Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lesson from a Fearful Feline

When worry and free-floating anxiety assault us, it is crucial to reject them immediately. In most cases, what we worry about will never happen and worry won’t help anyway. Instead, it can keep us from dealing with the situation in a balanced, decisive way. Anxiety is definitely not from God. It saps away our productivity and joy and is a frequent tool of Satan. It can enlarge into a phobia that traps us in a fear-filled world and limits our contact with others.

A story is told of the cat that disappeared from home. One day it returned, only there was something different about it. One side of the wayward feline was completely devoid of fur. There was nothing but bare skin. Something else was strange, too. While the cat previously spent most of its time outdoors, now nothing its owner did could coax it outside. If he tried to pick it up and put it outside, it bit him.

A short time later, the cat’s owner was sharing the situation with his neighbor. “I’ll bet I know what is wrong with your cat,” he said. Then he told him about a snake called a pine snake that emits a scent similar to catnip. When a cat smells it, the snake opens its mouth wide and swallows the animal. “It sounds like your cat ran into a pine snake,” said the neighbor.

The encounter with the snake so traumatized the cat that it decided that going outdoors was not safe. The same thing happens to  some people. Because of a traumatic event, they decide that a certain person or place is unsafe and they wall themselves in.

The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:6 that we are not to be anxious about anything, but in everything turn to God with thanksgiving and prayer and he will provide the peace we seek. We are to pray and turn the situation over to God, and then trust him to work it out.

                                                                                                   ©2011 Laura Allen Nonemaker

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Winner of "Old Timer" Print

The winner of the drawing for the limited-edition, signed and numbered print by Laura Allen Nonemaker, formerly Laura Allen McCrea, is Jim Tucker.

Congratulations,Jim! Your print will be in the mail shortly.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Benny's Angel in Illustration

Benny’s Angel has moved into the illustration phase at Tate Publishing. My phone conversations with Jeff Elliott, the artist assigned to my book, reassured me that the Lord had gone before to prepare the way. I immediately felt a rapport between us and he was receptive to my thoughts on how the characters should appear.

Jeff asked me what style I visualized for the ten full-color illustrations included in my book and listened carefully as I described the way each character looked in my imagination. He even suggested a whimsical special feature that will set Benny’s Angel apart and appeal to children in my target age of three to eight. Then he suggested I pick two or three characters for which he would do a preliminary sketch in color. This would enable me to see whether his vision was in harmony with mine before he moved on with the rest of the illustrations.

I received the sketches by e-mail a couple of days later. One character was perfect, the second needed a  minor adjustment, and the third required a little more reworking in order to look like the little creature in my imagination. I decided to e-mail him a rough sketch of my own to give him a better idea of what I was thinking. He made the changes and it was exactly as I had envisioned.

I will not see the finished illustrations, other than the one chosen for the cover, until the galley proof arrives for my approval. Because illustration is costly and time-consuming, it is necessary to limit the input of the author to the beginning of the process. Otherwise, it could be an endless ordeal for both the artist and author.

My illustrations should be complete by the end of the month. After that, the cover design will begin, bringing me another step closer to holding Benny’s Angel in my hands.
                                                                                   ~ Laura Allen Nonemaker

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Discipleship and the Kingdom Life

Too many Christians live in a state of nagging angst, longing to experience the abundant life spoken of by Jesus in John 10:10. They reach intermittent high points of victory along their Christian walk but frequently exist in emotional and spiritual doldrums. They are missing the inner joy and fulfillment they long for.
When we consider those who have fulfilled a God-ordained destiny, such as a Mother Teresa or a Billy Graham, it is tempting to assume that some divine force field dropped over them that protected them from emotional and spiritual  fluctuations. The truth is that usually we see only the high points in the lives of these disciples of Christ. We are not privy to the behind-the-scenes struggles they faced as they lived out their calling. Hidden from our eyes are their Gethsemane’s, when they chose to lay aside their own desires to submit fully to God’s will.

Matthew 6:33 reads, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (NKJV) The last thing the enemy of our soul wants is for us to grasp fully the connection between first living a discipled life submitted to God and experiencing the abundant life. He does not want us to make the daily sacrifices necessary to follow Christ faithfully and without compromise. He waves earthly pleasures before us and goads us with our own desires for gratification until  the goal of kingdom life is a hazy blur.

Sally Hill, author of Living from the Life of Christ, says, “To be a disciple is to be devoted to Jesus Christ in total abandonment to His purposes for your life.” Discipleship requires that we be willing to subvert our own desires and inclinations to God’s way of doing things. Romans 14:17-18 tells us, “...for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.” (NKJV)  When we make the daily choices to live God’s way in front of God and man, we are true disciples. This is the kingdom life, which is the abundant life Christ promised.

                                                                                                            ~ Laura Allen Nonemaker

Monday, May 2, 2011

Five Days Left to Enter to Win Limited Edition Print

Win a signed and numbered copy of "Old Timer" as shown in an earlier post at  by registering your e-mail address in the COMMENTS space. Deadline to enter is May 7, 2011.