Fresh Air Blog

Rush of Heaven

Rush of Heaven

One crippled woman. One astounding Christmas Eve Miracle. Thousands of lives changed. Two years ago this January I started interviewing Ema McKinley to write her amazing true miracle story, Rush of Heaven: One Woman’s Miraculous Encounter with Jesus. Many of you graciously prayed me through this long writing labor. Thank you! The baby arrived in October and I’m pleased to say Rush of Heaven is alive and well, scoring high on the Apgar scale. Smile. Without doubt, God is all the wow in this book. He has been my teacher, helper, and counselor from day one. And every day, he continues to teach me to how to depend on him in ways I’ve never dreamed. Because You Asked Some of you have asked what it was like to write from Ema’s point of view. First, let me say it was an honor to step into the mind of such a God-loving woman of faith. This “stepping into the mind” is precisely what Jesus calls us to do with him. He wants us to daily seek his face, his thoughts, his heart. And just as I studied Ema’s Facebook posts to learn her writing style, God wants us to study his Word until we begin to think, communicate, and love like he loves. The easiest part of writing Rush of Heaven was pouring out rivers of heartfelt prayers and Scriptures. Perhaps one of the trickiest parts was pulling together all the different interviews I had with Ema, her sons, and caregivers, and keeping everything accurate and consistent. The process made me think of sculptor Michelango who looked fully and openly at a choice model before chiseling away night and day, extracting, revealing, sanding, until voila, “David” emerged for all to see. Likewise, Jesus wants us to persevere as we submit to his chiseling process. Eventually, he will reveal us to the Father as his masterpiece; and oh, what a day that will be! God told me he wanted me to write Ema’s true story in an engaging novel-like style, and he showed me how to write her distant memories as ongoing flashbacks that would run concurrently with her more recent key emotional experiences. That way I could include a sweeping overview of her life and character while at the same time piecing and unveiling her ongoing quest for healing, purpose, and survival. The more I wrote, the more new themes...

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Smells and Whistles

Smells and Whistles

Something smelled horrible as I started the treadmill at the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center.   Sweat times a thousand!  Was it coming from the carpet?  From the men dripping beside me?   I could hardly stand it! People grimaced as they walked by.  What was it? One staff member hovered nearby, sniffing.  What? Had someone reported it?  Alert!  Bad smell in the back corner!  Check it out! My imagination went faster than my running shoes ~ until the truth hit me with a gasp.  No!!  It couldn’t be! Ever so inconspicuously, I dropped my nose to my sleeve and inhaled.  Then coughed.  It was me!!! To further confirm it, I poked my nose around various parts of my shirt like a curious dog.  The odor worsened with each sniff!  I’d never smelled such horrible B.O.!  Either my shirt got crammed in an overstuffed washing machine or orphaned before making it to the  drier! I broke into a sweat at the realization, and scolded myself because sweating would only make it worse ~ if that was possible!  There was only one solution: cut short my workout time and hit those showers like a fuming cannon! That’s when the Holy Spirit, my comforter and friend, slipped this reminder into my spirit: It’s easy to smell everybody else’s stink and overlook your own.  I’m your life’s fragrance.  No matter how much you stink, I continually shower you with love and grace, making all things new. Wow.  Thanks, Holy Spirit.  I needed that.  We stink, but Jesus covers us clean as a whistle.  Isn’t this the foundation of our faith, the truth God uses to draw us to Jesus in the first place? My stink incident reminds me of my assignment at my agency’s writing blog.  They want to know what’s on our wish list or prayer list as writers. What do I want?  What do I need for my life and ministry?  I need to hear the voice of God more clearly.  Hearing Him is my life-tool, a true ministry necessity.  And since the Holy Spirit is free for the asking, so is hearing God’s voice! My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me. John 10:27-28 If we’re in a relationship with Christ, we can say: “Holy Spirit, fill me...

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My Journey Into Print

My Journey Into Print

Once Upon A Dream… Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4 Today we’re going to do something a little different, and dream about dreams. Some of you shared your dreams of breaking into print.  By pulling back the curtain of my own adventures, perhaps I can inspire you to embrace something new. As a child, I knew nothing about authors, just that I wanted to be one.  God’s call came like a whisper, a flutter of possibility.  Maybe I could influence people and make a big Kingdom difference. I started journaling in elementary school.  I wrote for my high school newspaper.  I entered contests. “Do not despise these small beginnings…” Zechariah 4:10 Enter Contests Contests stir excitement. They train our fingers to kiss our stories goodbye, teach our hearts to rest our prayers in the hands of God. My elementary school featured a writing contest, and I couldn’t have done worse.  In high school, however, my English teacher encouraged me to enter a poetry contest for a national magazine.  I nearly hyperventilated when I won. Seeing my name in print gave me the boost I needed to apply to York University and major in Creative Writing.  College, however, isn’t what did it for me. “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:2 Brave a Writer’s Conference When I joined a writers group, they told me about the Christian Writer’s Market Guide and the Guide to Literary Agents.  I purchased them, and couldn’t sleep.  I slid out of bed and prayed, “God, I think you want me to attend a Christian writer’s conference, but where?” I flipped through my Market Guide and circled my choice conferences, and did the same with agents in my agent book.  I noticed one of my circled agents would be at Mount Hermon, one of my choice conferences ~ in less than a week and a half! Taking this as a sign, I registered, bought my ticket, and hugged my family goodbye.  I was on my way to San Jose! “Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3 Make Appointments The good thing about fear is it keeps you on your knees. I gave my butterflies a workout as I packed a children’s book manuscript I’d written in high school (the one my...

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