Blogathon – Part 1

This is a supplemental blog post for today, as I was recently tagged in a

by Reveling in the Overflowing Grace of God, a blog that I follow on a regular basis. I’m honored that Jeff thought enough of my blog to tap me to participate in this Blogathon. So, I am attempting to carry on this honor by participating in said “Blogathon.”

The rules (which are not obligatory, by any stretch of the imagination…in other words, please don’t feel obligated to do this if you have been tagged here) are as follows:

1. Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves.
2. They must also answer the 11 questions the “tagger” has set for them.
3. They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.
4. They must then choose 11 bloggers and tag them in their post.
5. These “lucky” bloggers must then be told.
6. No tag backs.

So here goes:

Eleven things about me –

1. I’m fascinated by fire. Flames are mesmerizing. I love to build roaring fires outside, inside, anywhere that’s legal and relatively safe. And, I’m good at it, having learned techniques for fire building in the Girl Scouts in Wisconsin.

2. I love Mepkin Abbey, the only place of worship I know where the living presence of the Holy Spirit is palpable. Why I don’t go every weekend as I once did is beyond me. I think it has something to do with the price of gasoline as Mepkin Abbey is about 45 minutes from my front door. Also, sometimes I feel like an intruder on the quiet solitude of the brothers. Still…

3. I’m what I call a “mother-friend” to my two grown children. One lives with me and is dependent upon me. The other lives away from me and is independent of me. Both are my beloved children; both are my friends. Yes, I disagree that a parent can not be a friend to her child.

4. I own two Bichon Frise dogs. They are brothers. One is Hank; the other is Robi. They have the same parents but were born a year apart. They are white, feel like soft leather, have beautiful black eyes, and wonderful personalities. They love each other – no, seriously! And are super jealous for my attention. They’re spoiled rotten, too.

5. I’m a medical speech language pathologist working in a large, teaching hospital with very ill people. I work 40 hours every week doing my best for these people, then I come home and leave them to God, who cares perfectly for them. That way, I do not carry more of a load than I can handle. I love my job.

6. I’m a poet and novelist. When I was younger, I wanted to be famous and a “great” writer like Shakespeare or Hemingway or Bradbury or Golding or Orwell. Notice these writers are all male. My favorite female writers are Joyce Carol Oates, Lois Lowry, and Flannery O’Connor. I write about men and women; I make no distinction.

7. I love movies, preferably good ones. I also love plays, again preferably good ones. I used to read more than I do now. I think I’ve fallen into the trap of “instant gratification.” Sometimes it takes too long to get into a book, and I become distracted much easier than when I was younger. Also, I can do two things at once if I’m watching a movie at home. I can write while I listen. Somehow, a movie on in the background is better than the radio on in the background… Well, makes sense to me.

8. I self-published two novels this year, one in May and the other in October. Both are part of the DooRFrame Book series about Charlie Logan, a former baseball player and his family. Both are available on

9. I grew up on college campuses and moved often as a child. I also moved frequently as an adult. I didn’t “settle down” until I was 40 when I moved to the Low Country of South Carolina. I think the Low Country is one of the most beautiful places in North America.

10. I was married to the same man for 28 years, but he left me for a younger woman about whom he used to say nasty things. I think that’s the essence of irony. Bitterness and anger pop into my heart here and there. To deny this is to lie about who I am. Yet, I can say without hesitation that I promised to love that man until death, and that promise I’m certain I’ll keep. Nevertheless, I can honestly say I don’t want to live with him again.

11. I love life, but consider myself a stranger in this world. This is not my home; and I long for my true place of residence beside the God who loves me. I live here in that hope, the hope of my true life.

The questions Jeff asked are:

1. What inspired you to begin blogging?

The short answer is GOD. One day, soon after joining Facebook, I got an urge to write about the Book of Job, one of those wonderful Old Testament books that seems to bewilder some people. Perhaps the problem of pain is what bewilders people. At any rate, once I started God seemed to tell me to “do that every day.” I keep blogging.

2. What one thing do you wish you could change about the world?

I’d eliminate sin – like that’s possible. I’d have Adam and Eve obey God in the garden of Eden and so change all of history. But then we might not fully know how much God loves us. I am sure that everything is working together for ultimate good, so… maybe I’d change nothing about the world.

3. How would you spend your last day on earth?

I somehow imagine I’d spend it like I spent today. I’d get up really early, take my dogs out, feed them, make coffee, take the dogs out again, drink my coffee, check my email, blogs, FB. I’d probably watch the news and maybe then find out that the world was coming to an end. If I know it’s my last day – everyone’s last day – I’d probably already be with everyone I love. I hope we’d treat each other well and tell each other how much we love the other. I hope I’d just stay calm.

4. What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?

My children when they were newly born – both were the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

5. What is the thing that you admire most in people?

Courtesy. If people are courteous, they are necessarily loving, kind, respectful.

6. What is the purpose of your blog?

GRACE PARTAKERS is my effort to promote the love of God and to teach tolerance.

7. What do you like about you?

I’m smart without being a complete egghead. I’m detailed without being anal. I’m courteous.

8. What genre do you most like to read?

I used to love science fiction above anything. Now, I like young adult fiction best.

9. Who is your favorite author?

Ray Bradbury.

10. What is your favorite book?

Besides the Bible, Lois Lowry’s THE GIVER is the best. Stephen King’s THE STAND is stellar. William Golding’s THE LORD OF THE FLIES is extraordinary. Ernest Hemingway’s THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA is awesome. Larry McMurtry’s MOVING ON is great. And, Hermann Hesse’s SIDDHARTHA is tops! In other words, I can’t name one favorite book…

11. A genie has just popped out of a lamp that you rubbed. He has granted you three wishes. What do you wish for?

I wish for complete healing for my son. I wish for happiness for my daughter. I wish for an end to hatred.

“Who Is The Innocent In Hands?” ( Psalm 24: 3-6, WYC ) by Carley Evans

“3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord; either who shall stand in the holy place of him? (Who shall go up on the hill of the Lord? who shall stand in his holy place?)

The innocent in hands, that is, in works, and in clean heart; which took not his soul in vain, neither swore in guile to his neighbour. (Those with innocent hands, or works, and with clean, or pure, hearts; they who took not their souls unto idols, nor swore falsely to their neighbours.)

He shall take blessing of the Lord; and mercy of God his health. (They shall receive a blessing from the Lord; mercy from the God of their salvation, or of their deliverance.)

This is the generation of men seeking him; of men seeking the face of God of Jacob. (This is the generation of people seeking him; of people seeking the face of the God of Jacob.)”

I know a little of the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church; I know the psalms are considered weapons against the forces of evil. As the liturgy progresses with each side of the church chanting the verse to the other side and the other side chanting the next verse to the first side – and so on, back and forth; the sounds rise and form a shield. I’ve personally felt the power of the Word of God in the audible liturgical services at Mepkin Abbey.

Participation in the liturgy, for me, is an honor I wish all Christians might experience firsthand.

In the Christian Book of Prayer this psalm – Psalm 24 – is one that stands out as special along with Psalm 95 and 100 and another I can’t recall right this minute.

God asks us, “Who shall come up here to Me? Who is able to stand in My Holy Place?”

And He answers His own question, “The innocent in hands, the clean in heart, the one who does not lie.”

I know Who that is! Do you?

“God’s Handiwork” ( James 4:10, WYC ) by Carley Evans

James calls us to be humble, modest, meager, self-effacing, submissive, despirited, or broken willed “in the sight of the Lord.” He writes:

“Be ye meeked in the sight of the Lord, and he shall enhance you.”

If you’ve ever had the privilege of seeing monks in prayer while prostate on the floor before the Host, then you understand “meeked” as used by James in his letter to Jewish Christians living among Gentiles outside Palestine. Trappist monks, in particular, live meager, modest, humble lives of hospitality and silence. The more submissive, the more self-effacing, the more “broken-willed” and “despirited” a monk appears “in the sight of the Lord,” the more God appears to enhance the man.

You may notice this enhancement in the eyes or in the easy smile. But, you will become aware of God’s handiwork.