Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Cheery Countenance

Oh Mom! 
My twelve year old son came home from school with a problem. Reaching in his backpack, he pulled out an invitation to a friend’s Bar Mitzvah which was to occur the next day. Although he received the invitation several weeks earlier, he had neglected to show it to me but he really wanted to attend; so I called the number on the invitation and my son was graciously granted permission to attend.

Now however, my son had a bigger problem. He didn’t have a gift to take to the Bar Mitzvah. I assured him this was not a problem, we could still purchase a gift. It was then that I began to truly understand my son’s problem. The situation meant he would have to make a trip to the mall with me–his mother–on a Friday night!

In my son’s twelve year old world, the mall was the place to be on Friday nights. The fact that he might be seen with his mother was a huge concern! But, he wanted to attend the Bar Mitzvah, he needed to have a gift, and he could not drive. Frankly, he had no choice but to risk a mall trip with his mom.

Instead of taking offense by my son’s predicament, I was rather amused. I assured him I would do my best not to draw any attention. I teased, telling him it was not so bad to be seen with his mother. There were worse fates in life. He could have a life-threatening illness. He could be in a car wreck. Or he could be seen with me at the movies.
As we walked around the mall, he looked from side to side and over his shoulder trying to spot anyone he might know before they spotted us. At long last, we settled on a gift. By this time, we were quite hungry and the food court beckoned.

What a dilemma my son now faced! We could go home without eating and he would have safely survived the outing without being sited by any of the twelve year old–why are you out with your mother on a Friday night?–police. But the smell of the food court wafted our way and he was weakening.

Spurred on by the fact that we had not encountered any of his friends yet and with his cover still in tact; my son bravely decided to risk dinner with me. This took real bravado as it involved sitting at the same table with me for a prolonged period of time.
As we sat down with our food, he once again voiced fears that one of his friends might see us. Just as I was about to respond to his comment, I picked up a French fry. Dipping one end of the fry in ketchup, I started moving it towards my mouth as I began to speak. The fries at this place were made from extremely long potatoes. Each one looked to be six to eight inches long.

“I don’t know why you are so embarrassed to be seen with me!  There is nothing embarrassing about being with your mother! There is nothing wrong with me! I am an absolutely normal human being!” I said, holding the fry in my hand.

At that precise moment the fry, which was quite close to my mouth now, began to bend in the middle and break in two. I startled, jerking the fry towards my mouth as I simultaneously turned my head. I really cannot explain why this was my response to the breaking French fry. It all happened so quickly. But it resulted in the fry hitting my face just beneath my right eye and slowly starting to break. As it broke, it slid down my right cheek ever so slowly, spreading ketchup in a red line all the way down my face.

Essentially, after having just announced that I was a perfectly normal human being, I proceeded to jab myself in the cheek with a French fry dipped in ketchup.

My son exploded with laughter! Apparently, the humor of the situation far out weighed any possible embarrassment I might have caused. Then, with a huge grin on his face and shaking his head, he said, “Mom, I rest my case!”



Thursday, April 16, 2015


Image result for cloudsAs a follow up to my previous posts on writing devotions, today I am posting a sample devotion I wrote. This was published in the Spring 2014 issue of The Secret Place (Judson Press.) I sold them 1st rights so now, a year later, the rights are mine again, Hope you enjoy it.                                                              
                                            Hi God!
                                Read: Romans 1:16-20

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood by what He has made, so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 (NASB)

On the drive to school this morning, my son suddenly said to me, “Hey Mom! Look! Those clouds look like the word “Hi.”
Truth be told, I was unable to see what my son was referring to because of my vantage point and the need to keep my eyes focused on the road ahead of me, so I asked him to explain. He pointed out the window next to his seat and said, “Well there are a lot of straight lines in the clouds. Two are tall with a connecting puff between them and there was a smaller cloud beside them.” I knew the sky had some streaks of cirrus clouds in it, so my son’s explanation was believable. Then just as spontaneously, my son waved to the sky and offered a cheery and sincere, “Hi God!”

How often do we take time to see God in His creation? I did not see him this morning, I had my eyes focused on the task I was engaged in. (And rightly so, but just the same, the lesson seemed real.) I found myself warmed by my son’s innocent faith and longing to regain the faith of a child.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, from the beginning of time you have shown yourself to man in your creation. Give us eyes to see you more clearly! In your Son’s name, Amen.

Thought for the Day: Do you have the faith of a child?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Through My Kitchen Window

Devotional Writing - Part Three

Finding Markets

There are three ways I write / sell devotions. I freelance them, selling 1st rights to a publication, freelance selling reprints, and work for hire where I accept assignments from a publication.

The freelance markets I have found that will buy 1st rights include:

The Upper Room–this is a Methodist publication. It pays $30 per devotion and its guidelines can be found at:

The Upper Room has other devotional magazines which also accept freelance work, buying 1st rights. These include devozine, Alive Now, Pockets, and Weavings. Their guidelines can be found at:

The Secret Place–published by Judson Press. It is an American Baptist publication, pays $20 per accepted devotion, and their guidelines can be found at:

The only place I have found that will purchase reprints is Word Aglow–published by the Pentecostal Publishing House and they only pay $8 per devotion. Their guidelines are found at:

But there may be others too.

Once you build up some devotional writing credits, you can send a query letter along with samples of your work to magazines which make assignments and ask for an assignment. These are work for hire and there are many of them. The two I have received assignments from are Open Windows (Lifeway) and Reflections (Smyth and Helwys)

I hope these posts have been helpful. Devotional writing is not the highest paying type of writing out there but they are fun and easy to write. And it’s nice to know others are being reached and blessed by your writing.