Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Message of Hope to the Christians of America

I woke up yesterday morning to the Supreme Court's decision to legalize gay marriage.

Yeah, maybe I should have just stayed in bed.

I was so incredibly discouraged. It feels like we, as Christians in America, seem to be taking hits left and righ.... well, hits from the left anyways.

Sometimes I want to just throw in the towel and say, "Enough of this, let's go somewhere else and do our own thing." I also hear other Christians who say, "It'll only get worse from here."

All of this is what I, and many others feel. And I don't blame (me/us), this stinks, like all sin and darkness stink. But I feel called to point out some things that I know to be true, despite what I feel.

Just Because Things Are Bad, Doesn't Mean They Won't Get Better.

Yes, I have read Revelation, and no, I don't pretend to be any kind of an expert on it. I know that at some point in the earth, there will be widespread suffering in the end of days. Whether we Christians will be taken up before or after that time, I don't really know. Sure, it is possible these could be the end days, again, I don't know. None of us really know for sure, we are just going to have to wait and see.

But something that I would like to point out is this: history repeats itself.

What do I mean by that?

Take a good look at your history book, or at the Bible. What do you see? I see periods of great darkness and suffering, but I also see periods of righteousness and prosperity where nations were honoring the Lord and flourishing.

Conclusion: It probably felt like the end of the world was happening when Sennacharib had Jerusalem surrounded and was threatening King Hezekiah and the people of Judah. But you know what? God took care of it, He actually sent an army of angels to go kill nearly 200,000 Assyrians in their own camp.

It probably felt like the end of days when Christians in Rome were being hunted down and murdered in horrific ways. We still have Christian brothers and sisters who are even now being hunted down and martyred for their faith in Jesus. But even that horrible fact doesn't mean that we are in the end times and nothing will get better.

It probably felt like the end when Hitler's horrific blitzkrieg was sweeping across Europe at the same time that the Japanese were gulping up islands in the Pacific and entire nations in Asia. But guess what? We're still here and I am writing this post in English, not German or Japanese.

There Are Giants In the Land, But Our God Is Bigger

Yes, we have our work cut out for us, we have the frighteningly huge task of taking back America. The Church has grown lax, it has grown lukewarm, and the Enemy has created massive breaches in our walls. He is prowling around our towns, our cities, our homes, and our government offices, seeking to kill and destroy. And today, he is crowing over the fact that he just messed with the most sacred covenant in human life, marriage.

There are giants in the land called The Media, The Supreme Court, The Oval Office, Congress. There are giants in the land called Liberal Education, Lies, Lust, Deceit, Fear, Intimidation, and Immorality.

Whew, do you feel nervous? BecauseI sure do. But you know what, my God is bigger than all of those things put together. My God holds this world in the palm of His massive hand.

I start to worry that we (the Church) won't be able to take back our country for the Lord. That our land is too far gone. I start thinking about how much time, effort, spiritual warfare, and how many people it will take in order to bring the country back to God.

But that's not my job. My job is to follow God and with His help, spread the light of Jesus in my land. I don't have to have a master plan in mind, I don't have to have a blueprint. He can see everyone and everything, from the beginning of time until the end. And I know I haven't been on this earth for very long, but I have been around long enough to learn a very important fact about God.

He's surprisingly good at what He does.

"For My ways are not your ways, nor are your thoughts my thoughts, says the LORD, For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV)
That's His way of saying "Chill out, I got this."

It May Take Years, But It Will Be Worth It

Change rarely happens overnight. Building, or redeeming anything takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. But just like the godly men and women who built this nation on a foundation of godly principles, I know that it will be worth it. And we will all be stronger in our faith because of the journey.

My Hope Is Not In The USA, My Hope Is In Jesus

The only constant in the universe is God. Everything else in this world will change or let me down. My ultimate allegiance is to God, not to my country. I can rest in the fact that the One, Unchanging Being in the universe is my King, and I can trust in Him.

As Long As God Exists, There Is Always Hope

"I would have lost heart, if I had not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Psalm 27:13 (NKJV)
This, coming from a man who's own son turned against him in a coup, and drove the king away from his capital city. I do believe that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. This is the same God who has been here for us from day one, and God is hope.

What We Need To Be Doing As The Church

It's getting harder to straddle a fence post about what you believe. Lines are definitely being drawn. And there are going to be people who are forced to ask themselves the question, "What do I believe is true?"

We (the Church) need to stand firm right now. We cannot back down from what is true, even if that means ridicule, intimidation, and harassment. Even if you feel like no other human being is standing in your corner, know that you are not alone.

I and my peers need to step up to the plate as the next generation and begin the difficult job of transforming our culture. We need to enter every arena, business, politics, law, media, the arts, education, and most importantly, we need to create and raise families that will love and honor the Lord.

We (the Church) need to be going forward constantly on our knees. We need to be praying for redemption and mercy for our nation, which has strayed so far from God. We need to be praying for revival in the United States of America. And we need to be praying for wisdom and guidance to know how to proceed.

We need to be praying for those who are in a gay/lesbian lifestyle. My own humanity strikes me in the face on a regular basis, and I know that temptation is strong. But I also know that love and grace are stronger. My prayer is that thousands of individuals who are living this lifestyle will discover the same thing.

The hashtag sweeping the Internet right now is #LoveWins 

I looked at that last night and smiled. Yes, yes it does. The person who came up with that hashtag had absolutely no idea of the profound statement they had just made. The stale, moldy bread that they think is love doesn't even begin to compare to the rich, and delicious pastry that is God's love. But before many lives have ended on earth, I have a feeling that quite a few will discover that indeed, LOVE WINS.

God is love, and God will win. He is I AM, and because of that simple and yet earth-shattering fact, I have hope.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Movie Review- Inside Out (And an Ode to Pixar)

After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness - conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

Do not fear, this is my non-spoiler review for the movie. I will hopefully have my N-Depth review up in a few days when more people have had a chance to see the movie for themselves.

Well, I must say, Inside Out is yet another example of Pixar's prowess in the movie-making world. And no, I am not just talking about animated movies, I compare Pixar's films to all movies, both live action and animated, and as a studio, Pixar is near the top.

The reason for this? Pixar understands people. They have been blessed with some of the most observant, kind-hearted, intelligent, and creative minds over there, and when those minds are put together, movie magic is made. (I LOVE you John Lasseter!)

Pixar is able to convey truth, messages about humanity, and the plain humor of everyday life in a way that is charming and digestible for audiences young and old. Who else do we know of that has made us not all go "EUUWW" at a world of bugs? Since when did the idea of monsters coming out of your closet make you feel warm fuzzies? How on earth did they get us to fall in love with rats and food at the same time?!? And seriously, have any of us (yes, even adults) treated their toys with the same lack of respect after seeing all three Toy Story movies? I certainly have not! I treat my former toys with great respect and care.

All of that to say, when it comes to tackling some of life's everyday trials, agonies, joys, humor, and wonders in movie form, the only studio I completely trust is Pixar. Why? Because they have proven themselves time after time.

Inside Out was in keeping with the wonderful creative magic of Pixar. To be honest, it wasn't my favorite Pixar movie, it probably wasn't even in my top half of favorite Pixar movies, but it was still awesome.

This movie which explores the emotions of an eleven year old girl who was just uprooted and moved halfway across the country. I know exactly how she feels, when I was elven years old my family packed up and move from southwest Missouri to Columbia, South Carolina for a temporary job relocation. And let me tell you, that is an emotional roller coaster.

I loved the way that the writers of Inside Out were able to conceptualize that inner struggle in a way that both children and adults could comprehend. Everyone can find something to relate to in this movie, the Emotions, the memories, and all of the activity going on inside Riley's brain.

Characters (The Emotions)

All of the Emotions were beautifully voiced. Somehow their actors were able to take very specific emotions such as Disgust, and keep them true to their character without making them overly annoying. For example, just because Fear is fear doesn't mean he is always quaking in the corner, it means that if something unexpected happens, Fear will be the first one in the corner.

Joy (Amy Poehler)- She is most definitely the boss up in Riley's brain. Joy was cute, without being overly googly-eyed or too good. She had an edge of sarcasm and sense of humor that kept her real.

Sadness (Phyllis Smith)- Sadness was really cute, and her role was really pivotal to this whole movie. I loved how while she was, well, sad, she really was rooting for Riley to have the best experience all of the time.

Fear (Bill Hader)- For any of you Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs fans, this is the same voice as Flynn Lockwood. Fear was hilarious, he had a healthy dose of fear, as he should, but it didn't drown his character. Well done sir.

Anger (Lewis Black)- Perfect, perfect, perfect. He looked like an angry boss in some old 1960s Disney film who is always swallowing aspirin or anti-acid tablets. His sarcasm was well done.

Disgust (Mindy Kaling)- My personal favorite emotion, not because I deeply identify with her, but because she was just kind of adorable. She had a nice edge of disgust without being, well, disgusting.

Like I said before, this is not in my top favorite Pixar movies. But my least favorite Pixar movie would highly out-rank many other movies in this world, so I still give it a high opinion. I would recommend this movie to all ages.

P.S. A quick shout-out to the short "Lava". Yet again, Pixar made me fall in love with an entirely random object that they brought to life. To understand, you will have to see the film.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ring Around the Rose: Other Authors

This week's question in Ring Around the Rose is a very important one.

What famous author(s) do you feel your writing is most similar to, and why? AND/OR What author do you wish you wrote the most like?

Wow, talk about getting down to the roots of who you are as a writer.

Well, in truth, my primary writing experience has been in the form of blogging, which I have been doing for almost six years now. I have written numerous stories, half of a novel, and have many story ideas floating around in my head. And honestly, I don't really know that I can select just one author that I would feel my writing is most similar to.

Why's that? Well, writing comes from a person's heart, soul, and mind, and we as humans are ever changing and maturing. We write from what we know, which changes as we get older. We write what we admire, which occasionally fluctuates or pendulums depending on the situation. And we write what we desire to be, and to pass on to others.

One way I could see answering this question would be to think of my absolute favorite books and then match my writing style with the ones I admire the most. But my favorite books are spread across genres, eras, and even worlds. I think I will allow Mr. C. S. Lewis to solve my conundrum for me.

“Books you really love are bound by a secret threat. You know the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words.” (C. S. Lewis)
Ah, there it is.

I am drawn to books that amuse me, cause my imagination to grow, inspire my creativity, send chills down my spine with heroic ideas, or, show me something new about the world/people/God in plain, simple English.

I am drawn to vivid characters that remind me of myself or of someone I hold dear. I am drawn to plots that pull my soul into another realm for the time being, and even when I am not reading the book, my mind is there still.

I am drawn to books written by authors who understand the incredible power of words, and know what words to use to make their message reach its full potential.

I am drawn to books that somehow pull a bit of meaning, a mystery, a ray of light from the very ordinary woodwork of life, and enable me to see the not so ordinary, but rather, the extraordinary things of this life.

I have tucked away these little nuggets of gold from a number of authors that I have read throughout the years. My hope is that my writing reflects some of the best.

C.S. Lewis, L. M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, G. A. Henty, J. R. R. Tolkien, Sir Rider Haggard, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, (yes, Franklin W. Dixon), Frank Peretti, Gertrude Chandler Warner, Dee Henderson, Francine Rivers, Elizabeth George Speare, Patricia St. John. There are oh, so many more I would love to give an honorable mention, but I feel I have at least recognized some of the best.

These writers have done so much to shape me, both as a writer and as a person. And while all of their books cover a myriad of topics, characters, and worlds, they "...are bound by a secret thread..."

If I hoped that my writing style turned out like any of my writing heroes, I would have to say it would be Francine Rivers. Her books carry a measure of real depth, understanding, and a common theme of redemption that is unlike anything other books other than the Bible. When I read her books, my heart is torn into tiny pieces of anger, joy, agony, and tiny seeds of hope. And by the end, I feel that I have been both broken and renewed. I believe God has given her an anointing when it comes to writing, and I would love it if my writing is able to convey even just a fraction of what hers does.

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Each writer must pursue his or her journey as it comes, drawing both from who they are, and who they wish to be. To write is to discover, both oneself and any number of other persons. To write is to explore, your own world and imaginary worlds that fire your imagination. To write, is to feel a multitude of emotions, stepping into the soul of any character. To write, is to both break chains and hearts. To write, is to heal, both yourself and others.

All of this is possible because our Creator gave us the gift, yes, the POWER of language. Language, words, are power. And those that wield them with skill? Well, what is it that they say?

The pen is mightier than the sword.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Why I Hate LED Lights

I know, some will read this post and begin singing that insanely catchy Taylor Swift song with the lines, "Haters gonna hate, hate, hate...."

Truthfully, I try not to hate on things too often, but in this case, I am merely venting for therapy.

Here it goes...
I hate LED lights
What? "Are you also against bowling alleys, dance parties, leprechauns, and lightsabers?" I can hear the potential remarks running through my head as people shake theirs in disapproval.

No, no I am not. And let me be entirely clear. I don't mind LED everything. I have a lovely lamp that my dad got me from IKEA that clicks onto my bunk bed and provides me with much needed light. It is an LED lamp. I also enjoy LED candles, a very practical solution that has brought class and elegance back to many homes with parents of small children; who didn't dare risk an open flame around their little darlings.

When I speak with this vehement hate, I am speaking of LED light strips.

*narrows eyes and rubs forehead to help ease impending tension headache and mental block*

I seriously think there is something in my brain that disconnects when I come in contact with LED light strips. You know how deer often just freeze when they are suddenly caught in the glare of headlights? Little known fact, it is not from fear, the lights literally overload their senses and they cannot think or move for a time.

Me, walking into a room with LED lights.
Yes, this is me when I am faced with LED lights. I have a hard time thinking, my senses are so insanely overloaded with the amount of unnatural, glaring, screaming pinpoints of light! ARG!

It's almost as if someone was singing in that exact pitch that made your hair stand on end, and suddenly glass begins breaking around you.

My mental stability, shattered on the floor.
Before you ask me the question, no, I do NOT hate Christmas lights, in fact, I absolutely adore Christmas lights, they are one of my favorite things about Christmas. But why- you say- what is the difference between Christmas lights and LED lights? Aren't they both pinpoints of light with unnatural hues?

A fair question, to which I have an answer. Christmas lights don't scream for you're attention, they request it demurely. Christmas lights say, "May I sparkle and light up your world? May I bring feelings of happiness and joy into your soul?

Whereas and LED light says, "One light to rule them all, one light to find them, one light to bring them all in the glare blind them."

(Left- Christmas Light) (Right- LED Light)

My brother says that LED lights are the wave of the future. If that is so folks, I am building myself a time machine and going back to the the past. Or moving to the remote jungles of the Amazon.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ring Around the Rose: Of Dragons

Hello folks!

I did one of these posts very recently, when I wrote about meeting one of my favorite literary characters.

Again, I was over at The Pink Cave and felt incredibly amused by the post there. The question being "How would you go about talking a dragon out of eating you, especially if there were no weapons available?"

A funny question, although, if you have a vivid imagination, you probably have actually asked yourself this one before. If you are even, uh, well, even more "special", then you have come up with a game plan in case you should ever find yourself in this unlikely, and yet, still possible, scenario. Fire drill? What's that? The number for 911? Eh, I might have that one memorized. But should a dragon attack ever happen, I will definitely be the one walking out alive, preferably un-singed.

Well, I know what I would do. And this plan has absolutely nothing to do with catapults, sacrificing other humans to save myself, throwing large hunks of dripping raw meat through the air, or firing some spear-like arrow at one exact opening in the armor because a little birdie told me to.

My plan is foolproof, WAY more fun, and if it works out, I have just made my life about 100% more awesome.

It's very simple what you should do to avoid being eaten by a dragon.

You Simply Train It.
Seriously folks! This is the way to go, not only do you save yourself from a horrible death, but you have also gained a best friend for life.

Yes, yes, I know that this....

Happens to be far more trainable, adorable, and sweeter than this....

But, hopefully someone else, in their attempt to not be eaten by a dragon, has already taken care of this beast with the aforementioned plan that included firing a spear-like arrow at a specific opening in the armor. Pray that goes well for them.

But really, what other course is there to take but to train your dragon? And consider the future insurance it gives you against other dragon attacks; were you to have a loyal dragon who would give his life for you, you pretty much have nothing to fear.

Ah, just look at them, aren't they beautiful? This too could be you if you should choose to train your dragon rather than killing it, or foolishly fleeing from a winged beast who can shoot fire and see in the dark. Yes, run little uncoordinated human on the ground! Call me when if you make it out. *turns cell phone off*

My choice? I choose life for me and my dragon, an amazing bond with a magnificent creature, and the icing on the cake, hopefully looking like this one day.

How would you save yourself from the untimely demise brought about by a dragon's teeth?

Friday, June 12, 2015

My Secrets of Literature- If I Could Meet One of My Favorite Literary Characters

I was over at The Pink Cave where I read Kaycee Browning's post on meeting a favorite literary character. It sounded like fun, so I thought I would give it a go.

How do you pick a favorite literary character? In my opinion, that's like trying to choose a favorite child, which is cruel and unusual punishment. Therefore I have adopted the policy of choosing "one of" my favorites, rather than settling on a specific, single answer.

I was debating over whom I would choose to meet from literature, this thought process was happening when I was supposed to be going to sleep. Welcome to my insomnia-atic brain folks!

Would I go speak to a character who was going to make a poor decision(s) leading to hardship and suffering (Julia from Mark of the Lions Series)? Would I fan girl over a character I had admired, and yes, crushed on since childhood (Frank and Joe Hardy), or would I choose a character whom I had always hated so that I might have the pleasure of either verbally assaulting/and-or-decking him (Mr. Dinsmore Elsie Dinsmore Series)?

Upon sifting through the myriad of characters swirling around in my head, it hit me who I really had wanted to talk to all along.

Yes, Edmund Pevensie. Like so many blessed home schooling children, my parents read C. S. Lewis's wonderful The Chronicles of Narnia aloud to me and my older brother. Throughout the years we have gone through multiple copies of the books, and our Focus on the Family radio drama CD cases are dog-eared. Oh, and of course, we own all of the movies.

I always loved Edmund as a character, even before I fell in love with the movie version of him in the most recent The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe at the tender age of 10. I still feel wonderful when I watch him.

Edmund represents humanity (us), in all of our ugliness, our betrayal, and our treachery. He has these wonderful siblings, and the incredible privilege of entering this beautiful land called Narnia. And yet, who is the first person he makes a connection with? The White Witch. She then uses him to betray the ones he loves best, and because of his actions, someone must pay the price. Aslan, the noble lion representing Jesus, chooses to give up his own, glorious life so that a single traitor like Edmund might be saved. After that, Edmund is an entirely different person.

He gains valuable time in the battle at the end of The Lion, the Witch, The Wardrobe by breaking the White Witch's wand, which she has been using liberally to turn the Peter's soldiers into stone. However, breaking the wand comes at a price, the White Witch stabs him and he nearly dies on the battlefield.

I know, so many people love Peter, or Lucy. They are the instantly likable ones. Peter is strong, brave, and courageous. In the books, you never read about him slipping up or making mistakes on purpose. Of course, in the movies, they give Peter a bit more of a believable emotional arc in which he deals with pride and recklessness.

Lucy is always this shining example of belief and open faith. She discovers Narnia, she is always brave, and she is always cheerful.

But no, I always loved Edmund more. Edmund, dear boy, knows what it means to be redeemed in a way that is unparalleled by any other character in this entire series. Edmund is touch with his own humanity, he knows what he is capable of, and he knows what his choices have cost. I believe this is why he became King Edmund the Just. Humility, wisdom, and justice are best friends.

After he is redeemed, Edmund becomes one of the steadiest characters. He is there backing up Peter and giving him courage when Peter has to go charging into his very first battle. In The Horse and His Boy (MY FAVORITE BOOK IN THE SERIES, I CANNOT WAIT FOR THEM TO MAKE IT INTO A MOVIE), Edmund is the guardian of his sister Queen Susan, and it is greatly due to his wisdom and discernment that she is saved from a life of horror and abuse. Later on, he, along with his sister Queen Lucy, leads the Narnian troops in aiding their beleaguered neighbors in Archenland.

In Prince Capsian after having been called back from our world, Edmund aids in rescuing Narnia from the grip of the Telmarines and restoring Prince Caspian to his rightful throne. In this book/movie, Edmund again shows how much character he has, he is the only one to back up Lucy when she sees Aslan, and the second one to see Aslan as he is revealing himself to the siblings. Peter would be lost without him at his side, as would so many others. His courage and quiet strength are the glue that hold most of the others together.

I have had multiple dreams where I go to Narnia, and I am always with Edmund. I love this character so much, and I believe that his story is probably the most vivid allegory ever written of Christ's redemption of humanity. Edmund, to put it, is broken, redeemed, and simply beautiful.

Small side note here, for fans of the movies. The actor who played Edmund Pevensie, Skandar Keynes, happens to be a direct descendant of the Charles Darwin! Coincidence? I think not! Simply consider that for a moment, the irony of it is too beautiful to be ignored. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Movie/Series Review- Signed, Sealed, Delivered

The "POstables", our heroes of the Dead Letter Office.
I adore this saga, written by Martha Williamson (Touched By an Angel). Signed, Sealed, Delivered is the story of four extraordinary individuals who work in the DLO (Dead Letter Office) of the United States Postal Service. Their job? To deliver, no matter what the obstacle!

I watched the pilot movie back in 2013 and was immediately hooked. The chemistry between these characters was obvious and stunning, I instantly knew upon watching the pilot that an incredible saga was going to be unfolded.

Oliver O'Toole (Eric Mabius) as the leader of this determined team was just amazing. His presence is so strong and steady, his strength is obvious, and his knowledge of words adds a richness and depth to these stories that is beautiful. His struggles to reconcile with his desire to do right by both God and others is amazingly played out.  Shane McInerney (Kristin Booth) is positively adorable. Her quick mind, adorable smile, sarcastic wit, and tender heart are utterly charming. She also has an incredibly vulnerable side that shows itself on a regular basis. She and Oliver compliment each other so beautifully;  and at times they are so different, but at their core, they were made for each other. I have greatly enjoyed their story. Shane, abandoned at a young age by her father, falls in love with Oliver, a man who still has a wife somewhere in the world, who is also falling in love with the beautiful woman he works with.The Christmas movie, Signed, Sealed, Delivered: For Christmas was really when we got to witness Shane at her very rawest. I was utterly swept up in the moments,  and the message of that movie. If it tells you anything about the quality, my dad went out and bought the DVD the very next day. The latest movie, Signed, Sealed, Deliver: From Paris With Love, which premiered on the  Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel June 6th of this year, dealt head on with Oliver and his wayward wife. It was incredibly emotional for Oliver, and Shane, but all I can say is this, you will NOT be disappointed by the ending.

 Norman Dorman (Geoff Gustafson) and Rita Haywith (Crystal Lowe) complete this team of postal miracle workers. I mention them together because they come as a matched set. They are both the cutest things in the entire world, one of a kind, and yet, made for each other. Rita is simply lovely, awkward, and has the hugest crush on Norman. She has spent her life feeling ostracized for being who she is, but with Norman, she feels at home. Norman, oh honey, if Olaf (from Frozen) were a human being, he would be Norman, with the exception that Norman does not express himself as openly as Olaf does. Norman was abandoned as a child and then bounced around the foster system until he was adopted. But he still has large, gaping holes in his heart, Rita is the only person he has instantly felt safe with. He also loves her with all of his heart, but has the hardest time coming out and saying it. They find the most random ways to say "I love you", but take heart, at some time the truth with come forth in plain English.

The series ran in the early spring of 2014. Each week the team found a different letter and then spent the episode, well, delivering. The thing about these particular folks however, is that they do more than deliver, they put lives back together. After a single season, Hallmark Channel announced that the SSD stories were instead be going to be made feature length movies that would air on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel. This was a good move, since these stories are so complex that they really need at least two hours to fully develop and fill out the plot.

Martha Williamson is a fantastic writer. I can tell, from the way that she writes her stories that she has studied both people, and life. She notices the details that make us all unique individuals, which in my mind, is what makes or breaks a writer's characters. She puts broken people in her stories, recognizing that everyone has a story, and everyone has heartache. She puts her characters in positions where they are able to speak into other's lives, while still discovering truths about their own. She writes romances brilliantly. I feel that many writers take the easy way out when it comes to writing romance. Flirtation, chocolate, flowers, and a kiss in the moonlight about covers it. It's a one-size-fits-all way of putting romance in a movie. But in real life, with real people, every romance is different, because people are different. Martha has discovered the secret of creating unique, individuals who communicate based on their uniqueness. I have learned ways to say "I love you" in this show without ever saying those exact words.

I applaud everyone involved with making this fantastic story, and I await eagerly the next installment of Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

The movies and the series can be purchased online at Amazon or Walmart.