Inspirational thoughts and random writings from the alumni and friends of Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Introducing Lori Boruff

A Flying Lesson from Mary Poppins

What was your 'big girl' or 'big boy' dream when you were little?

Did you dream of being a teacher? A superhero? A princess? Did your dream come true?

My six year old dream was to fly....but not in an airplane.
I wanted to fly like magical Mary Poppins

Surely a windy, Midwestern day and mom's umbrella could take me where I wanted to go.

SLAM went the screen door.
POP went the umbrella.
OH NO – Away I go!

I hung onto the umbrella for dear life.
Up, up and away I began to go to the very tip of my tippy toes.
Guess what happened?

I got scared.
I pulled down the umbrella with all my might.
My feet became firmly planted on the ground.

Slam went the screen door.
Safe and sound in my corner of the world....
Whew went this little girl.

Today, I think about that exciting adventure and wonder....
Can dreams come true if we aren't afraid to fly?

Reflect on these questions:
  • What is my 'big girl' or 'big boy' dream?
  • Where do I want to go?
  • Do I focus on “I can't...” or “How can I...”
  • Am I afraid to fly?

Face your fear and dream big. Don't miss the adventure God has in store for you!

Be Blessed,
Lori Boruff

Lori Boruff believes in the power of hope because she experiences it. Personal 9/11's once caused her to see only hopeless ends until she discovered the secret to ENDLESS HOPE. As a Hope coach, Lori speaks at over 40 womens' events a year but dreams of reaching thousands around the world by producing and hosting her internet radio show - How to live a hope-FULL life launching in January 2011.
    Helping others live life on purpose motivates Lori to step out of her comfort zone and dream big for God. Whether freelance writing, polishing her first book, promoting a Holocaust writing project for children or directing a local writers' group - Lori is answering her God-given call to write.
    She married her sweetheart 30 years ago and they live in Aledo, IL. They've raised two sons and are proud the young men help others through military and community service. The way-to-young-to-be-a-grandma loves play days and afternoon naps with her three year old grandson.
    On the silly side of life, Lori lets bathtime bubbles wash her troubles away and chocolate be her friend.
    If Hope is like oxygen to the lungs and you have no hope - are you really living? Let Lori help you breathe deeply into the life God wants you to live.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Introducing Michael Elmore


Being overweight is an issue I have struggled with all of my life. Of course, I had been through the usual panacea of diets. Dieting and weight loss were like a never-ending yo-yo for me. I eventually tipped the scales at nearly 400 pounds and my life was miserable. What made me the saddest was the thought that within a handful of years I would die and not see my grandchildren grow up.

This led me to having bariatric bypass surgery for weight loss in April 2008. The surgery was successful except that eight months later I developed a vitamin B-1 deficiency. The result was that I woke up one morning with global amnesia, unable to walk or even talk. Eventually, doctors noticed that my blood serum B-1 level was mildly low and gave me an IV which I responded to almost immediately. Later, they told me that I had developed Wernike-Korsakoff's Syndrome, a rare disorder that usually occurs only in alcoholics.

After my release from the hospital the day before Christmas, I began a nine-month stint in therapy and a two years later, I have experienced a miraculous recovery. This is amazing since many Wernike-Korsakoff patients never fully recover and some have to spend the rest of their lives in care centers.
So what is the message behind my story? I have learned firsthand that God is my healer. I weigh 190 pounds now – not 400. I no longer have diabetes or any of the other health conditions I mentioned earlier, and the serious illness I had has resolved. I expect to see my grandchildren grow up and watch them have children. I have been given a second chance to live.

It's alright for men to admit that they haven't done such a good job of taking care of themselves physically and that they need a second chance too. The truth is that God has given all of us a second chance in Christ Jesus. Perhaps you have health concerns that you have not dealt with or have felt guilty about or been afraid to deal with. It is all right. I am familiar with those emotions and I am living proof that God can give you the second chance that you need.

Michael Elmore
Chaplain, pastor, author
The Occult Invasion of Healthcare
The Changing Face of Spirituality in Medicine

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Introducing Kathryn Lang

Becoming a Famous Writer

Getting everyone to know my name in the small town where I live can be a simple task. Finding a way to become recognized all around the globe – and across the internet – can feel like an impossible task. Successful people understand that both situations follow the same pattern.

Tips for Getting Known           

1.      Take time out to know others. People are interested in me when I show interest in them. The more focused I am on my needs then the less interesting I will be to the people around me. Online, or in line at the local store, I need to help others meet their needs by listening to their words and then pointing them in the right direction.
2.      Get out and about. No one will know who I am as long as I stay hidden away in my closet. I have to reach out and connect with others. My online time should be divided between forums, social media and other blogs as well as my own writings. I should also make time to visit conferences any chance that I can get. Contacts will beget more contacts and the only way to make contacts is to get out.
3.      Offer something worthwhile. People waste enough time as it is. I need to provide a good or service that makes spending a few minutes with me worth the effort. I can provide information or products online, or I can simply provide words of inspiration and encouragement. People need to walk away from an encounter with me with more than they arrived.
4.      Bring a smile to the table. Show people that you have the ability to find some laughter even in the tough times. A good heart draws people closer and gives them the desire to know more about who you are and where you are going. Leave the whining to the four year old.
5.      Build a pattern of integrity. Do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it, to the best of your ability. Building a path of reliability allows others to spread the word that you are all that you claim to be (AND a bag of chips to boot).

Getting known only begins the process for developing a successful writing career, but it can be the best foundation for a writing platform. Take the time and put in the effort to develop relationships and you will find that those relationships help to push you towards your goals of success.

Kathryn Lang walks to the beat of her own drummer and sometimes her own band. Her unique walk was confirmed during Bible study when the preacher asked what kind of people God calls us to be. "We are called to be a peculiar people. You have that one down, don't you Kathryn?" Writing and speaking allow Kathryn to share her heart and her passion to motivate and inspire others to pursue their dreams.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Introducing Jeannette Doran

Enter into the Stillness

   When  world chaos and noise leave me in turmoil I know it is time to return to my center. I find help in entering into the stillness.  November a time of dying, when the bare land enters into sleep and a quietness settles in,  I begin to long for solitude and stretches of time to enter deep with in my soul. 

     The spring and summer beauty having given way to autumn splendor has begun to diminish. The days have grow shorter and the cool wind blows . Leaves have scattered leaving their multitude  blanket of color, reds, browns, orange and yellow. I find a new loveliness in twisted bare branches. After the rains and the dying of nature we will awake one morning to a soft covering of snow over the rich Iowa farmland. It's a time when all of earth seems to enter into a long slumber. Newly buried seeds or old ones need a resting time; it's the cycle of life. So, too I think we all need a time of leisure, of entering into the stillness to listen in silence to the voice of God. All things of beauty are created in silence someone once expressed. This symbolizes a need to take time in solitude to be Alone with God Alone.

    Reflecting on the reality that the creator of our universe dwells within our very being helps me to realize how unconditional is God's love for each of us. After time I begin to see my God working within my very being accomplishing what I have been unable to do for such a long time. This stirs up a grateful heart for all of God's gifts. My trust and faith seem to expand and I enter into the stillness in silent praise for my Creator's bondless love.

About Jeannette
After graduation I had the joy of living life in the Chiapas jungle, the land which helped to form Karena Shields into the enriching person we knew at U.S.D..This plantation was her inheritance where she arrived strapped on the back of a Mayan Indian. She grew up in this land of Maya, loving the people and their heritage. Most summers students would accompany her as a learning experience... Since I hoped to enter Carmel I felt this time in the jungle would be a space of solitude in the vast beauty of the jungle. Where I would also learn to adapt to another way of life I would need in Carmel. While I pursued my goal of seeking Carmel, I taught school. In June of 1965, I entered Carmel in Boston and went the following year on the foundation to South Dartmouth, MA. A coastland, where the waves splashed against the rugged rocky shore, was a place of splendor conducive for a contemplative life of prayer. Several reasons brought us to the difficult decision to close the Monastery in 1987. My journey brought me to Montreal for a four year study sabbatical. In 1992 I came to Iowa .and in 1994 I lived with a community of Carmelite Hermits in Minnesota for five years and returned to Iowa. Recently to our surprise when Oda Scheer visited her sister in our community we realized we roomed in the same dorm and graduated together. What a wonderful gift!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Working Together, introducing Marvin P. Ferguson

      Baseball is my favorite sport. As a kid growing up in the windy city, Chicago, I often gathered on a corner lot with my friends in blue jeans, sport shirt, and tennis shoes. With a tattered baseball and splintered bat we played baseball all day.

Living on the north side of Chicago, I was a Cub fan. Every chance I got I found myself at Wrigley Field watching them play ball.

Baseball games intrigue me. I like to watch all the action. A curve ball, home run, or spectacular catch, keeps me with the other fans sitting on the edge of our seats. Then there is stuffing a hot dog in our mouth and gulping down ice-cold soda.

Working together was important. Good pitching, fielding, and hitting produces a winning ball club.

As a Christ follower for many years, led by the Holy Spirit, we work together. Just like in baseball, teamwork throughout my life is important.

By Marvin P Ferguson

A diehard baseball fan and former youth baseball coach along with personal experience, Marvin P. Ferguson is the author of Boys on the Gold Coast, a story about a group of boys who are the composite of every kid who wasn't afraid to get dirty, or play with splintered bats and tattered baseballs and use his imagination.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Welcome to The Great Blog Adventure.

Whenever I don’t know how to start writing something, I go to the dictionary.  It’s chockfull of words many of which I’ve never even used.  When I sat down to write my first post for The Great Blog Adventure, what did I do?  That’s right, I went to the dictionary, at least the on-line version.  You don’t need to remember how to alphabetize (or even spell) to use the online dictionaries.  Even the dictionary writers don’t know how to spell.

The first word I looked up was:
Blog – noun. “a website that allows users to reflect, share opinions, and discuss various topics in the form of an online journal while readers may comment on posts.”1 (Oh, please let there be readers who WILL make comments)

Sounds like the perfect definition for what this group of bloggers is attempting on these digital pages.  Our topics will be many and varied.  Some of us write inspiring devotions, some great book reviews, some share their opinions on life, faith, current events and just about anything else that strikes our fancy.  And some of us just can not resist going for laughs. 

Next I decided to take a look at the definition of great.
Great - “of major significance or importance; "a great work of art"; "Einstein was one of the outstanding figures of the 20th centurey"2
I love the definition and think it’s a great goal, too.  It certainly gives us something to aspire to (and some of us will leave no participle un-dangled in the effort to sound natural).  An opportunity to create a work of art doesn’t knock every day.

*Rabbit Trail Alert (RTA)--Those of you who are good spellers will have noticed that this definition of great is where I discovered that dictionary writers can’t spell.  “…century”?  And they also use pointless examples—where’s the word “great” in the sentence about Einstein? Maybe I’m not the only one who needs a  proofreader.

Finally I looked up adventure where I found out
“An adventure is an activity that is perceived to involve risky, dangerous or exciting experiences.”
“to take a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome” 1
“a wild and exciting undertaking (not necessarily lawful)2

While I doubt The Great Blog Adventure will be posting anything unlawful in the near future, I am thrilled to be undertaking this wild and exciting “risk in the hope of a favorable outcome” with you. (If sharing who you are and what you believe through your words in a public forum isn’t risky then I don’t know what is.)

I invite you to join me as we read, write, share and learn together on this great blog adventure.
It is my prayer that as we reveal our lives, our thoughts, our creativity and our faith through our words, that God may bless our readers, stretch our talents and continue to grow us into the writers He intends us to become.

So I’m thinking maybe we got the name right.

Let The Great Blog Adventure begin.

Gail P. Smith


Friday, November 5, 2010

The Great Blog Adventure begins
Tuesday, November 9th! 

Nobody here but us hopeful bloggers aiming to entertain, inform, educate, dazzle and inspire any and all readers on a variety of subjects from a variety of writers.  We have soccer moms, techno-grammies, baseball junkies, storytellers and a lot of other "peculiar people" committed to serving God and sharing their lives and their faith through the written word.

Please come back and join the fun reading about baseball, books, trusting God, and whatever else that may strike the fancy of the Quad-Cities Christian Writers Bloggers