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Saturday, September 21, 2013

An Appealing Appeal

If you've been following me for awhile, I want to take this opportunity to thank you. You may already know about or may have even read my book, Cafeteria Covenant: the Voice, the Choice, and the Challenge. It's a little book that can have a great impact on the world. But I need your help to do that.

If you have read it, it may have challenged or ministered to you. You may have thought of someone else who would be blessed and encouraged by it as you were reading. In either case, you can do something very simple that won't cost you anything but a few minutes, to put the book in the hands
of others.

Click here to add
your review!

Marketing a book like Cafeteria Covenant could be a very costly and fruitless endeavor, but it doesn't have to be. Here's why: When a book sold on Amazon gets reviews, it gets attention. The more attention it gets, the more demand is created. So, the very simple way you can help others get this book is to tell them about it by writing an Amazon review, letting them know what the book did for you and what it can do for them.

If you haven't read Cafeteria Covenant, I'm offering you the opportunity to get a FREE pdf e-book if you will write a review so others will know about it. And to make my appeal more appealing to you, if you write a review and let me know you have posted it (, I will send you a little thank you gift. I will send you your choice of one of the original songs mentioned in the book, as a FREE MP3 download. You can listen to sample tracks by going to: But, remember, not all of the songs there are mentioned in the book!

Post your review under the Paperback or Kindle version of Cafeteria Covenant by clicking on the book cover above! You can read what others have said there too!

This offer will expire October 31, 2013, or when the book receives 25 reviews, whichever comes first, so spread the word!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A New Day

       I told my Creative Writing class today that I was going to write a story last night. They wanted to know why I didn't. It would certainly have been cathartic, but the evening had a life of its own, as they so often do. I told them I read their essays instead, which I did, and they accepted that. But, of course, there was more to it, and I was yearning to process it through my pen.
       Driving home yesterday afternoon, I called my newspaper photojournalist/Civil Air Patrol Director of Operations husband to say, “It wasn't one of my better days. It would sure be nice to eat out.”
        “We can go to the local diner, but it will have to be quick; I have to leave at 6:30 for a press conference,” he blurted. Agreed. He was on the phone when I arrived, so I went to my study to answer a message. Ten minutes later he came in to say the newspaper was sending him back down to a coastal area to shoot some erosion shots because they hadn't told him before he went the first time exactly what they wanted. They do it all the time, they don't have any idea what they want but when he goes and shoots it they decide it’s not what they want and they haven't made it clear. "Look at what this assignments says,” he continued. I did. I nodded. I answered.
       “I'll bet nobody told you you were a Lying As* Bit** today.” He was nonplussed.
       “Want to take a ride? We can go to the diner on our way back.”
       “Sure.” I grabbed my student essays, which was a good thing, because he spent most of the ride down on the phone with the reporter. I did get to tell him the rest of the story in between the radio squelches.
       “Sounds like a building collapse,” he remarked, turning up the volume on the police/fire band.  No building collapse. “So what happened?” he inquired.
       I’d been called upon to give up half of my planning period to sub for another teacher whose child had become ill. Arriving at the appointed time, I discovered that half the students in the class were my former reading students. They groaned as soon as they saw me; it went downhill from there. (I wanted to groan, but restrained myself. These were the hard core, I hate you because you are trying to get me to read and I hate reading kids, who made little or no progress, either in reading or civility). I asked them where they were in their assignment. They answered in cacophony as if I were an ignoramus. Trying to bring some order to the room, I requested that one person tell me without being interrupted by others. It worked! They were quiet. I should have stopped there, but I held out hope. Glancing briefly at the sticky note tacked to, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” I questioned, “Are you on page 491?”  Now I was an idiot.
       “What? We’re way passed that!” 
       “You know what?” I responded. “Since you know where you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to be doing, and I’m just filling in for your teacher because she had to leave suddently, you can just sit there quietly and do your job, and I’ll do mine.”
       Most of them complied. One girl kept on talking.
       “Excuse me,” I said, walking toward her. “You need to be quiet and do your reading.”
       “You don’t have to get smart with me!” There’s a familiar pattern emerging here. It seems to be one of their favorite lines. I suppose it’s one they’ve heard a few hundred times, so they turn it back on their oppressors.
       “Then perhaps you’d like to go to the office.” She would rather be anywhere else, refuses to sign out, continues to emote as she moves past me, slams the door. I rush to re-open it because I see she’s carrying a verboten bottle of iced tea (maybe). But she refuses to give it up.
       To my chagrin, she is back in the classroom fifteen minutes later because the new Assistant Principle can’t hold her unless I charge her with something (discipline referral). I can’t even find the roster, much less a discipline referral form. She breaks the blissful silence upon reentry. Reading or not, I had settled for quiet.
       “Excuse me (I don’t even know her name), everyone has been quiet and you need to be too.” She argued that everyone else was talking. Everyone was two of my former students, who had been quietly conversing, but they weren’t disturbing anyone. The only other sound in the room was the boy snoring from the other side of the room. “I’m not having this argument with you,” I responded, “You can go back down to the office.”
       “And I’ll tell them you’re a Lying A** Bit**. They were not F****** quiet!” Slam!
Now, I have to find out her name and write the referral. Those left behind are snickering until I gaze at them.
       I wish I had words to describe the sweet sound of the bell, but all I heard was the pulsing in my ears. Five minutes later, I’m standing in front of my Creative Writing class smiling tersely, but I can hardly think straight.
       “OK – The New York Times word for today is "hireling." It's a noun. It means someone who does a job just for the pay, like a substitute teacher… and you could not pay me enough.” They get the message. I love this class.
       We stop at the diner on the way back and order a couple of specials. The clock is ticking. Twenty minutes of ticking. He’s on the phone. He's on deadline. Can we get it to go? Sure...sorry it took so long. Throw in some extra rolls? Pay the bill.
       Back at home base, I sit down at the table as he drives away. The crab cake I ordered is a piece of chicken, but the ribs were good.
       I grade the rest of the essays and head for the tub, exhausted.
       At 5:30 am, I sit down with breakfast and my books. In one, I find an old friend; a familiar prayer I'd never known was any more than four lines. I was, once again, amazed at a God who knows just what we need when we need it. It's a new day.