Living In The Light/Dwelling In His Presence

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author Rhonda Rhea

This guest post is by Rhonda Rhea at

excerpt from Chapter 14 of:
How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person?
 I admit it, I’m a cruise fan. I love everything about it. Especially the food. A cruise and overeating go together like a hand in glove. Well more accurately, they go together like a size ten hand in a size two glove. All the gourmet food you can eat, for crying out loud! I guess I was just asking for a trip back to maternity pants. I now refer to myself as “17 years post-partum.” The staff on the ship said the average person gains seven to ten pounds on a seven-day cruise. But then, I’ve always considered myself an overachiever.
On prime rib night, my husband and I were walking out of the dining room and, even though he was about to let his belt out a notch, Richie said he was thinking of ordering yet another prime rib. Another one! I figured that could cost him at least another two belt notches. I told him I thought that would be a mistake.
Get it? Prime rib? “Mis-steak”?
Anytime we’re going to overdo, though, it’s good to make sure we’re “overdoing” in all the right areas. First Thessalonians 4:1 talks about living right to please God and then it says, “Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.” To do and to overdo. It’s an encouragement to keep growing. Not so much growing in the “bring on the elastic waistbands” kind of growth. But growing in maturity.
We grow as we seek to stay in the light, dwelling in the presence of the Lord, making sure our lives are for Him and all about Him. Our growth is not an option. It’s a command. Verse 7 in that same passage in 1 Thessalonians says, “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.”
Rejecting His instruction? Rejecting the Father Himself? Mistake of the highest order.
Growing in Him and dwelling in His presence results in a life in which growing “a notch or two” spiritually is a regular happening. The good kind of growth. And seeking that consistency in growth diligently.
There’s a lot at stake. Sometimes also a lot at steak.

Rhonda Rhea is a radio personality, humor columnist, conference/event speaker and author of eight books, including I’m Dreaming of Some White Chocolate, High Heels in High Places, and her newest, How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? She is presently working on her ninth nonfiction book, scheduled to release in early 2013, and just this week got a yes from a publishing board on a two-book fiction deal co-authored with her daughter, Kaley Faith Rhea. Rhonda is a pastor’s wife and mother of five mostly grown children. She chuckles through the hubbub with pastor/hubby, Richie Rhea, near St. Louis in Troy, Missouri.

About Rhonda's Latest Book:

How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person?—Bright Ideas for Delightful Transformation (New Hope Publishers, 2012). Author and speaker, Patsy Clairmont, calls the book “high voltage humor along with a biblical charge.”
In Ephesians 1:18, Paul prays, “that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.” One version calls it “light” that will “flood your hearts.” God shines so much of His light through Scripture so that we can see—we can have understanding.
For every person longing for a change, for everyone who is getting weary in a grisly struggle to make a particular change, God-given enlightenment makes possible real change in every way. Lasting change.
The God who is powerful enough to create light, then create the sun—the God who keeps the sun blazing and the stars and moon reflecting—that same God is powerful enough, caring enough, and detail-minded enough to light our way. He wants to show us the path of change, and He longs to light the way for us in His magnificent plan for our lives.
How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person is a laugh-along-the-way journey into that light through God’s Word. His Word? Now there’s some enlightening! And I hear enlightening has even been known to strike twice in the same place.

Thank you, Kathy Carlton Willis, for providing this great material. This looks like a great read!


 “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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Sky Reflection: Scarecrow Walk

sky reflection
town square

 The Fountain of Giving

Here is our local fountain located in the town square. Weekly farmer's markets, various craft shows and artists display their goods here. I think I surprised myself by taking this first sky reflection with my Nikon D200. We had a little rain shower to usher in the fall season, then the blue skies broke forth. You can see some amazing photos at SkyWatch Friday

Scarecrow Walk-About

western scarecrow: LadyD Books

princess and haulk scarecrow: LadyD Books

scarecrow lineup: LadyD Books

My granddaughter is so trusting. She walked up to the "big dolls" to join the Scarecrow Line Up!"
Photo for Color Connection. If you have the time and are interested, you can Make a Monster. Also available online, I found from flashlight press,  I_Need_My_Monster_Trick_or_Treat.

The Friday 56

What Must I Do To Be Saved?

So, listen up scarecrows...

"In fact, the Bible tells us that if we are trusting in our own righteousness and good works, instead of Jesus or in addition to Jesus, we are not saved (Ephesians 2:8-9)
I'm currently reading through the book by James R. Anderson and so far, I can see that this would be a good Bible study tool. I think the author's main goal is to show us that the Bible is true.

Dear readers, hoping you and yours have a fun weekend and a safe Halloween.

Kind Regards,

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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View of Mission San Luis Rey: LadyD Books

top of san luis rey mission

Photos of Mission San Luis Rey while visiting last Saturday. These were taken with the Nikon D200. More wonderful sky views are posted at Skywatch Friday.

cemetary at san luis rey mission

Inside these doors into the cemetery, I found soothing water fountains, lots of park benches for quiet meditation and large wind chimes moving with the ocean breeze passing through.

3 crosses on buildings
parking lot of the mission

Although there was a bit of construction going on, that didn't seem to stop tourists from coming. Along this walk, I could see gift shops, museums, etc.

arches on the mission grounds: LadyD Books

What I discovered next on my walk along the grounds were delightful rose gardens and these old, remaining relics. Nearby were lots of rooms for their Retreat quarters.

old archway: LadyD Books

retreat center: LadyD Books

gardens in the mission: LadyD Books

san luis rey mission rose garden: LadyD Books

Southern California is popular for drought tolerant plants and palm trees. You'll find many majestic Bougainvilleas cascading over white walls here.

succulents surrounding the mission: LadyD Books

bougainvillas: LadyD Books

Bougainvilleas for Floral Friday Foto.

madonna and child: LadyD Books

 I think about all the mothers everywhere, praying for their children. I'm going to be a bit behind in my blogging schedule, as my granddaughter is coming for a visit... oh, joy! We'll be heading out to the pumpkin patch this week. Photo for Kids-e-connection

Pumpkin man: LadyD Books

Coloring Pages for Missions

Kid's Missions

Mission Ideas for Kids

when i lay my isaac down
 The Friday 56
"When was the last time you felt desperate for divine direction? Did you receive it? If so, what surprised or comforted you? What has your experience of "hearing God's voice" been like through the years?" -- Carol Kent
 If you or someone you know is going through a personal challenge, this book might help you to change the way you think about some tough issues you may be facing.

When I Lay My Isaac Down Publisher: NavPress


“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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Orange Pekoe and Ninja Sunrise: Skywatch Friday

orange sunrise: LadyD Books
Skywatch Friday

 Wikipedia says, "Orange Pekoe, is a term used in the Western tea trade to describe a particular genre of black teas (orange pekoe grading). Despite a purported Chinese origin, these grading terms are typically used for teas from Sri Lanka, India and countries other than China; they are not generally known within Chinese-speaking countries. The grading system is based upon the size of processed and dried black tea leaves."

All I know is that after having a cup of tea one morning, I looked out through the sliding glass door (we have 9 foot sliders) and saw this amazing October sunrise and thought of Orange Pekoe tea. Do you have a favorite tea on your list? I drink all kinds since I find it relaxing and warms your soul.

sunrise in the valley

Orange Pekoe is also a Japanese music duo which formed in 1998, and had its first major debut in 2002, with the single "Happy Valley". The band is named for orange pekoe, a type of tea. I can imagine the people down in the valley of this photo will be warmed by the sun for another day.

orange skies

Orange Pekoe Tea Benefits

1. Orange pekoe tea may help prevent and possibly reverse artery clogging

2. Tea contains antioxidants, including the TF-2 compound, which may stop the spread of cancer.

3. The anti-cancer compound TF-2 suppresses the Cox-2 gene, which can trigger inflammation. TF-2 is found in orange pekoe and other black teas.

4. orange pekoe tea may help treat many respiratory diseases with a chemical called theophylline. This stimulant helps expand the airway, making breathing easier.

Read more: Orange Pekoe Tea Benefits |

tree silhouette

 Ceylon Tea comes from the country that today is known as Sri Lanka. Twinings Ceylon tea is made using the finest quality high grown teas from the Dimbula region in western Sri Lanka. In the 1870s, Ceylon became a major tea producing area after the coffee crop failed. Its tea is still referred to as "Ceylon" despite the country changing its name to Sri Lanka in 1972 following independence.

 The calligraphy and handcrafted Japanese porcelain cups are a fun way to drink tea. I have some English tea cups that are a delightful way to share with my granddaughter at our tea party.

I love the mountain grown black tea leaves with a rich fragrance. As I looked out at our avocado tree silhouette, I was reminded of a library book I've been reading to my grandson. It's about Swords.

swords by ben boos
The Friday 56
Book Description
Brave men and women have taken up the sword since ages of old, and a fascination with this formidable weapon grips dedicated followers to this day. Here is a celebration of swords and swordsmen that spans time and place — from ancient warriors such as Beowulf to medieval knights; from stealthy ninja and samurai to legendary maidens of war. Illustrated with breathtaking intricacy, SWORDS reflects the passion of a true devotee, offering lavish background details on design and use as well as exquisite spreads showcasing specimens in all their shining glory.

Page 56: Ben Boos book, Swords.  (for ages 10 and up)

"In feudal Japan there was a special class of warriors. Their element was darkness, and their murderous techniques relied on stealth, speed, and deception. These nocturnal spy-assassins became known as the ninja. The ninja did not record their achievements, so most stories about them are considered apocryphal. Likewise, none of their weapons have survived, but rumors and legends about their deadly implements abound."
I highly recommend this one for boys and men. Lots of wonderful info on swords and richly illustrated. I didn't realize just how much history is wrapped up in this formidable tool of war; the symbolic power of the sword. On a lighter note, I have fond memories of my children and now grandchildren building forts and tents, playing with their wooden swords. Of course, now they use plastic ones and glow sticks! 

I especially like Chapter 3: War Maidens

Here we discover a great female fighter, Queen Boudicca of Britain, who faced the overwhelming Roman legions to fight for her people's freedom. She proved that the sword in the hand of a war maiden is as fearsome as the sword in the hand of any man.
  Swords: An Artist's Devotion

black pumpkin

tea party with grandmother

Yours truly with two grandsons at the tea party, so long ago for Kids-e-connection


“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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Book Review: In My Corner

in my corner paperback book

Book Description: In My Corner

Life lessons on both the important and mundane abound in this collection of writings by a small-town American wife and mother of three girls who recorded her day-to-day journey over two years while coping with both overwhelming and insignificant challenges.

About the Author of In My Corner

Susan O'Brien Fischer was a journalist, wife, and mother who left behind a record of her thoughts and feelings about the difficult last few years of her life - a life cut unnaturally short. She was the seventh child in a family of ten raised in Ferguson, Mo, a tree-filled suburb of St. Louis. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, as well as a minor in German. She later earned a master's degree in English literature from Central Missouri State University. She married her college sweetheart, Joe Fischer, after dating more than ten years. During her life, she traveled extensively in Europe on a shoestring budget; wrote news articles for a St. Louis weekly newspaper; wrote a travel column in California; owned two restaurants at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri; taught university writing classes and wrote a column for The Sedalia Democrat in the small Missouri town where she finally settled down with Joe. But her passion and life's work - first and foremost - was making a home for her family, raising, supporting and loving her girls and sharing it all with the love of her life in a fairy-tale romance come true. 

Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Hackberry Publishing; first edition (December 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983741301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983741305
My Review: In My Corner

I was thrilled to read Susan's writings; beautiful memoirs from personal experience. I felt as if the author was talking next to me, so warm and personable. Surrounded with sincere friendships, 7 sisters, hubby and children, this very brave woman said, "I don't see much hope for conquering this beast that is cancer until the modern, brilliant, new remedies are paired with the ancient wisdoms."

I loved hearing about Susan sledding in the snow, arguing with a carnie, success with Girl Scout cookies and special times of re-energizing laughter with those that truly mattered and that is her beautiful family. The hardest thing must be to say good bye to your loved ones and I promise you, when you read Susan's Eulogy in the back of the book, you will be teary-eyed and deeply blessed.

5/5 stars. At first, I wondered if the author was going to vent a lot because she had suffered so much loss in losing a home and then having to face brain cancer. What I found in Susan's writings was the complete opposite. Having memories to reflect upon and then sharing them since she got sick is a remarkable journey to make with Susan in celebrating life. It's like facing Christmas as if it's your last time, along with embracing a bigger picture that indeed, it could be our last Christmas, too. A great perspective; so indeed as my mother (who died of cancer) would say to me, "Life goes on."

I'm thankful I had the opportunity to review In My Corner.


 “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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5 Ways To Take Care Of Your Books

This guest post is by Jason Harter 

5 Ways To Take Care Of Your Books

Books are a large part of today's society. Books help people learn new things that they need to know. Books help people stretch their imagination to new lengths. Books can offer people a release from their everyday lives as they have the opportunity to put themselves in the place of the characters in the book.

1. Don't leave your books outside- There are a number of elements that will ruin books if they're left outside. In the case of precipitation, rain and snow will damage books, perhaps beyond repair. Sun can also damage books by discoloring the pages. By leaving your books outside you also run the risk of animals getting a hold of your book and ruining it by tearing it up, taking it somewhere else, or getting it really dirty. If books are kept inside they will have a much better chance of staying in good condition for a very long time.

2. Do not leave extra things in your books- Extra contents place inside a book raise the likelihood and speed of the binding of the book breaking down and giving out. This will cause the entirety of your book to fall apart. In the even that your book binding does wear out, be sure to repair the binding properly, and not just in the way you think might be best.

3. Always repair broken book binding in the proper way- What is the proper way to mend broken book binding, you ask? Contrary to popular belief, the correct way to fix the binding in a book is not to simply use glue or scotch tape. Both of these options will weaken the paper and either ruin the book in a new way, or simply just not hold up and only be a temporary fix while further ruining the book. There are two options in correctly repairing broken book binding. One solution is to take your book to a professional book binder. This is an inexpensive solution to broken binding. The second option is to take two cardboard pieces that are the size and shape of the book and tie them, placing the book between cardboard pieces. You can also place the book inside a folder.

4. Do not eat or drink while reading your book- This is an important rule because it can possibly be the most damaging. Eating or drinking while reading your book is a very good way to spill on the pages. This can result in a stickiness of pages, which would cause those sticky pages to stick to other pages. This could, in the worst case, render some of the pages in your book unreadable. Not only is eating a problem, but also drinking. If particles of food are left in a book, they are likely to rot and eventually grow mold inside of your book. This is definitely not a problem you want to have!

5. Keep your books in a room with a regular temperature and humidity level- Irregular temperatures and humidity levels can damage the paper of the books and therefor ruin your precious novel.

Author Jason Harter enjoys reading and blogging. He is a contributing writer for

 “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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Walking Water

Thailand waters

Don't these rocks look like they're walking or floating on the water? At daybreak, the boat, along with a small group of passengers, headed straight for these rocks reaching up to the sky, in Thailand waters with warm, humid temps.

trees in Thailand waters

Once inside the collection of huge rocks protruding from the water, these "walking sticks" or large tree men were discovered. I must say, with my imagination, these seem a bit scary.

trees along the waterside

Yet, I found these bent-over tree branches fascinating in their community of clustered walking tree-sticks!

boat on the water

monk and little boy

I love this photo of a monk and the little boy.

the no.1 ladies' detective agency

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency

"She watched as he raised it to his lips and then, so suddenly, from that tiny cup of metal against his flesh, the sound would burst out like a glorious, brilliant knife dividing the air."
From National Bestseller "The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith

LadyD Books is linking up with the following memes today:

Skywatch Friday

The Friday 56 

Kids e-Connection



 “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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