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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Some reflections on February Snow

By Jeannette Doran

God’s mercy reflects in the pristine snow

With the dawn comes the radiant light,

Glistening diamonds thru the window pane,

Boughs of snow clothed branches hang everywhere,

My Beloved showers me with gifts of beauty,

The creation of God fills me with wonder.

“As God sends forth the rain and the snow to water the earth

And makes it bud and flourish so Your Word, O God comes to nourish our

souls and will not return to You empty. But will accomplish Your

desires” (cf Is.55 v: 10-11)

“You send the snow like white wool; and scatter frost upon the ground like

ashes, hurl the hail like stones. Who can stand against Your freezing cold?
Then, at Your command, it all melts. You send Your winds, and the ice

thaws. You have revealed Your words to Jacob...” {and to us} (cf Psalm 147 v:15-19)
God graces us with an abundance of gifts to fill our hearts with wonder

Your Word calls us to respond to Your unconditional love with our whole

minds and hearts and thoughts. May our hearts be filled with loving

gratitude for all God's gracious gifts each day in Word, beauty of

Creation and loving mercy which never ends.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


By Marie Tschopp

My friend, Paula, tweeted several funny sentences under “stuff moms never say.” Things like,
“Yes, you may use your birthday money to buy a tattoo.”
“I’ll do your homework while you hang out with your friends.”
“Here, have another Mountain Dew.”

I laughed because I knew moms never say such things.

Then it struck me that there are things God never says, either. He never utters,
“I sent my Son to die for everybody—but you.”
“That sin you haven’t forgiven yourself for—I haven't forgiven you either.”
“I bless her more, because I love her more.”
“End it all. No one cares”

God’s voice never says such things. Instead, these mutterings are from “the thief (who) comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10 NIV).
God’s tone is gentle and kind, never sarcastic—“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:29 NIV)
His words might convict, but they never condemn—“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17 NIV)
He speaks hope, not despair-“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
Whose voice are you hearing?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Finding Hope in Relationships

By Kathryn Lang

The dark place captured me and threatened to drag me down into a deep pit. I clung to the edges of hope, but my grip weakened with each moment. I looked around for something, anything. I was alone.

I had followed the rules. I had marched along in stride down the well-trodden path. I had listened to the steps that they provided. And yet, the more I tried and the more I did and the more I followed, the darker it became. My hope slipped more with each passing day.

Words from another writing friend managed to re-kindle my flame. “You can.” The words were not prophetic. They offered no magic beans. They were not even that fancy – especially for a writer. They had the spark of inspiration simply because they were sent from someone that genuinely cared about me.

We had a relationship.

I thought long and hard about how those words managed to give me the light that nothing else could provide. I looked through my notes and ideas. I even reviewed something that my hubby had said to me just a few months back. I discovered that the place from where she had offered the words was the common thread to all that I had accumulated.

It is all about relationships.

I dove into connections in a way I had never attempted before. I am a naked writer (and I do not mean that I have to keep my shades shut to keep the neighbors from getting nosey). I write without much of a filter, and I hope that my raw words will be an inspiration or revelation to others. But, I never expected anyone to write back.

Now, I am attempting to engage my readers and make them companions in the journey. So, “Won’t you be my . . . companion?” Tell me how you engage your readers – on your website or even through your books or other writings. Share with me how you felt about the words I shared. Visit my website and link to my articles from your website. Connect with me.

Because all of it – writing, business, and especially life – is about relationships.

# # #

Kathryn C. Lang lives and works as a wordsmith – sharing inspiration and encouragement through words that are written, spoken and drawn. Visit her website,, to learn more about her and to join her in her journey.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


By Sharon Wilhite

He loves me, he loves me not.
He loves me, he loves me not.
The petals on the daisy
One by one they slowly drop.
Is this love, or is it not?

Some say love is an ocean.
So vast and wide and free.
But what if a storm rages,
Cold waves wash right over me?

Then there is cute puppy love,
All warm and cozy and sweet.
But, then what if I grow up,
And my needs he cannot meet?

Oh, love is like a rainbow
With each color neon bright.
But what if rain clouds return
And obscure each hue from sight?

Sometimes love is like a rose,
Its perfume a fragrance rare.
But what if I grasp too tight,
And its thorns rip me and tear?

Maybe love is really blind,
Not a flaw before my eyes;
But what if my vision returns,
Revealing hidden faults and lies?

True love is always a choice,
Eyes wide open, focus clear,
Seeing the good, seeing the bad,
Drawing closer year after year.

He loves me, he loves me not.
He loves me, he loves me not.
The petals on the daisy
One by one they slowly drop.
I choose to love - time to stop.

This Valentine's Day CHOOSE to love!

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." (I John 4:10, 11)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

By Lori Boruff

The real-life love story of Dave and Jo Lawson looks like a Hallmark movie. The divinely written script weaves war, romance, tragedy and happy endings together for an enchanted story of destiny and unending love.

It begins during war time when Germany invades Europe. But in a land far from bombs and bullets, two high school friends are separated by their dreams for adventure.

Jo's four year college education didn't satisfy her thirst to see the world. Joining the Coast Guard did. Her first assignment landed her at Air-Sea Rescue in San Pedro, California. While on duty she receives an emergency call about a mid-air collision between two planes. The pilots ejected landing them 20 miles off the coast. She learns later, one of the rescued pilots is her high school friend—Dave.

Dave loved the military and his near death experience couldn't keep him out of the sky. He spends a year overseas flying a SBD dive bomber searching for Japanese submarines. At war's end he continues to fly in the ferry command transporting aircraft. After receiving orders to transport a plane from San Francisco to San Pedro, an extra large heart-shaped box of chocolates made it's way to the two-seater Helldiver for special delivery to Jo still in San Pedro.

Just before take off, an unexpected passenger jumps on board and buckles in.

“What happened to the package in the seat?” Dave yells over his shoulder.


“I'm sitting on it,” the sailor sheepishly admits.

Determined Dave did not abort his Valentine's Day mission. Love is in the air and the smashed box of chocolates melts her heart.

After discharge from military duty, Jo returns to the midwest teaching in a one-room schoolhouse. Dave continues his reserve training in Chicago.

Their relationship blossoms and one spring day love is in the air—again.

The rumble over head lured Jo and her students outside just in time to see something fall from the plane. The curious kids ran to the drop site like a covey of quail. They confiscated a knotted pillowcase and opened to find a coded message: .. .- ..- –...-. .----..-

Who could make sense of dots and dashes? The former Coast Guard SPAR could—that's who! Dave delivers a morse code love note reading I love you.

The long time friends tied the real knot on May 13, 1950 and renew their wedding vows every year—
but that's not all.

Every Valentine's Day, Jo affectionately receives a smashed box of chocolates from her soldier sweetheart.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Culture of Sport and Life

By Kristi Paxton

In view of the recent Lance Armstrong scuttlebutt, I have only one question to the American people. (And that includes me): Why are we surprised?

We love our sports. We love our sport heroes. We love winning!

Outside of the sporting life, we also admire the guy at the top of the heap. We’ve all grinned at the bumper sticker: The One Who Dies with the Most Toys Wins. We promote “the ends justifying the means.” We brag about our successful son or our rich uncle. Rarely do we mention the path taken to success. Was it a fair and moral journey? We don’t care. We just drool over the end product.

How about schools? Some of our most admired students at Harvard recently cheated their way through an important examination . . . but got caught at the last minute. Bummer. Had they not been discovered, we would have admired the young leaders right to the top of their successful companies. The student who sold the answers probably would have become (and will indeed become) one of our most admired businessmen.

Why are sports any different? When scandal, such as the bicycling doping issue, lifts its ugly head, sporting proponents get up on their pedestals and moan that one bad athlete or another has ruined the culture of a fine sport. We saw it with Penn State’s assistant coach and now we see it with Lance Armstrong. Finally caught with their pants down. Two lousy guys ruining two pristine sports. Yeah, right.

The truth is, the culture of most sports is a win-at-any-cost culture. Break any rule you must to win. Just don’t get caught. Basketball’s undetected elbow; soccer’s swift trip, football’s clever holding and now cycling’s carefully placed blood chemicals. Tiny infractions. Infractions usually not caught. Infractions generally rewarded with trophies, fame and lots of money.

I hope the recent Lance Armstrong fiasco opens a new conversation about cheating. I welcome it, but I doubt that it will ever happen. We love our culture of winning much too much for this. SHHHHHH. This too shall pass.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Baseball Is In His DNA

Marvin Ferguson

It's in everybody's DNA. People have God given spiritual gifts in the form of skills and talents that are used throughout the church and marketplace.

Michelangelo painted the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. John Grisham is a successful thriller mystery author. Michelle Obama is a former lawyer and now wife of president Barack Obama, and Stan Musial is a famous baseball player. And they say, "Variety is the Spice of Life."

January 26, 2013. I drove around Busch Stadium in St. Louis with lots of pleasant thoughts racing through my mind. Recently, at 93, Stan Musial passed away. Today, baseball fans throughout the world are paying tribute to this great St. Louis Cardinal hero.

He was nicknamed "Stan The Man" and played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1946-1963. He was one of the greatest hitters of all times with 475 career home runs, and tied the All Star selection lists with Willie Mays. A 3x National League most valuable player he was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1969. Surely, baseball was in his DNA and his presence in baseball events will be missed.

As I sit back in my easy chair and reflect about my own life, I hope I am putting together the right characteristics of my DNA to glorify God in everything I do and say.