Meaning of Blessed

Meaning of Blessed

“It’s been a chance for God to really show my family what it means to be blessed.”

A friend recently posted the above quote on Facebook. I saw it the day after she brought her 3-year-old daughter home from the hospital. The little girl spent a few days there because of diabetic complications. Until her blood sugar spiked at 600, the family didn’t know that she even had diabetes. The parents say they know this diagnosis will mean a lot of changes and adjustments in their lives, but that they can see God working through the situation.

My friend’s comment on how God is showing them what it really means to be blessed really got to me. I think God has used this to show a lot of people what it means to be blessed. I know He is showing me.

Money is tight for my family. My husband and I have been so stressed that we’ve been arguing a lot lately. The boys are fighting a lot. My 3-year-old is having trouble with potty training, which adds to the stress. My computer died, which makes blogging extremely difficult. Sometimes I wonder if God really cares.

Then I think about my friends. One has a daughter just diagnosed with a life-changing illness, but is focusing on the good things God is doing in her life. Another had two children involved in a horrible accident at the beginning of November. Rather than focusing on her anger over the death of her 4-year-old son, she is focused on the blessings of her 10-year-old daughter’s rapid recovery.

These two women have reasons to be angry with God, to feel like He has turned away from them. Shoot, even a friend who is facing a divorce after nearly 15 years of marriage is more at peace with God than I have been lately.

So just what is my problem? God has filled my life with more blessings than I can count. Maybe if I could find a way to focus on those rather than on what I don’t have I would be in a much better place.

I’m Posting Every Day in 2011!!

I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I will be posting on this blog once a day / once a week for all of 2011.

I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can.

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.


Lynn McMonigal

Ok, Ok.  So I didn’t write the above post!  I borrowed it from


New Year’s Goals

Why does everyone wait until January to make changes? Do we suddenly realize in March that something in our life is a mess but think, “Well, I’ll take the next few months to figure out a way to make my life become what I want it to be and then I’ll put my plan into action on January 1″? That makes sense, as most of the “resolutions” made at the beginning of the year don’t make it much beyond the first of March (and that is being extremely generous!).

As I sit here without my computer, I can’t help thinking about this blog. Throughout 2010, I have posted more regularly on Lynn’s Corner than ever before. Still, I am not sure that I have posted enough. More specifically, I am not sure if I have done enough with this blog to really advance my career.

If I want to be deserving of the title “writer,” shouldn’t I be writing more often?

So I have come up with a plan for this blog, one that I want to implement on—you guessed it!—January 1. Now, I do have a reason for that date. I can’t really start posting to my blog regularly when I don’t have a computer. Otherwise, I would start it even before Christmas. I am writing some posts out long-hand while I wait for the computer to come back. At least that will help me to get a head start on my New Year.

One of the things I want to do is post a blog every day, Monday thru Friday. Below you will see the daily topics that I plan to blog on. Hopefully, you will find something that catches your fancy and keeps you coming back for more. As always, feel free to share any bits of wisdom you might find on these web pages with others.

MONDAY—Bible reflections

TUESDAY—Book Review

WEDNESDAY—Guest post or author interview

THURSDAY—Short Story or poem

FRIDAY—Odds N Ends

A New Christmas Classic

Is Santa Claus real?

That age old question is addressed by Tim Slover in his novel The Christmas Chronicles: The Legend of Santa Claus

In this clever novel, an unnamed narrator sets off for the mountain top forest to pick the perfect pine boughs for his family’s Advent wreath.  While alone in the cold, snowy woods, he witnesses a mysterious sleigh.  As this sleigh races through the snow, chased by a menacing dark cloud, a small book flies off the sleigh.  The narrator picks up the book, takes it home, and begins reading.  What he reads is a wonderful biography of a man named Klaus.  The book then switches perspective to follow Klaus from his birth in 1343 to his adulthood where Christmas Magic turns him into Santa Claus.  His journey is a fun, imaginative story that captures the true magic of Christmas.

Normally, I am not a big fan of Santa.  Not because he didn’t bring me what I always asked for or because he gave my sisters more toys than he gave me.  I am not a big fan because I prefer to celebrate Christmas for its true gift—the birth of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Because of that, I was a little hesitant to read this book.  However, when I finished reading it, I was a bit disappointed that it ended.  I was very pleased with a book that put the focus on bringing happiness to others rather than on the commercial side of gift giving.

This is a wonderful, feel-good Christmas story.  I plan to share it with my family every year.

Something to Think About

As Christians, we are not promised an easy life.  In fact, Jesus pretty much promised the opposite when He said, “In this world you will have trouble.”  The comfort comes in when He says, “but I have overcome the world.”  (See John 16:33 for the entire passage.)  For years, I have felt blessed to have been born in America, where the “troubles” of the world seem rather minor.  I might live in a town where drug use and violence run rampant, but at least I am free to worship my Lord and Savior in any way I choose, even publically, without the fear of government interference.

Not everyone on earth can say the same thing.  This freedom is not available across the globe.  Though I have always known that, the trials other believers face have never seemed that real to me.

That changed when I read Red Ink, a novel by award-winning author Kathi Macias.

This novel is the story of Zhen-Li, a Chinese Christian woman.  Christianity is illegal in China.  Zhen-Li, though, has such a great love of Christ that she doesn’t care.  Even after being kidnapped by her parents and having her second child aborted against her will, her faith did not waver.  In fact, those events only deepened her faith to the point where she ends up imprisoned for her beliefs.

While Zhen-Li is tortured in a Chinese prison, Julia—a former missionary to China now living in an assisted living center in California—feels compelled to pray for an unknown someone in China.  At the same time, she feels drawn to pray for Margaret, a new resident at the assisted living center, and her granddaughter. 

Kathi Macias has written a very real, very heart wrenching tale of God’s love and protection.  She paints a moving picture of the hostilities faced by Christians in China.  But that is only the beginning.  She also shows the horrors faced by women around the globe—including right here in America—who are forced in slavery through human trafficking.  Throughout the book, Macias also shows that God is still in the miracle-working business, even working miracles on behalf of those who don’t believe in miracles.

This book really made me think about my own life and my own faith.  Zhen-Li faced tortures too extreme for my mind to really comprehend.  Yet through it all, her faith in Christ remained strong.  More than once, she even prayed that God would keep her from sinning against Him, no matter what the prison guards may have in store for her.  It’s easy to proclaim a love of Christ when times are easy.  In the most difficult circumstances possible, Zhen-Li showed a faith and strength that I wonder at times if I possess.  She may be a fictional character, but Zhen-Li is defiantly a good role model for Christians everywhere.

Red Ink is the third book in the Extreme Devotion Series.  Until this book, I had never heard of the series or the author.  Now, I can hardly wait to read the other books.

Guest Blog from Kathi Macias

Tomorrow, I will share my review of a wonderful book called Red Ink.  It is a very well-written, intense book.  Oh, but you’ll hear more about that tomorrow!!  For now, please enjoy this guest post from the author of Red Ink, Kathi Macias.


When I first started writing, I heeded the admonition to “write what you know,” even though it severely limited my topics and focus. As a result, most of my novels were set either in Southern California, where I was born and raised and currently live, or up in the Pacific Northwest, where I also lived for several years. My characters were a lot like me and/or the people around me, and their lifestyles and circumstances often paralleled my own to some degree.

            But somewhere along the line I had to ask myself, Is that all there is? Can I move beyond my own little corner of the world in my writing, even if I can’t actually do so physically? With the Internet at my fingertips, I decided I could.

            That’s how my Extreme Devotion series with New Hope Publishers came about. Red Ink, the third book in the series, is set in China, and though I’ve never been there myself, my readers tell me the book reads as if I have. The same is true of No Greater Love, set in South Africa, and More than Conquerors, set in the San Diego/Tijuana area (been there!), but also San Juan Chamula in Southern Mexico, where I’ve never set foot. (Book four, People of the Book, releasing in Spring 2011, is set in Saudi Arabia, where I have also never been.)

I started putting together the rough draft of the books by doing extensive Internet research, which helped a lot. The books began to take shape, but they were missing something—a cultural element that could only come from someone who actually lived in the country. And so I began the search for just the right person for each book.

I can only say that God provided those people, as I really had no clue how to find them myself. In each instance, just when I needed a reader who knew the country and the culture, God placed the right person in my path. Not only that, He gave them a willing heart to read the manuscript and give me feedback that would flesh out the stories and bring them to life. As a result, my readers rave about the way they feel they’re actually right in the middle of the story/country/culture. Even bestselling author Jerry Jenkins said on the cover of book one, No Greater Love, “You’ll feel as if you were there.”

And so, though I strongly encourage new writers to consider starting out by writing what they know, I also encourage them to consider branching out a bit as they grow in their writing career. It’s a tidbit of advice that I believe will work for any of us, regardless of whether or not we are writers.

***Kathi Macias (; is an award-winning author of more than 30 books, including her newest fiction release, Red Ink, from New Hope Publishers.

Christmas Twist

The night in history that fascinates me more than any other is the night when Jesus was born.  While the Bible tells us certain things–that the birth happened in Bethlehem, in a stable, that three kings from the east followed a star to that stable and that the birth was announced to shepherds by a group of angels–but there is so much we don’t know.  There are so many places where we can use our imaginations to fill in the blanks.  Cheryl G. Malandrinos gives her take on what might have happened that night in her book Little Shepherd.

This book follows Obed, a young shepherd barely five years old, from the hills where the angels appeared to the Bethlehem stable and back to his sheep.  Obed doesn’t quite understand everything that happens that night.  He is especially confused about why the shepherds are more concerned with seeing the baby the angels spoke of than protecting their sheep.

I really enjoyed this book.  Malandrinos did a wonderful job of capturing both the confusion and the wonder that Obed experienced that night.  I could easily picture the wonder in his eyes by thinking of one of my sons in his position.

As I write this review, my sons are fighting over the book.  The toddler loves the colorful illustrations.  The nine-year-old and seven-year-old are arguing about who gets to read it first.  Any book that captures the interest of all three of my sons has definitely earned its place on my bookshelf.

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor for Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.   


Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married.


You can visit Cheryl online at or the Little Shepherd blog at 

Old Stories Told in New Ways by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Yesteday, I shared my remove of a lovely Christmas story called Little Shepherd.  Today, I am happy to share the follow post from the book’s author, Cheryl C. Makandrinos.


Old Stories Told in New Ways by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Author Cheryl C. Malandrinos

As a Sunday school teacher, I’m always looking for new ways to share Biblical concepts with my students. In Dixie Phillips’ award-winning book, Stubby’s Destiny,  Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem is retold (John 12: 12-19). The story revolves around a defeated donkey who believes he’ll never discover his destiny, but is then suddenly chosen to carry an all important visitor into the city.

The advantage of focusing on a character outside of such an historical event is that it simplifies the message and allows young people to enjoy a Biblical story in a new way. Not only that, children can relate to the emotions that Stubby experiences.

When I sat down to write Little Shepherd, God had already placed the idea on my heart many years ago. It is a retelling of the Christmas story through the eyes of a young shepherd in the hills outside of Bethlehem. The angel appears and announces the Savior’s birth, but our young shepherd, Obed, has just been entrusted with his first flock and is afraid to leave them unattended. After some encouragement from his father, Obed joins the others to visit the newborn King. That doesn’t mean, however, that Obed’s anxiety has gone away.

Obed relates to the father who stands guard over the mother and child in the manger, just as he guards his sheep. He is touched by the gentle smile of the mother, and how the baby doesn’t seem to mind laying in a box used to feed animals. He is in awe that the shepherds are so busy praising God they aren’t eager to return to the fields to check on their sheep, even though hungry wolves have been howling. And once Obed returns to the pasture where he left his flock, more miracles await him.

Yes, Little Shepherd, is a story of the first Christmas; but it is also the story of a little shepherd boy who stepped out in faith and is witness to one of the greatest miracles ever known to man. By focusing on Obed, young people are invited in a personal way to experience the birth of the Savior. They can understand and appreciate how Obed felt, and that makes the miracle of Christmas all that more meaningful to them.

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor for Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.   


Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married.


You can visit Cheryl online at or the Little Shepherd blog at 


Moving is not easy on a child, and 8-year0old Macy Carver is no exception.  When her dad’s job causes the family to move from Massachusetts to North Carolina, Macy feels lost.  She is bullied daily and has no friends.  At least, she has no friends until she meets Jody, her guardian angel.  Suddenly, Macy doesn’t feel so alone.  For the first time, she begins to think that maybe moving wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

In her book Tiny Angel, Nancy Carty Lepri tells the story of an elementary school girl’s struggle to find her place in her school.  It is a cute story, filled with believable characters. 

Maybe I am just not used to reading books for such young readers.  I found this book to be somewhat simplistic.  It just didn’t grab my attention, though I think the story (minus the angel) is very believable.  Many children Macy’s age have trouble fitting in.  I also felt that the story ended too quickly, leaving too many loose ends.  (Mainly where Tommy and his family are concerned.)

Still, this is a book I can see my young nieces enjoying.  I am planning to pass this along to them, and I am anxious to hear what they think about it.