Friday, March 31, 2023

Guest Author, Laurie Alice Eakes

I have read several books by Laurie Alice Eakes and loved them all. Interesting settings, fun characters, heart-touching plots. I highly recommend that you read her books.




What message do you hope readers take away from this book?

          A sense of hope that, no matter how bad things appear, have faith and they will get better.


What do you see as most significant to your publication journey?

          Perseverance sums it up in a word. The only way to get published is to work and work, improve and learn and improve some more and just keep trying.


How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?

          My books, even my secular ones, have an underlying spiritual tone. Humans need connectedness and something bigger than ourselves to look to for strength. Not everyone believes in the same source of faith, yet I believe, even those who believe they have no faith in God believe in something that they turn to, whether they realize it or not.


Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?

          What spurs me to write is a deadline. I am an author who works best to deadlines.

          As to where I get my ideas, I’m not always certain. Sometimes I think they popped into my head fully grown. Mostly, though, they stem from something I read or experienced. When I wrote historical fiction, A passage in a nonfiction history book would set my “what if” factor going. For contemporary, ideas are provoked by a news story or a ride on the L (the Chicago elevated train). For example, I heard about a man falling off the tiny platform between cars, and that fostered the idea of someone trying to push someone off that area. Then I ask myself: Why would they want to do that? And thus the process of plot development begins.


What is the funniest thing that has happened to you as an author?

          I keep thinking about this, and I’m not sure if I’ve had any funny things happen to me as an author. Or nothing I thought funny at the time. Now I can laugh about the editor who told me my blind heroine would never do what I had her doing. Like some sighted person could know more about what a blind woman would or would not do beyond me, the blind woman who had proof this thing had actually happened. At the time, I was so horrified I wanted to quit writing.


What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?

          I love to read. Mostly I read young adult fiction because I don’t write in that genre, so I’m not always trying to rewrite the story in my head. I also like movies, especially the old ones. You know, Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, etc. Before I smashed up my knee, I loved long walks. I am hopeful for that ability to return. And I love to be near water. I live close to an enormous lake, and this is incredibly special to me.


What books are on your nightstand right now?

          I usually read two or three books at a time, usually one book for research and the others fiction. Right now, I’m reading The Edge of Light by Elizabeth George and Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill. My nonfiction books are Blind Man’s Bluff by James Tate Hill and Complex PTSD by Pete Walker.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Grace and Truth, John 16:1-15, Our Advocate

“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”


Jesus began to warn his disciples of the trouble they would go through. He was leaving them, but he would not leave them, and us, alone.


He sent the Holy Spirit, an advocate, a helper, someone to stand beside us and help us through our lives as Christians. He will help us know and share the truth. Thank you, Father, for this unbelievable gift. 

Friday, March 17, 2023

Field of Diamonds

My friend, author Sharon Connell,, shared this story with me. It truly did make me smile.


Kathy wanted to know about my other story when God came to my rescue. This one isn’t as dramatic as the Cattle Truck Miracle, but to me it was God’s hand intervening on one of those days when I was really down. The funny thing about it is, I can’t remember what had me so depressed at the time. Even that was erased from my memory on that day.


The day started out with me preparing for work. In Illinois, I worked in advertising at a food broker. What happened to depress me or had continued to depress me from the day before, or whenever, is a mystery now (as I’ve said). But whatever it was, it brought me to tears.


Driving down the busy highway running along the interstate with a ton of cars all around me is not a good place to have tears in one’s eyes, but that was the case. It had been raining that morning, as well, and the sky was overshadowed with dark clouds. A few blocks from the turnoff to the building where I worked, I came to a stop for a red light. At the time, I was still in the inside lane and tried to wipe my tears before the light turned green again.


A break in the clouds appeared, and a wide ray of sunlight shown down, just like you see in a painting. It shined across a stretch of grass next to the interstate where little droplets of dew were still on the tips of the blades of grass. My line of vision followed the rays as they became extremely intense. As the sunrays moved across the patch of grass, about the size of a front yard, it seemed to stop, lighting up the entire patch. The drops of dew glistened as if they were each a half-karat diamond. Imagine hundreds of diamonds, glowing in the sunlight. My unhappy mouth turned into an ear-ear smile and I laughed.


I cried out, “Thank you, Lord. You knew I needed to see a glorious sight like this.” My heart lifted, and I forgot all about the depression for that day. I’ve always referred to this little miracle as “My Field of Diamonds from God.”


I hope it brings a smile to you too. 

Friday, March 10, 2023

Psalm 13, Help me be more like David

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?

    How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts

    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?

    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.

    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,

and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”

    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;

    my heart rejoices in your salvation.

I will sing the Lord’s praise,

    for he has been good to me.


Father God, again I crave the faith of David. In his saddest times, he laid everything before you. He told you all his sorrows and begged for exactly what he wanted.


But no matter what your answer, he gave you praise.


Lord, grow my heart to be more like David. 

Friday, March 3, 2023

A Father's Faith

Mark chapter 9 tells of one of my heroes in the Bible. I thank God for including such stories to encourage us.


Mark 9:14-27: When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.


Many times throughout my Christian life, I have struggled with a weak faith. I don’t know if I even believe in God. He couldn’t love me. No way could he forgive me.


And yet, I do believe. I cling to the faith I doubt. The Bible is living and active (Hebrews 4:12,) and through it, the Holy Spirit brings me hope even in the darkest of times.


The father in Mark 9 admitted a weakness to his faith, but he had great love and courage. He braved this crowd and spoke up to Jesus for his son. Jesus challenged the father, but he honored him by healing his son and including his story in the Bible. Even when our faith is weak, God accepts it as real, and he raises us up.


Matthew 12:20: A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.