Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Shade Tree Junkie

The 4th of July--one of my favorite holidays! Having lived outside the United States for a period of time, I have a much greater appreciation for the freedoms and privileges we have here than, perhaps, those who haven't. Old Glory holds a very special place in my heart and always will. And the joy of worshiping our God in peace is simply too precious to put into mere mortal words. Thank you, God, for America! May we do whatever we have to do to preserve and protect her from destructive forces both outside and inside her borders. Summer! We're now enjoying those wonderful 102-degree Texas temperatures day in and day out. The water runs on the lawn every day, and if you listen closely you can almost here the grass slurping it up like a starving man in the desert. We become shade tree junkies, skittering from one patch of shade to the next, avoiding the blistering sun. People and pets hibernate in the house where the A/C chugs along constantly just to keep up with the heat, and cool, refreshing foods are definitely the fare of the day--fruits, salads, and homemade ice cream!
Jesus Calling: Devotions for Every Day of the Year Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson: Nashville 2009) Have you ever wished you could just sit down with Jesus one on one and have a conversation? Listen to his calming voice? Look into his loving eyes? Take in his heavenly advice? Enjoy the peace of being in his presence? And you just knew, if you did, life would be better. Sarah Young, long-term missionary, did just that, at least in her mind and during her prayer time. She now shares those encounters with Jesus in Jesus Calling. Written as if Jesus is actually speaking directly to you (because he is), these devotions bring you words of reassurance, comfort, and hope. They draw you into the very presence of Christ so that you can hear what he is saying specifically to you. "I speak to you from the depths of your being. Hear Me saying soothing words of Peace, assuring you of My Love. Do not listen to voices of accusation, for they are not from Me. I speak to you in love tones, lifting you up . . . without crushing words of shame. Let the Spirit take charge of your mind, combing out tangles of deception. Be transformed by the truth that I live within you." A beautifully written, sensitive devotional that will lead you through every day in the intimate presence of Jesus. 396 pages/small-format hardcover/$14.99

Thanks for joining me on this blog. I truly appreciate your spending time with me. And if you find something worth sharing, I hope you will refer your friends and colleagues here as well. Perhaps we can learn some things from each other as we interact.

Now here's another entry in our series writing myths:

Writing Myth #8: Verbs--To Be or Not To Be!

Contrary to some writers' opinions, it is not the adjectives but the verbs that power up your writing. Verbs explode the action! They propel the story forward, heat up the passion of the story, and escalate the plot to the next level. Make certain every verb sings or soars or sails as it carries the reader along.

Examine every verb carefully to ensure that it is the perfect word for the action you are describing. Not just one that's close but the only possible verb that will do. Avoid using the "to be" verb and its derivatives as much as possible, because just "to be" is weak, passive, and unexciting. Instead punch up your writing with stimulating, soothing, and rhythmic verbs that elicit strong emotions and demand actions from your readers.

Verbs! The power of great writing.



Next time? Writing Myth #9: Punctuation Doesn't Really Matter That Much

No comments: