Thursday, July 28, 2011

Curt, Convicted, Contrite

We’ve had one day in over two weeks when the heat index wasn’t above 100 degrees. Patience and tempers run short. People are testy. My DH had debilitating cluster headaches for three days. Wednesday it was 109, thanks to 98 on the thermometer, and the high dew point. Hubby went to bed at 8:30.

Not five minutes later, the phone rang. A woman asked for someone who doesn’t live in our home. We don’t have cells or caller ID (don’t ask), and we get a lot of unsolicited calls.

I admit I’ve never been a quick thinker (years ago a kid asked if my refrigerator was running and I went to look), so I didn’t even consider asking who she was or the last name of the individual she wanted. I was curt, and basically hung up.

The phone rang again and the same woman asked for the same person.

I said, “No one by that name has ever lived here.”

She verified our phone number, then offered, “You must get a lot of calls to be so irritated.”

“We do. And my husband just lay down with a horrid migraine.” I didn’t apologize.

She said, “The Lord be with you.”

I was convicted by her click. It sounded so final. It was too late to apologize or search for any more excuses.

Humble, regretful, guilty. That old sin nature can still raise its ugly head. My mind raced to the Lord.

Five minutes later, the phone rang again, but no one responded to my softer hello.

What if it was a test of some kind?

What if the caller really meant to call me to see how I’d handled the ruse?

What if someone was checking up on me to see if I’m equipped for ministry?

What if I missed the opportunity to entertain an angel?

I was once voted Miss Congeniality. If those girls could have heard such a tone of voice, that trophy would belong to another. And a short tone like the one I used would never fly in the workforce.

Contrition ran so deep I couldn’t sleep. There is no excuse for irritability. A Christian has no reason to be rude. And Christians are meant to be in the Word on a daily basis. Oops. It was our anniversary and we’d planned a day away from home, I hadn’t made the time to absorb God’s precious words.

Early this morning, in the wee hours of dark, I turned to Ephesians, Chapter 4. Words are meant to be edifying. I’m reminded to walk (and talk!) in a worthy manner, with humility, gentleness, grace. Forgiveness is a must, because I’ve been forgiven. I’m convinced a kind and loving tone turn curtness into congeniality.

Have you been tested lately?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Husband Material by Annette M. Irby

Husband Material e-book Dollar Download
Hey readers, why do you love reading romance?

I like watching a hero warm up to a heroine, and getting a peek into his heart. Or watching him pursue her. I like watching the characters go after their goals and find love. I like warmth, gentleness, and kindness, and that’s where Christian romance shines. Sure, there are rough situations, but it’s the tenderness between the hero and heroine that brings out a visceral response as we read.

We like watching a boy meet a girl and then overcome obstacles to become a husband. And if he doesn’t start the book as good husband material, we like watching him grow as a character to become a man of good husband material. Right? That’s often why romance readers prefer reading about single people. It’s a fictional journey where that part of our hearts that resides deep inside is accessed and blessed. It’s clean, it’s wholesome, and it all reminds me of Jesus’s love for us, and our relationship with Him.

See, Jesus woos us to Him daily. See that lovely butterfly flitting around in the garden? God created it to woo you. Feel that warm summer sunshine? A gift from your Bridegroom. Smell those flowers? the ocean? the rain? All from the Lover of your soul.

And when we read a good romance (which you’ll find a-plenty at White Rose) your heart is stirred, just as God created it to be. Then, we take those emotions to God and He fills up any empty places in our hearts. Human husbands weren’t meant to accomplish all that God can in our hearts. Marriage is blessed and delightful and refining, and many of our needs are met within the commitment and love of marriage, but for those areas of our hearts where we’re still unsatisfied, God wants to fill those places up.

So, look to Jesus. He’s perfect husband material!


Husband Material, my new ebook, released on July 22, 2011. It’s a dollar download, short romance. CONTEST: Leave a comment here with your email address for a chance to win a copy. I’ll choose a winner on July 29th. 

Here's the summary for Husband Material

Wyatt Hansen has no fears about commitment, but only three years have passed since his beloved wife died, and he can't bring himself to break their annual dinner date—that is until he meets restaurant owner, Lara Farr.

Lara doesn't have time for romance; she has a business to run. At least that's what she tells herself so she doesn't have to admit that commitment scares her. But Lara's business is failing, and it just may take a miracle—or marketing analyst, Wyatt Hansen—to save it.

Can Wyatt rescue Lara’s restaurant, help her overcome her fears, and prove he is good husband material?

Annette M. Irby has enjoyed writing since her teen years. If she’s not writing, she’s reading for review, or editing. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers and finaled in their Genesis Contest, 2006. She gives back to writers via her co-hosted blog: Seriously Write. Married twenty years, she lives with her husband and three children in the Northwest. Love Letters was her published book. She currently works as a freelance editor, as well as editing for publishing houses. She is active in her church as a mentor and worship leader. She enjoys photography, nature, and falling deeper in love with Jesus. Learn more at her website.