A Softer Voice, the Book

>> Thursday, May 8, 2014



      

          It's been roughly 14 months since I promised my mother, Goldie Opal Anderson McCall, that I would fulfill her request to gather several years' worth of poetry, blog posts, and Christian Women's Voice magazine articles into a collection. And now she resides in the realm of eternity in Heaven where time is no longer a factor.
          I tried to wiggle out of this project with some very creative objections and excuses, but I knew too well by the look in those brown eyes that she wasn't buying into any of them. So…I promised to honor her request. She knew I would keep my word and (eventually) complete a labor of love simply because she asked me to.
          When Mother's health began to rapidly decline, it became evident that my late-night typing would not speed the process enough for her to see the finished product. To reassure her, I took the Introduction, Acknowledgement and a few articles, read them to her and vowed to complete the task.
          Here's to you, Mom. Thanks for a lifetime of love, encouragement, support, and...patience. I may not be able to place the first copy in your hands (I think we would enjoy a little laugh over the yellow roses on the cover), but I do surrender A Softer Voice in book form to the Author and Finisher of our faith, Christ Jesus.
          I'm so blessed to have landed on www.FaithWriters.com a few years ago. This network of likeminded Christians with a heart for sharing our faith through writing has become a very special circle of friends who are the first to offer encouragement and support to others. What seemed to be a small and tenuous step led to a writer's conference, a blogging class, Clearing the Blog Fog, by Patty Wysong, the opportunity to share at www.JewelsofEncouragment.com, and an invitation from Debbie Dillon to be a contributor for Christian Women's Voice magazine (www.christianwomensvoice.org). God knew I needed to be led through this wonderful maze with baby steps.  The beautiful new face on this blog is the creative work of another FaithWriter friend, Marita Thelander. Thanks, Mari! 
           Mandy Sullivan Kniskern is a proofreader extraordinaire and just happens to be my daughter. When God placed her (and her sweet family) in our home this past year, she couldn't have known she would be spending late-night hours reading through heavy eyelids looking for typos and other errors. Thank you, Mandy!   
          And a heart full of gratitude to my very best friend, Bud, whose patient character is the benchmark for our marriage in ways too many to list. His hard work each day has allowed me the privilege to be a stay-at-home wife and, at one time, mom. This quieter time in my life means I get to pursue what I enjoy. Thank you, Bud!  
          Following is the link to Friesen Press where A Softer Voice can be purchased for download, paperback or hardback. Many thanks to Mariam Ordubadi, Author Account Manager; Ashley Good, Book Promotion Specialist; and other team members (known to me only by their first names) Geoff, Carmen, Shari, Ceilidh, and Publishing Consultant Tim Plakeolli. A special thank you to the Art Department for the beautiful original art for the cover. Each one of you helped to make this self-published effort blossom into the best it could be.

http://www.friesenpress.com/bookstore/title/119734000012346379

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/nancy-k.-Sullivan

http://www.amazon.com/Softer-Voice-Sharing-Family-Friends/dp/1460229533/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400524115&sr=1-2&keywords=A+Softer+Voice

http://www.amazon.com/Softer-Voice-Sharing-Family-Friends-ebook/dp/B00KC1KQMY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400524211&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Softer+Voice

"For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth,
 visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities
---all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."
(Colossians 1:16-17 NASB)
 
 

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Heaven's Gate

>> Wednesday, April 23, 2014



Heaven’s Gate

The gate of Heaven opens wide
And beckons the weary to come inside
Some enter quickly and some tarry there
As they finish the race, they’re covered in prayer

The mourning keep a vigil at the heavenly gate
Releasing and reclaiming loved ones who wait
For faith to become sight so they can see
What lies beyond where they become free.

Free from the pain, the sickness and sorrow
As those who surround them pray away tomorrow
For we all long to claim the love that will free us
As we gather through faith at the gate to see Jesus.

© Nancy K. Sullivan
    April 23, 2014

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Happy Birthday to Bud

>> Monday, March 31, 2014

I'm reposting this one today to help celebrate Bud's birthday. I'm blessed everyday to have him in my life.

"This week we’re at letter “I” and our mentor/blogger, Patty Wysong, suggested that we use this week to introduce ourselves. Okay, Patty (“Peej”). This one’s for you.

To keep my personal introduction from sounding like a confessional, allow me to present my amazing husband. He’s much more interesting. Then, just know that I possess the flip side of his attributes. If it's true that opposites attract, then our marriage was absolutely made in Heaven (Is this where I apologize for using two cliches in one sentence?).

Bud loves to mingle, has a smile bigger than Dallas, and never meets a stranger.

He can work outside in a blinding blizzard or record-breaking heat – without complaining.

He never takes things personally.

He enjoys – I repeat, “enjoys” – spending some of his Saturdays driving a church bus full of rowdy charges from one of the most underprivileged areas in our city to church for their special time of Bible study and worship.

My heroic rescuer used to joke that his career(s) meant waiting for someone’s house to burn down (retired firefighter) or roof to cave in (owner of a small roofing/structural maintenance company). I’m fortunate to have been one of many damsels in distress he encounters on a regular basis, but that’s a story for another day.

Bud is the consummate optimist. Whatever the project, once the first nail is driven he smiles and says, “All I like is finishing up!”

His motto could be “Go big or go home.” Our newlywed dream of having a home and five acres on the outskirts of Oklahoma City morphed into 80 acres an hour away. And we were sixty miles from his daily work, our families and friends and almost fifteen miles from the nearest dry cleaners, the bank and our church. We lived there for 15 years before moving back to our roots. All things considered --- even the inconvenience --- that experience is one we will always treasure.


It's been said that marriage is made in Heaven. Someone added "So are thunder and lightning." The balance of similarities and differences in our personalities keep our relationship more to the heavenly side. We both love the Lord. Our imperfect lives are centered on Him, the family He gave us, and enjoying the beauty of His creation.


We are thankful for the two different worlds that collided when we met. His background included horses and cattle –from a family of rodeo enthusiasts. My family’s activities were, shall we say, sedentary: Dad was always playing the guitar while my mother listened and kept time with her crochet needles.

As a child, I had always dreamed of owning a horse and a piano. Bud made both of those dreams come true.

I was terrified of heights. He taught me to snow ski. I couldn’t swim and still had memories of almost drowning --- three times. He taught me to water ski.

My husband's ridin’ and ropin’ days are over, but he’ll always be at home outside or creating things in his shop filled with mammoth tools and his imagination. Yet for eighteen years he willingly took time to come to concerts by the Singing Church Women of Oklahoma, even though I was but a speck among 400 women in a sea of sequins and long, black dresses. (Need a little updating here: I thought his rodeo days were over, but I should have consulted Bud before making such a naive observation. My forever-young husband is actually celebrating his 68th birthday by bringing "Rowdy" home from being "broken" and will be riding him for the first time today.)

We’ve come back to our original plan and now live on those five acres near Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City. It’s good to be back “home” close to our two daughters and their families.

Most of my goals have been achieved: I’m married, have two beautiful daughters, three grandsons and their terrific dads – and don’t forget the horse and piano. I’m still working on becoming the person God had in mind when He formed me. I do love people, but in a more shy way. Hopefully, my desire to write comes from the Lord and He will able to use that for His glory, not mine. And ... I want to be more like my husband.

He makes me better.

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Son of God

>> Saturday, March 1, 2014

 
We saw Son of God last night. Some of the images are still with me today. Some were difficult to see. It felt awkward to watch images of the suffering that Jesus endured. Awkward because the pain was His and the grief belonged to his earthly mother and His Heavenly Father.

It was intense. And personal. And I didn't want to be in that crowd gawking at a painful dying process. But God didn't hide the suffering or the shame of the crucifixion of His only beloved Son. His redemptive plan was meant to draw us in - to show us the cost of our sin. A price He charged to His only Son. For me. And for you.

We have a choice. We can remain ghoulish and watch while we keep our distance. Or we can own what is ours. Our sins - every one of them, and our sin - our nature that makes it impossible to live a pure enough life to meet God's standards of holiness.

Jesus gave Himself up to hands that would beat him mercilessly, mouths that would spew hatred and spittle, and arms that would raise a sledge hammer to drive spikes into hands that were used to bless and to heal others and into feet that carried Him to the lost and the dying. And to the cross.

All He asks in return is a heart full of repentance and faith. A heart willing to be open to His unspeakable gift of forgiveness and love. Unconditional love. If there had been only one person in need of a Savior, He would have endured the cross for that one soul.

Pride would cause us to close our eyes and walk away from accepting our part in Jesus' death. Pride is deadly. And a pride that refuses to believe in God's redemptive plan and be humbled enough to receive it leads to the second death from which there is no return.

My prayer for anyone reading these words is for your eyes to be open to a love only God could bestow. And for your heart to be willing to simply acknowledge Jesus as God's only Son, recognize that we are all sinners, ask for forgiveness of your sins and invite Jesus into your heart.

The Son of God will return. This time in glory.



http://www.sonofgodmovie.com/videos.html

http://faithwritersjesuspage.weebly.com/

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Draw Me

>> Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Photography by Mid Stutsman  http://midspix.wordpress.com/
















Draw Me


Draw me through my tears
  Embrace me in my fears
In the stillness of the night
  Draw me

Draw me through my doubt
  Use truth to draw me out
When lies of the world deceive
  Draw me

Draw me into Your joy
  Use praises to employ
Your mercy and Your grace
  Draw me

Draw me to new heights
  Lift me with Your might
To Your ways higher than mine
  Draw me

Draw me through the skies
  To Your glorious home on high
Forever in Your light
  Draw me

© Nancy K. Sullivan    
    February 4, 2014

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Lavender Rain - A Book Review

>> Wednesday, February 19, 2014



   
 
     Hope-filled fiction is used to describe the Serenity Cove series of novels by Rita Garcia. I just finished reading Lavender Rain - Maggie's Story. This third book in the Serenity Cove Series is as fresh as the first, Kaleidoscope Summer, and the second, Tangerine Morning.
      Rita’s writing provides a perfect Calgon-Take-Me-Away place to relax and enjoy the beautiful setting in Serenity Cove. The characters are easy to bond with and their stories are current and engaging.The beautiful setting is one of the things that brings me back for more visits. But the residents and their special life experiences make it such a pleasure to stay.

     Maggie's story will take you on an even deeper journey with real-life challenges that can only be effectively faced through faith. Rita Garcia stays true to her writing of "inspirational romance." Lavender Rain will remain with you long after you've enjoyed reading it. The story line is current and important on so many levels.
     You can find all three books at www.Amazon.com. The link to Lavender Rain is below. They are also available for your Kindle. Enjoy.
 
 

   
      Have a cuppa, relax and enjoy your stay in this wonderful and picturesque oceanside community.

Blog: http://www.reflectionswithdr.com
Website: http://www.ritagarcia.com

Dr. Rita Garcia is a Clinical Christian Counselor and an inspirational novelist. Her knowledge and passion for helping others brings realistic details to the counseling woven into her stories. The theme that permeates her writings is: Love, lit by the flame of hope. Romance is a big part of her novels. Hope is an even larger element of the stories. Rita and her husband, Joe, live in Southern California.

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A Special Gift

>> Sunday, February 2, 2014

God's Valentine Message

Today’s post for the Valentine season comes from one who will enjoy the source of all love face to face today – with Jesus. My mother, Goldie Opal McCall joined Him and my dad, “Mac” last April 19, 2013.
Mother loved doing acrostics. She used them often in her teaching in Sunday School and for her personal Bible study. The following is one she did February 14, 1991:  

"God’s Valentine Message is for Every Day" 

G – God’s gift of Love to all, His Son Jesus who in
O – Obedience left Heaven for
D – Death on the cross, to provide
S – Salvation to “Whosoever” will accept Him. 
His Gifts to Us: 
V – Victory in life and over death.
A – Answers to our prayers.
L – Love beyond measure and forever.
E – Example of Jesus to follow.
N – A New Nature.
T – Talents and time to serve Him and others.
I – Inheritance in Heaven as His child.
N – (Our) Needs will be supplied according to His riches in glory.
E – Eternal Life. 



        “Valentine’s Day is a time set aside to show love for for another. This is good, but sad that it is not a practice that can be celebrated each and every day.
        “Since God is the source of all Love, I have spent this day in thankfulness to Him for His love toward me, and the love I have received from my family and friends.
        “I wanted to share this, “His Valentine Message” to me, with you and I hope you will claim it for yourself each and every day.” 

Love,
Goldie McCall
2-14-91

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