The Doctor is In!
Do You Need a Professional Writer or Editor for Your Book?
Exciting News: my editing/book doctoring business has really taken off over the past few years. Now I am typically balancing a couple of book editing or development projects at a given time (plus writing and marketing my own books)! I just received a new contract from a ministry for a book project that I am very excited about. Each relationship that I am able to build enriches my life and teaches me so much, and every project provides its own fun and inspiring elements as well as its own challenges. I really enjoy this ministry. If you have a project and are looking for an editor/developmental writer to help you get it published, definitely let me know! You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Dr. Kevin Leman, the author of several bestselling Christian books, shares this story: “A mother caught her two boys arguing over who would get the first pancake. The mother thought she had a golden opportunity to provide a moral lesson, so she said, ‘If Jesus were sitting here, he would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait.’ The older son turned to his brother and said, ‘Okay, Ryan, you be Jesus.’”
I love this story! Not only is it hilarious, but it reveals an integral aspect of human nature: selfishness. Wanting the best for ourselves may be funny when we’re kids, but we have to learn to overcome this type of selfishness in order to truly love and serve other people. A me-first attitude is what we must battle daily in order to be Jesus to other people.
In marriage, in ministry, in my family relationships, and in my friendships, I sometimes wait around for the other person to do the right thing (or apologize, or take the first step in mending a relationship). In essence, I am waiting for them to be Jesus to me instead of taking the high road and deciding to be like Jesus myself – WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING IN RETURN.
I find this particularly difficult in marriage and with those people that we love most. Ever noticed how sometimes, the people that we really do love the MOST are not those we love the BEST? Sometimes they get our crumbs instead of the best that we have to offer. Jesus always gave His best and offered His full attention to even the lowliest of people in His culture. Very convicting!
I think that our heavenly Father is prompting all of us to try to “be Jesus” to those in our sphere of influence. How is He leading you to be like Jesus today? Please post a comment and share your thoughts! Thanks!
Today, I’d love to recommmend that you visit the website Women Living Well at http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com/. I’m inspired by Courtney’s energy as she invests her heart and her time into caring for her family and herself. She is one of the few people I’ve seen who really considers homemaking and caring for her family to be a high calling and an art. It’s refreshing to read about her passion and her commitment to God and to her family.
On Courtney’s site, you can watch lots of video clips from her appearances on TV shows like Rachael Ray in which she presents her meal tips, health strategies, and marriage advice. She also presents tons of other helpful articles and quick, fun ideas, including:
-Menus and recipes that both adults and kids will like
-Easy, inexpensive gifts to make for teachers
-Devotional prompts for moms
-Great organizing and cleaning tips
And more! Courtney says that her favorite Scripture verse is Galatians 6:9, “Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season you will reap a harvest if you do not give up.” Check out her site; I think you’ll be inspired by her. For me as a writer with a 10-month old son and another baby on the way in September, I always enjoy a bit of motivation and encouragement from someone as “with it” as Courtney!
Welcome to Leap of Faith! It’s the New Year, and most of us have made exciting and life-transforming goals for ourselves and our careers. Your goals may include:
-Creating updated newsletters or marketing materials for your company or ministry
-Increasing income and maximizing profit by honing your message and finding ways to more effectively reach your target audience
-Hiring a writer or editor to help you finish your book and get a publishing contract
If you need help in these areas, Marla Alupoaicei will be pleased to use her writing/editing experience to help you accomplish these goals. A published author, professional editor and speaker, Marla has many years of experience creating powerful marketing materials and helping write and edit books for publication.
To discuss projects and price quotes for her affordable, professional writing and editing services, please contact Marla at email@example.com. Thank you! Congratulations on taking the first step to making 2010 YOUR YEAR FOR SUCCESS!
Wow! My list of New Year’s resolutions is about a mile long. I’m astonished that it could actually be 2010… Ten years have passed since 2000? God has impressed on my heart that I need to be more intentional in my relationships this year. My catchphrase for this year is CONNECTION. My goal is to invest more in people and care less about things. Spend more time and less money. Share what I’ve learned about writing, speaking, and the journey of being a creative Christian on the pilgrimage toward eternity.
Speaking of New Year’s goals, Catalin and I try to eat healthy, but we have committed to an even more healthy lifestyle. Since the New Year began, he’s been working out more on our elliptical machine, which I bought him for our anniversary last year. We had a baby in July, so I am working on losing those last five pounds to get back to my pre-baby weight! I have always been a “Cooking Light/healthy recipe” buff. One of my favorite challenges is to take fattening recipes and turn them into healthy ones. For instance, I love dips, but those can be some of the worst party foods. Why not try this fab new recipe below? I promise that you will love it and you will NOT miss the fat and calories!
Healthy Nine-Layer Dip
1 16-oz. can fat-free refried beans
1 package Old El Paso mild taco seasoning mix
1 cup reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream
1 package store-bought guacamole (I like Wholly Guacamole.)
1 cup medium salsa
1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheese (Cheddar, Mexican or mozzarella cheese work well.)
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 T. sliced black olives
¼ cup chopped green onions
2 T. sliced jalapenos or hot peppers (optional)
Tortilla chips (Thick chips like Tostitos Scoops work best.)
1. Place refried beans in a 9×13 glass baking dish or plastic pan. (Avoid using a metal pan.) Thin beans by adding 2 T. of milk or water and mixing well. Add Old El Paso mild taco seasoning mix and mix until blended. Spread mixture smoothly in bottom of pan.
2. Layer sour cream over top. Layer guacamole over sour cream. Then layer salsa over guacamole. Sprinkle cheese over salsa to cover. Sprinkle tomatoes liberally over cheese. Arrange black olives over cheese. Sprinkle green onions over top. Sprinkle sliced jalapenos or hot peppers over top or just use a few as a garnish, if desired.
3. Serve with tortilla chips. (Tostitos Scoops work well. I also like Tostitos Bite Size for parties-no double dipping! J) Cover and refrigerate any remaining dip.
Is this your vision of Christmas? If you live in England, it might be, along with lighting a Yule log and gathering with your extended family to eat a traditional pudding. Or maybe you’re from Australia and your family always goes to the beach on Christmas. For those in intercultural marriages, expectations and culture clashes can cause conflict around the holidays.
For example, what if you expect turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but your wife wants to make lamb, rice and baklava? What if your husband always put the Christmas tree up on Christmas Eve, but you want to put up the tree and decorate it the day after Thanksgiving, because that’s how your family always did it? What if one spouse wants the kids to believe in Santa Claus, but the other one doesn’t? What if your in-laws expect you to drive 8 hours to visit them and a huge mish-mash of siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles (including that person no one really seems to know…), but you were hoping for a quiet holiday at home?
Issues like these can wreak havoc in a marriage unless couples discuss their holiday expectations with each other. In my book, Your Intercultural Marriage: A Guide to a Healthy, Happy Relationship, I offer an in-depth discussion of the holidays and how intercultural couples can graciously create a holiday season that is enjoyable for their families. Here are few questions to help couples sort out their values, customs, traditions and preferences with regard to celebrating the holidays:
- What traditional holidays do you celebrate in your culture? Which are the “biggest” or most important to you?
- How did/does your family of origin celebrate these holidays? What do you like specifically about their traditions?
- Which of your family’s traditions would you like to incorporate into our own family? Which do you NOT want to incorporate?
- Which foods do you eat on each holiday? Which traditional foods are your favorite? (For instance, my grandma’s turkey dressing, my aunt Jana’s cheesy mashed potatoes, and my mom’s applesauce cake are out of this world!!! I eat them every Thanksgiving.)
- What are your thoughts about Santa Claus/St. Nick? Do you want to tell our kids that they bring gifts on Christmas, or not?
- Did your family tend to spend a lot of money on holiday gifts? Do they expect to receive expensive gifts or money from us for the holidays? If so, what kind, and how much?
- What religious or spiritual traditions do you follow on the holidays? Why are these important to you? Do you plan to keep these after marriage?
- Describe a typical Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter with your family.
- What values and traditions do we want to teach our children during the holidays?
- What are your expectations regarding us visiting your parents or family for the holidays? Are you open to us alternating between visiting my family and your family?
I hope these are helpful to you! If you have additional suggestions, please post a comment here! Thanks so much. Happy Thanskgiving and Merry Christmas to you!
Here are some of the most important questions to ask before entering an intercultural marriage:
1) What are your spiritual beliefs? Do you attend church? Do you read the Bible or other religious books? How involved are you in spiritual activities?
2) What types of food and drink do you enjoy? At what times do you typically eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner? How often do you go out to eat? Do you like to cook?
3) Which holidays do you celebrate? What traditions and foods does your family enjoy on these holidays?
4) Are you an early bird or a night owl? How does this affect your daily schedule? What does your “perfect day” look like?
5) Do you consider yourself an optimist, a pessimist, a realist, or something else? When you face a difficult situation, what tends to be your first response?
6) How do you deal with interpersonal conflict? Do you tend to fight or take flight? How did your family of origin handle conflict?
7) What type of work do you do? What type of work do you expect to do after marriage?
8) Do you plan to attend graduate school or seminary, get additional work training, or take other educational courses after marriage?
9) What is your current financial situation? How much debt do you have?
10) Do you want to have children? If so, how many, and when? What is your perspective on marital intimacy? Do you believe in using birth control?
11) How would you describe your relationship with your parents, siblings, and other family members? What was your parents’ marriage like?
If you’re in an intercultural marriage (or considering one) and you are looking for helpful resources on the topic, check these out:
Additional Resources for Intercultural Couples
Intercultural Marriage: Promises and Pitfalls, 3rd edition, by Dugan Romano
Mixed Matches by Joel Crohn
101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged by H. Norman Wright and Gary J. Oliver
Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman
Before You Say I Do by H. Norman Wright
Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts by Les and Leslie Parrott
How to Save Your Marriage Alone by Ed Wheat
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
Your Intercultural Marriage: A Guide to a Healthy, Happy Relationship by Marla Alupoaicei
Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in Louisiana, refuses to issue marriage licenses to interracial couples. He says, ”It is my experience that most interracial marriages do not last long… I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way.”
Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed race couple. If they are, he does not marry them.
Bardwell said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. He came to the conclusion that most of black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society, he said.
“There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage,” Bardwell said. “I think those children suffer, and I won’t help put them through it.”
If he did an interracial marriage for one couple, he must do the same for all, he said. “I try to treat everyone equally.”
American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana attorney Katie Schwartzmann said, “It is really astonishing and disappointing to see this come up in 2009.” She said the Supreme Court ruled in 1967 “that the government cannot tell people who they can and cannot marry.”
The ACLU sent a letter to the justices of the peace, asking them to investigate Bardwell and recommending “the most severe sanctions available, because such blatant bigotry poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the administration of justice.”, which oversees the state
To read the full Associated Press story, please see http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091016/ap_on_re_us/us_interracial_rebuff.
A friend of mine told me recently, “God is rarely early, but HE’S NEVER LATE!”
I thanked her for that remarkable reminder. The seasons of my life when I was waiting on the Lord to move and to work have been some of my darkest seasons… and, in hindsight, my brightest. There’s no doubt about it – waiting can be painful. It’s an art, a science, and a spiritual discipline. It’s a time when we feel like God is at the Potter’s wheel, crushing us, smoothing us out, and making something new out of us. But we don’t know yet what.
When we see God working in others’ lives, blessing them with a burgeoning ministry, a wonderful mate, gifted children, great success in their work, a promotion, a new home, and incredible talents and abilities - and it seems like they didn’t have to wait for those things from the hand of the Lord – we may feel slighted in comparison. While we are deeply entrenched in a season of waiting, we can’t see the light at the end of our tunnel. But I promise, it’s there!
In my recent seasons of waiting, the Lord has used several people in my life to remind me of this passage: “Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). The preceding verse is one of my favorites in Scripture, reminding us of where to place our trust: “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (27:13).
Waiting forces us to depend wholly, desperately, upon the Lord. It causes a crisis of faith when we must fall before the Lord in prayer and decide with our minds and hearts to trust in His love and His goodness, even if our emotions are telling us that we’ve been forsaken. Psalm 138:8 reminds us: “The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.”
The Lord WILL ACCOMPLISH His good and loving plan for you. You can’t outwait God – His lovingkindness is EVERLASTING!!! He will be faithful to move in your life. He will not forsake you. And you’ll be blessed and transformed by the lessons you have learned through your seasons of waiting on Him.
This week, I wrapped up two interviews on the topic of my book, Your Intercultural Marriage: A Guide to a Healthy, Happy Relationship. One interview was with Dr. Gary Chapman on his show “Building Relationships with Gary Chapman,” and the other was with Tracy Haney for PrimeTime America on the Moody stations. I’d like to thank both hosts for their excellent facilitation and feedback! I’m excited to hear the interviews on air. The PrimeTime America interview will air on Moody radio next week sometime-stay posted for an update! The interview with Gary Chapman will air on Nov. 14th. Thanks so much, friends! Blessings!