Friendship Never Leaves – A Short Story by My Daughter Laila

Posted: November 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Random, Writing | 8 Comments »

I enjoy writing, it turns out my nine year old daughter does too. Here is a short story she wrote this weekend.

Friendship Never Leaves

by Laila Mooney

There once were two girls who were best best BEST friends. Their names were Tracie and Amber. They were playing kick the leaves when Tracie’s mother called her inside.

Tracie said, “Yes Mother!” and immediately went inside.

Amber curious about what was going on was about to get up and go inside when Tracie came out crying. Tracie ran over and gave Amber a big hug and choked up the words, “I’m moving!”

Amber thinking of another town said, “Where?”

Tracie calmed down because of Amber’s hug and said, “California!”

They lived in Pennsylvania so this was a big move.

When the words came out of Tracie’s mouth, Amber was so shocked she just couldn’t hold back tears. She asked, “How can I live without my best friend?”

They stood outside sobbing in each other’s arms for what felt like hours, even though it was only a few minutes. Then Amber’s mom came to pick her up. Surprised by the crying she asked what was wrong.

Amber spilled the bad news.

“I just don’t understand why she has to move!” she said. “I mean, I’d be okay if it was another town but California? I mean that’s just crazy!”

Amber’s mom said, “I understand that it’s shocking news Amber but remember, no matter where she is she will always be in your heart, and so are all of your memories”.

Amber looked at her mom and said, “You’re right Mom. She will always be in my heart”.

Later that week at the moving away party, Amber came over to Tracie and said, “My mom reminded me the other day that you will always be in my heart and I will always be in yours.”

Tracie, holding back tears said, “Thank you. You just reminded me.”


Inspired by “Zombies, Wine, and Christian Music”

Posted: November 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, People/Sites I Like, Random, Videos, Writing | 2 Comments »

Click to buy

Generally I read a book on the way to work (I walk), today I walked out the door checking Twitter. My friend Kelly Stone (@KellyMarieStone) reTweeted: “RT @michaelgungor: A bit of a fiery rant about Christian media, wine, and yes, zombies. ( Compelled by curiosity I followed the link.

Wow. Amazing. It turns out its the blog of Michael Gungor, who I have previously never heard of, and his post is a few of his thoughts on “Christian” media.

By “a few of his thoughts,” I mean 2,969 words of awesomeness!

You have to read it (click here).  I know you’re thinking, “3000 words? really?” But you know, it’s worth it.  Some things can’t be packaged into tiny 250-300 word capsules. Maybe that’s part of the wonder I felt when reading it, that Michael didn’t care to shorten his thoughts, or abbreviate his point into separate posts. He just put it out there: Ready or not, here I come.

And that’s also the point of his post, that “Christian media” has become more a marketing machine than culture of artistic impression, and God forbid, creativity.

His focus is music, but I would also agree this point is true with books.  I read quite a bit, maybe more than the average Joe (my bookshelf), but most of the fiction I consume is not Christian, as it generally annoys me in the first few pages.

I am writing a novel and in doing so have read the “bibles” on writing, and the “what not to do” sections could be filled by many “Christian” novels written by the higher selling authors. They have a “feel” to them that’s easy to pick out, much like Christian radio stations, which are easily distinguished even before the “Jesus loves me” lyrics can be heard.

Not that it’s entirely bad, but the eerie feeling is one of inadequacy, of missing the empirical standards set by many secular authors like Stephen King, Philip Roth, Dan Brown, and John Irving.

I know my ideas may never be bought into by the larger marketers (oops, publishers), but that’s why I must create it. That is why I cannot settle for the subpar, call it “Christian” and expect people to like it. The Christian public may buy it, but like me, they are likely tired of the same old crap they get handed.

And so I raise my Guinness and toast to writing the way I want, to making my posts 2,969 words if I must. *chug chug*

For those of you still reading, Gungor’s music is amazing, and I leave you this video.  If you want to buy their album, as I did, click here: Gungor – Ghosts Upon the Earth.


My site now works in IE 8 and 9!

Posted: November 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Random | No Comments »

It has been brought to my attention that my blog was not working for Internet Explorer 8 or 9 for some time now,  I’m truly sorry. The great news is that I found and eliminated the problem, so if you have not been reading my posts because of this, you are now without excuse.

Oh, and get a real browser like: Firefox, or buy a Mac, lol

The Incredible Power of a Smile

Posted: November 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Random, Videos | 3 Comments »

I found this video about the power a simple smile can have to change your life. Smiling more everyday can even extend your life 7 years! Oh, and even fake ones count a little.

Most amazing to me is that kids smile as many 400 times a day. Adults? Most smile about 30 times a day.  So I encourage you today, no matter your circumstance, find a way to smile today, it will improve your life!

What always brings a smile to your face? For me, it’s when I come home from work and all my kids rush to me screaming “Daddy’s home!”

EDIT: I just found out that Gutman has a book on this subject you can get by clicking here: SMILE!







Keep the Fire Burning

Posted: November 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Spirituality | 5 Comments »

This past August, my good friend Bill and I went camping at the Stillwater Reservoir east of Loweville. Wow, what a beautiful place. It was incredibly peaceful. We arrived after 7pm, set the tent up, and then started a fire for dinner.

Our first attempt wasn’t too great, but after rearranging the wood and finding more dry kindling, (and a touch of gasoline!) our fire was roaring! A few steaks, some mac and cheese, and a little Mt. Dew later, and the fire was smoldering. Time for some more wood.

Our fire was once again restored to it’s three foot glory! It kept us warm for a few more hours before we turned in for the night.

It reminds me of Matthew 24:12-13 “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” ESV

It says their love will grow cold, smolder, be of no worth or good.  How does that happen?


A fire has to be tended to or it eventually just goes out.  Wood needs to be added, rearranged, or more potent fuel added to keep it going.

So what are you doing to keep the fire going? Whether it be your relationship with God, or your relationship with your spouse? Is business keeping you from tending to these relationships?

Take some time today to see if your fires are getting a little cold, and if so, take whatever measures necessary to turn them back in to raging infernos!

Charitable Causes Needed

Posted: November 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Giving, My Thoughts | 7 Comments »

Hey all, you may or may not be aware, but this blog makes money.  It’s not anything to write home about, maybe a dollar or two a day, but it’s enough to make a difference. I give the money my blogs make to a different charitable cause each month, and well, I need ideas.

I need a years worth of organizations to give this money too. It’s not much, but every little bit helps, right? Just think, by recommending a charity, you are giving without opening your checkbook!

So, leave an idea in the comments with a link to their website, and maybe a brief explanation of what they do (drill water wells in Africa, build orphanages, feed the hungry, etc) and I will take them into consideration.

You can see where I have already given by visiting my Giving page.

The Talented Mr. (Miss) You!

Posted: November 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, People/Sites I Like, Random, Videos, Writing | 4 Comments »

I love to read and I love to write, but no matter how hard I try when I write, I always feel like my ideas and words are mediocre at best, and every one else is a brilliant literary savant.

I frequent Jon Acuff’s blog, made famous by his comical and witty book “Stuff Christians Like” (my review here) and more recently “Quitter” (great book!), and I was blown away by a recent post titled “The talent we have the hardest time recognizing is our own.

He posted a video by a guy named Derek Sivers which sums it up pretty well.

Derek asks at the end of the short video, and I would like your thoughts as well, “Are you holding back something that’s too “obvious” to share?”

Mine is writing.


The talent we have the hardest time recognizing is our own.


Giving Blog Giving August 2011: Hello Somebody

Posted: November 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Giving, People/Sites I Like, Videos | 1 Comment »

On July 8, Christopher Hopper posted a blog (here) about a company he found at Creation Fest.  First attracted by their merchandising table, he soon found that by spending a few bucks on an awesome watch and a hoodie, that he helped to feed 400 kids.  See, Hello Somebody is a non-profit whose mission if to feed the hungry.  So far they’ve helped the people of Honduras, Haiti, Pakistan, Mexico and Japan.

Inspired by Christopher’s blog, I decided to make Hello Somebody the recipient of my blog earnings for the month of August (more about giving through my blog here). The total earned was $31.84, so today I made a donation of $32 to Hello Somebody.  It doesn’t sound like much, but Cat (the kind lady who took my money), informed me that the donation would provide about one hundred meals.  That’s right, one hundred people will have something to eat because people clicked through the Amazon book links on my measly blog and bought something.

So a big thank you from me to those of you that helped me to give!

See, it doesn’t take something huge to make a difference. A lot of people giving even a little can make a huge difference in the life of another person.  I’m sure Cat and the people would love even a donation of $5.  Here is their story, and if God moves on your heart to give, please click the logo at the beginning of the post (or here) and give what you can.

The Hello Somebody Story from Hello Somebody on Vimeo.


Review: Vigilante by Robin Parrish

Posted: November 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Book Reviews | 1 Comment »
Vigilante by Robin Parrish

Click to buy

In Vigilante, Robin Parrish introduces an America overrun by organized crime and in need of a hero.  Through the passage of a new crime bill, President Hastings creates the Organized Crime Intelligence (OCI), but alone it’s not enough to stop up and coming crime lord Yuri Vasko.

Enter Nolan Gray, a former Special Forces war hero.  Along with his former commander Branford, and technology guru Arjay, Nolan sets out to show the world a better way.  Dubbed “The Hand,” he takes it upon himself to rid New York City of organized crime and inspire others to stand up for themselves.

In a case of mistaken identity, Vasko makes it his life’s mission to ruin “The Hand.” This rivalry causes Nolan to wrestle with the morality of taking the law into his own hands, and how far he is willing to go to bring Vasko to justice.

Vigilante moves at a fast pace. The back story is sporadic, but I enjoyed the mystery of it, as it left room for more discoveries if there is a sequel.  Parrish’s style is refreshing, and it’s one of the better written Christian action novels I have read recently.  He takes on a journey though the darker side of justice without being overly exposed.  The fight scenes are tight and the ending in not the cliché “ride into the sunset” super hero ending.

I recommend Vigilante and will pick up a copy of the sequel if one is released.

Thank you to Bethany House Publishers who provided this copy to me free of charge for review.  A positive review was not required.