Friday, June 28, 2013
Kathryn and Earl were sweet, down-to-earth people, the salt of the earth, so to speak. Their children were well-behaved and so much fun. We learned later that shortly after their marriage they had three miscarriages and the doctor told them they would likely never conceive. "You two had better think about adoption if you want a family," he said. But this time the doctor was wrong.
Earl said "I thought God was in charge of babies. We're going to pray harder." Kathryn promised God that if he would let her become a mother, she would have as many children as God gave her. And she gave birth to nine children--6 boys and three girls.
The local Catholic priest heard about this family and went to visit them, to invite them to his parish. He thought they were surely Catholic, because of their large family. Earl laughed and said, "No, we're not Catholics. We're just passionate Baptists!"
Six of the nine siblings are now grandparents and some are great-grandparents. They continue doing what they saw their mother and dad do, teaching the little ones to love God, to pray, to be faithful in church attendance, and to live in a manner pleasing to God.
The greatest of all influences a family can have on a community is when they stand up for God. Everyone in that little town in Northern Missouri knew the Thyes, and they knew of their faithfulness to God. And even though the doctor gave them the wrong advice, they went on trusting their Heavenly Father.
This is the second in a series about people we knew while we were pastoring churches in Missouri, Texas, and Florida. These stories will be presented on Fridays. I will continue to do book reviews on Wednesday, though I missed this week. (The pictures are not actual pictures of the family I wrote about, but are pictures I selected from the internet to show lots of children in the family.)
On the first and third Mondays I will have an author interview, most of the time with a book give-away. On the second and fourth Mondays, you will continue to read essays written by our son, David Nobles, who lives in Midland, Texas.
Monday, June 24, 2013
Friday, June 21, 2013
He went to Bob, one of the men who had been on the pulpit committee that brought us there (who happened to be in that class), and said, "We need to get you another teacher."
"Oh, no, pastor," the man said. "Please don't bother our teacher."
"He can't teach," Charlie told him.
The man agreed. "We know that, and we can study our lessons, Please don't bother him. He needs to be the teacher of our class."
My husband said again, "He can't teach."
"Well," Bob said, "you just have to know Joe."
So my husband set out to find out about Joe. He discovered that Joe was an alcoholic. He was dry and had been for several years at that time, but my husband learned that when Joe used to drink, he would get mean. He would beat his wife. He would tear up things around town. The police had to bring him home many times and other times he ended up in jail.
So he and his wife made an agreement. Whenever she saw that he was heading for a binge, she would lock him in the bathroom. Special locks were installed on the outside of the door and a little hinged opening was cut in the bottom so she could slip food to him. He slept in the bathtub and everything else he needed was right there. No matter how loud he yelled or beat the door, or whatever he did, she did not let him out until she knew he was stone-cold sober.
She had to check the bathroom before she put him in there because he would hide liquor in the cabinets so he could stay drunk longer. She would get all the liquor out and lock him in when she knew he was heading for a binge and she knew trouble was coming. This happened several times. Joe agreed to this because he knew he could not control himself when alcohol got hold of him.
Then something happened to Joe. His wife had invited him to church many times and he had refused to go, but one night during a revival meeting, he agreed to go. God spoke to him, he walked down the aisle and got saved, and in a miraculous one-time event, God did a mighty work. He delivered Joe from the his sins and from the desire for alcohol. Joe never took another drink.
Now Joe was teaching a Sunday School class for men at Calvary Baptist church. He was living a Christian life and helping alcoholics to kick the habit. He said to my husband, "Preacher, you call me anytime, day or night if you have an alcoholic who needs my help. I have an agreement with my boss and if somebody needs help to get off alcohol I can come. I'll stay with him until he's past the bad time, no matter how long it takes."
Anytime a child needed money to go to camp or for anything else related to the church, Joe was the first person to give.
My husband used to say in one of his sermons, "If God could save Joe and deliver him from alcohol at the same time, He can do anything for anybody. We just have to let Him."
Yes, I remember Joe. He is gone now, yet I still marvel at the work God did in him. He didn't make him a marvelous Sunday School teacher, but he made him a recovered alcoholic. He made him a lover of people and a giver to little children. And his life spoke for God. My husband got to know Joe, and he agreed with Bob. When we left that church a few years later, Joe was still teaching that men's Sunday School class.
(Disclaimer--the picture is NOT the picture of the actual church. When we were there, the church was housed in a white building in town, but the congregation is now in a beautiful new building. Bro. Jeff Anderson is pastor there. This picture was chosen from stock photos on the internet.)
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
This book was harder for me to read because of the many people and changes. Each chapter was about a new person until all had been introduced, then it told about the nuances of each person's life as it moved along, ponderously at times, it seemed to me.
It took me a while to get into this one because of the many different personalities, but I began to relate to them, and when I was finished I was glad I had stayed with it until the end, where it became more exciting and I could hardly turn the pages fast enough.
If you choose to read this book, be prepared for some exciting experiences as well as some heart-breaking ones. Dale Cramer did a marvelous when he wrote Sutter's Cross. I think he must have had to have a master plan to keep everything straight. It all ended well, thanks to his ingenious mind.
Monday, June 17, 2013
People have compared your style of writing to that of Nicholas Sparks and Richard Evans. Since all three of you are men who write romance novels, what is the first thing that sets your books apart? What are the main differences readers will notice when they read your books and possibly compare them to these other two well-known authors?
Juanita: I know you are a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. What advice would you give an aspiring novelist who is trying to get started in the business?
Now, readers, it's your turn. If you'd like a copy of Dan's newest book, The Dance, you need to comment here. You can tell whether you enjoyed the interview, or you can say, "I want a book" or whatever you wish to say. Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.
The copy I will send is not a new book; it is one I ordered it from Amazon and read, but it's in almost new condition. Winner will be announced on my blog on June 24.
You can get extra entries in the contest if you "Follow Me" or "Subscribe" to my blog. Let me know in your comment so I can credit you with the extra chances to win.
|Three of Dan's recent books|
Friday, June 14, 2013
Father’s Day.* Time to buy a card and (hopefully) (rarely in my case) get it sent off in time. Picking a card is like a putting stroke: everybody does it different. Some come in and have to read ALL the cards, rejecting one because it said “and” instead of “or,” or maybe the font wasn’t “just right.” They take an hour to pick the perfect card. Others look at a few and grab the first one that hits them. You might be somewhere in between those two, or maybe you make your own using software designed to help you create a card.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
As he worked patiently with each of the children, trying to gain their trust, there were many ups and downs. The man had found God's purpose for his life while in prison, but his family were not church-goers. In fact, the teenaged daughter was involved in some very off-the-wall activities.
This was a very good story, as are all of AnnTatlock's offerings, and I was glad I read it.
Ms. Pittman wrote subsequent chapters about the main characters in the book, introducing us to them. One was Morris, a twelve-year-old black boy who wanted to play baseball. Another was Ned, who secretly loved Ellie Jane. And then there was Duke Dennison, the ball player who came to live in this town for a time.
The book was charming, inviting, and kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. There was an unexpected ending, one that took me totally by surprise. I think if you decide to read this book, you will enoy the authenticity and the small town flavor.
Jim and Marilyn Anderson were a couple in a beautiful house with everything a modern family could want, except love and respect. They were drifting, as many couples do today, until Marilyn left and disrupted Jim's comfortable life. The story tells about the couple, about their children and how this event affected them, and how this drastic act woke a man up. Jim began to realize how many times Marilyn had sought him out in previous years.
This story was simple, yet profound. When a couple comes to the place where these two were, it took a jolt to cause them to think of the other person. Marilyn had been thinking, but Jim was totally unaware of what could happen to his life because of his unthoughfulness. Dan Walsh is an excellent writer, and I think you will enjoy reading this one. You will want to read the others, as soon as they become available, as he weaves stories about this particular family.
In our local library I found another book by Dale Cramer titled Summer of Light. I had enjoyed his Amish stories, but this one was very different. It was about an iron worker, a strong man who lost his job because of an accident. His wife, a lawyer, convinced him to stay home with the three small children for the summer while she continued to work. The kids were out of school and one of them was a special needs child who needed special attention. So began Mick's adventure with his children, a hilarious, yet sweet journey.
This book contained laugh-out-loud humor that could only have been written by someone who experienced it. There were too many hilarious incidents for this to just have been made up.
Mick tried to work as a carpenter while keeping an eye on his son Dylan and the dog, Andy. The scrapes they got into just kept on coming. Mick also related to a homeless man he had met on his job, and this relationship continued through the summer with many poignant scenes.
I recommend this book if you want to just read for fun. It is highly entertaining.
Gabrielle relates to the the younger girls as their teacher and we come to know several of them. Dr. Scott enters the community because of an outbreak of disease, and this doctor is the outsider who is another main character, the one who falls in love with Gabrielle.
Ann Gabhart has written a series of four books about the Shakers, and this is the first. I hope I am able to read the other three because I was very much taken with the people I met in this book. Ms. Gabhart draws her characters carefully and causes the reader to care about each one.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Thanks to my son, David O'Dell Nobles for this article today.
Check out the interview with Karen Witemeyer (June 3) if you'd like to enter the contest to win a copy of her book, Stealing the Preacher. You can comment on the blog or send me a personal email, or comment on facebook to enter the drawing, which will be June 15.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Crockett eventually learns that the church he was going to has already chosen a preacher, so he returns to Joanna's home to help her rejuvenate her community church. He takes a job working for Joanna's father on his ranch.
As we meet all the characters, there are many chuckles and some out-loud laughter at the antics when misconceptions evolve into actuality. Silas, a twelve-year-old boy who is a neighbor of Joanna, has his sight set on marrying her when he grows up, but as he comes to know Crockett and draws nearer to the Lord, he realizes that his ideas may have to be changed. When Holly, the other young girl in the church, sets her goal for getting the preacher, some serious complications follow.
This is a very exciting read. Some of the old western things happen in a different way. I think you will be glad you read Stealing the Preacher or any other of Ms. Witemeyer's books. This book exceeded my expectations, and I was glad I was able to read it.
Monday, June 3, 2013
Now, let's meet Karen Witemeyer......
Juanita: I’ve had fun this morning reading on the Internet about you and the books you have written and have found out some pretty interesting facts about you. You married a Texas cowboy, just like I did. Your man is a deacon, while mine is a retired preacher. You are a Texan (moving there from California), and I’m a displaced Texan (moving to Missouri away from my home state). And we both have a history in Abilene, though mine was long ago, shortly after my marriage in the mid-1950s. I’d say we have some things in common, besides our love of writing.
I notice you write Western fiction. Tell us about the blog you share with several other writers of similar books, Petticoats and Pistols, and what you want people to take away from this site, where wonderful authors share their visions.
|The Alamo in Texas|
Juanita: What is next for you? Do you have your next book in mind?