuitous miserable miles to nowhere only to wind up stuck, deep in the mire, when someone called out to me.

“Hey, do you want help? Do you desire to be free?” the voice said.

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Hidden History from the Secret City Revealed

Mr. Keith McDaniel, author, teacher, documentary filmmaker, owner of Secret City Films, and Knoxville Film Festival Executive Director and Mr. Ray Smith, City of Oak, Tennessee Historian, have much in common and have worked together on several projects over the years combining their many shared skills and unique talents to bring history to light and alive. 

I was honored (and yes, of course terrified) when they recently hosted me as a guest on their program Hidden History: Stories from the Secret City and invited me to share a bit of the story and progress on my journey to write a book on the integration of Oak Ridge, TN. (Video below.)

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Did Jesus Really Die on Good Friday and Other Fascinating Questions

We rob ourselves when we skim the surface of scripture rather than exert the effort to dig deeper for the treasures of truth embedded in God’s Word. Bible study leader and award-winning author Stephanie Pavlantos mined God’s Word to bring us a greater understanding of the intersection of Old Testament prophecies about Jesus, (God incarnate, the Messiah) and His New Testament fulfillment. Stephanie brings to light the fascinating Hebrew religious law and culture, the many intricate events leading up to, and the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Did Jesus really die on Good Friday? What is the significance of the Passover feast and the Passover lamb? See God in the details, how He overlooks and wastes nothing and much more in this faith building thought provoking presentation. And there’s more!

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