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Volume 2, Issue 11 - July 2006

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
~ Psalm 55:22 NIV ~

Hello and welcome to the July Issue of FaithWriters' Magazine. It's great to have you with us.

Well, can you believe that we are halfway through 2006? This year is flying by--as is the time leading up to my daughter's wedding. As I write this, it is just two weeks to her big day, and I must admit that my mind is finding it very difficult to comprehend. Up until now I've been thinking, "Plenty of time!" But now it's almost upon us, and we are all feeling much the same. There is a part of us that is looking forward to it all being over, and then there's the other part that doesn't want it to come at all. Anyone who has had their first child get married probably knows the conflict of emotions we're experiencing. Even Kylie, our daughter, is experiencing the same sort of mixed feelings.

It's about now that I'm really kicking myself for agreeing to sing at their wedding. What was I thinking!? I can't even watch a wedding in a television commercial without crying. How will I possibly survive singing "You Raise Me Up" and "How Great Thou Art" at my own daughter's nuptials? Must remember to take plenty of tissues with me on the day (and buy some waterproof mascara, or I'll end up looking like a raccoon.).

This time of year is traditionally a popular time for weddings in the northern hemisphere, although not quite so much for those of us living Down Under, where it's mid-winter. Brrrr! Must remember to take tissues AND a jacket!

Hail, Northeast
By Brenda Kern

Hey! The slide show's about to start, and I'm your narrator.

This first one was taken from a bus seat. See that odd road, slanting to the left off the highway? That means we're here--we've reached Northeast Campgrounds, in Northeast, Maryland. Yep, the name of the town was actually Northeast--the town founders must have been known far and wide for their creativity! Some dirt from vehicles exiting the campgrounds helped mark the entrance, because maybe half of the roads through the campground had pavement in the days of my childhood.

Across the highway, on our right, is the baseball field. I had an early athletic triumph there; I remember it well. I kept my foot on second base and caught a ball thrown to me in my glove, all before the runner got there! For me, that was an amazing feat! I usually was exiled to the outfield, the one between first and second base (right field? Left field? I can never remember), where no little girl ever, EVER, hits the ball, and this little girl could freely daydream.

Since my dad was so heavily involved in the district's camping program, that meant spending several weeks at Northeast every summer--for Boys' and Girls' Camp, Junior High Camp, Senior Camp, and the big daddy of them all, Camp Meeting. Plus, we'd go a little early to do some preparation and cleanup--which brings me to one of my very favorite Northeast memories.

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Kylie is definitely not alone taking that short walk down the aisle into this whole new world. Many Australians, like myself, were delighted to see the lovely Nicole Kidman marry fellow Aussie, Keith Urban on June 24 ... and all around the world, countless others will be saying "I do," this month. May God bless each union. However, once the excitement dims, and the rose-colored glasses give way to the reality of everyday life, there can be some challenging times ahead--as all those who are married will agree.

So in this month's issue of FaithWriters' Magazine, we have some wonderful messages about love, life, and coping with the trials that come our way.

First of all, we have a beautiful recipe for the perfect marriage in Jessica Schmit's sweet message, "Love Cakes," in United as One. Jessica is a delightful member of FaithWriters, and it really is a pleasure to be able to share some of her writing with you. It comes straight from the heart.

Now I wonder how many ladies have ever felt the same as the main character in Sandra Petersen's Heaven Bound story, "The Retreat Lady's Message." I know I certainly have. It's another great message and reminder for married life.

As we all know, you don't have to be married to face trials and hardships. However, for the young couples who are just stepping out from under their parents' protective wings, this may be the first time they experience some of these real challenges of adult life. So, no matter who you are, there is a lot of wisdom to be gained from our Golden Apples and Light in the Darkness sections this month.

In Golden Apples, Kimberly Thomas has some great advice in her article "Surviving a Layover." Then over in Light in the Darkness, Dr. Sharon Schuetz brings Godly wisdom with her article "A Little Rain Must Fall."

The world today can seem a pretty scary place, and I wonder how many of us are left shaking our heads over the state of affairs around the globe and at home. Attacks seem to be coming thick and fast to both our sense of security and our faith, leaving the question to be asked: "What is a Christian to do?" Michael Tummillo poses and answers that very question in his excellent Straight Talk for Today article, "Fear Mongering Among Us." This is a message that we, the Church, absolutely must hear.

Ever wondered why you were created? Have you found yourself pondering the question of God's plan for your life? Well, Cheryl O'Loughlin found a very creative way to help make it all a little clearer, and I think you'll enjoy her Take it to Heart devotional, "Puzzle Pieces."

These are just some highlights of what you'll find in the July Issue of FaithWriters' Magazine, but I can't finish without pointing you in the direction of our very nostalgic, summery, front page feature, "Hail, Northeast," by longtime FaithWriters' favorite, Brenda Kern. I have never been to summer camp in my life, but I do think I've been on some church camps that sound a little like Brenda's annual childhood trip to Northeast. So, grab some insect repellant, a flashlight, and a tube of sunscreen, then make your way to Brenda's "slide show" for a trip down memory lane.

Don't forget to check out all the other wonderful articles, poems and stories in this month's issue. (If you are a writer, you must read Yvonne Bleakly's poem, "Writer's Desire.") Whether you are enjoying lazy days of summer, or snuggling up on frosty winter nights, I pray that you'll be blessed and encouraged by FaithWriters' Magazine this month. If you are, then I hope you'll take a moment to send a note to the authors. I know they would be delighted to hear from you.

So until next time, may God hold You close to His heart and lead You always in His glorious ways.

With love,

Deb Porter
Editor, FaithWriters' Magazine.