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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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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Moonlight, Streetlights and Stage Fright

Moonlight spilled across the page and streetlights twinkled below when I penned my first piece, a poem, at nine years old from the lofty perch of my 14th floor bedroom windowsill. The opening line read: “Tis the time when the north wind doth blow.” 

My latest poetic endeavor is a rap song. Yes you read that right. I said I’m writing rap. And no, I’m not sharing it today. And yes, I’m as surprised as you are. 

But, “He is not a tame lion.” 

Jesus calls us to run toward fear which tries to thwart obedience to our call, to honor Him and serve others with the gifts He gives.

So, wide eyed and trembling, I showed up to present a poetry workshop with friend and award-winning poet and writer Patricia Tiffany Morris at the kind invitation of Writers Chat in honor of #PoetryMonth. 

For those who claim they don’t like poetry—this post is for you too! You just may change your mind with this collection featuring several authors.

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PART 3: Law Enforcement Series: Police Chief Scott Young of New Hampshire ~ Retired & Re-hired, A Heart to Serve & Mentor

Chief Scott Young, a U.S. Marine veteran, retired after faithfully serving 20 years as police chief in Stafford, New Hampshire. Retirement didn’t last long, though. Chief Young raised the bar with his example when, at the request of the Barrington, NH Police Department, he returned to law enforcement as a patrolman to help train and mentor new and ranking police officers.

Chief Young comes from a lineage of police officers, starting with his grandfather and uncles. Now he, two of his sons, and his brother continue their family story of service to our nation and their communities. His family history also includes generations of service as Marines and firefighters, with several continuing this tradition. What a gift Chief Scott Young and his family are!

But as much as Chief Young loves serving in law enforcement, he shares there’s something even more important to him.

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My Interview with Civil Rights Icon Ambassador Andrew Young

What an honor and a delight to speak to Civil Rights Icon Ambassador Andrew Young and share this video interview with you. Ambassador Young was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s trusted friend and top strategist in the #CivilRightsMovement. He celebrated his 90th birthday on March 12th, 2022. (Happy Birthday Ambassador Andrew Young. Thank you for your example and lifetime of service to our country and the world.) 

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The Invitation

“Did you mean to extend this invitation to me?” I know—not exactly a professional response to an invitation to be a guest on someone’s show, but an honest question nonetheless. I responded to another invitation likewise the same week. (More on the other soon.) I mean, who am I? Certainly not an industry professional, nor have I published a book yet, though I’m working on a couple. But often it’s the lessons learned on the journey that prepare us for our destination, and my goal is to glorify God and encourage others along the way. Fear tries to imprison, but God invites us beyond ourselves to dependence on His craftsmanship. Sometimes it’s messy. The way is steep and sometimes we stumble, but God’s strength is made perfect in weakness, scripture says. Good thing.

Honored to share about faith, obedience, and my writing journey with Dr. Katherine-Hutchinson Hayes on her podcast. I pray it provokes all who struggle or strive to excel in God’s call, to step out of their comfort zone and walk it out in their skin.

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Angelina Lives! ~ A Hope Filled Pro-life Story

We live in a time where many demand their rights, but few rise to their responsibilities. In some ancient cultures, they sacrificed their children to pagan gods. Today, many sacrifice their children on the altar of convenience, self-preservation, and pleasure. Man’s short-term solutions based on his desires and emotions often cause more significant problems in the long term. 

But Fourteen years ago, I witnessed a young mom withstand a tirade of angry faces, phone calls, angry words hurled in public places. 

“Get a *?#*!#! abortion!” they said. 

“No!” the mama said. She would not take the life of her child. — Angelina lives! I took her newborn pictures, and today I have the joy and honor of introducing you to her via this inspiring 12 minute video conversation below, followed by some engaging resources offering help, hope, and healing to those in similar situations.

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Part 2 – Law Enforcement Series: Brian Morrison ~ Community Resource & Civil Rights Police Officer, Barnstable, Massachusetts

At a time in our nation fraught with division, Officer Brian Morrison of the Barnstable, Massachusetts Police Department has embedded himself in his community. He serves as the department’s community resource and civil rights officer among many other involvements. His perspective as a Black police officer, his service, and influence as a bridge between people has won him awards and the hearts of the Cape Cod community and beyond.

“There’s a trick to community policing. ‘Start with the kids.'” Officer Morrison stated in a 2021 Cape Cod Times article by Jeannette Hinkle. “A School Resource Officer’s role is not limited to being a police officer as they are a counselor, teacher, coach, and mentor.” No wonder he is viewed by many as the unofficial Mayor of Cape Cod. What a privilege to introduce you to him during Black History Month in this video interview with an optional downloadable audio version. — Oh, and apparently some police officers prefer chocolate chip cookies! I’ll make sure to remember that, Officer Morrison.

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