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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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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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Symphony of Spring

I recorded this poem a year ago but balked at sharing it. The camera scares me. Yes, those are real birds and this minute and a half video is unedited. I perched my friend’s tripod atop some rocks in the woods to record it with my iPhone 5. My hope is to bring the outside, inside, and perhaps encourage you to head outdoors and become a noticer, to see God’s hand in His creation, spend a few moments with Him there. Out of the dark days of winter, new life emerges in spring.

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