Archive for: ‘October 2011’

Sunday Brunch! Samson And Delilah

October 30, 2011 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Did Samson’s lust affect his logic?

I’ve always wondered about this, so I decided to devote a Sunday Brunch blog post to this topic. In Judges, Chapter 16, the Philistine rulers approached Delilah since they knew that Samson was in love with her. They wanted to know the secret to Samson’s strength. The rulers offered to give Delilah money if she could tell them this secret.

What’s always stumped me was Delilah asked Samson FOUR TIMES, about the secret of his strength. The first three of those four times he lied to her, and, afterwards, he always fell asleep and found himself bound with the offending material, and Delilah was always yelling about the approaching Philistines. Samson always easily escaped from the ropes, fabric, thongs, etc. since these items did not deplete his strength (although he’d told Delilah otherwise).

I’ve always thought that sometime during those first three times, Samson would’ve gotten a clue that Delilah had an agenda. It was so obvious considering the pattern of events. However, he ended up telling her the truth eventually, and that caused his downfall.

Do you think that Samson was so overcome with lust and love for Delilah that he couldn’t think clearly?

I think his lust overcame his logic. Also, the scriptures mention that the Lord came upon Samson numerous times. Perhaps this was the way that the Lord wanted the events to occur?

Feel free to share your thoughts!

~Cecelia Dowdy~

Saturday Matinee! Titanic – The Movie!

October 29, 2011 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Popcorn photo courtesy of Free Digital Photos.

***Note, this movie has some nudity.

What’s your favorite scene from the movie Titanic?

Titanic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

This is one of my FAVORITE movies!

I think I like it so much because of the romance aspect. Jack Dawson wins a ticket on the Titanic from a card game. A young poor drifter, he leaves things to chance and is optimistic about what each day will bring. While on the Titanic, he meets Rose, a beautiful, sophisticated wealthy young woman who’s engaged to Cal.

The engagement between Cal and Rose is arranged and it’s an engagement based upon money – Rose has an excellent family name but her family has been left with a lot of debt. Her mother wants the match between Rose and Cal to bring wealth back into their family. Rose can’t stand her self-centered, over-bearing fiance (Cal), but finds herself drawn to Jack.

Jack and Rose fall in love amidst the sinking of the ship. Jack has an uncanny ability to really see into people. He’s an artist and he draws appealing pictures of people, capturing the essence of his art subjects. Jack shows Rose how to have a good time and she finds herself joyous around Jack, so joyous that it affects her relationship with Cal.

Another reason I really enjoy this movie is because of the vivid scenery and the plotting of this story is amazing! So many things are going on, and even while the ship is sinking, you still have side stories happening, making the movie even more exciting. Also, I think the characters were so vivid and so real. It’s a very-well done and intense movie and that’s one reason why I end up watching it again and again.

I also loved the way the social classes were depicted in this film. The way the people dressed, the setting, etc. – it was done in a way to show the difference between the rich passengers and the poor ones.

SPOILER!!

TITANIC – AN ALTERNATE ENDING! 🙂

I’m assuming most have seen this movie and know the ending. If it were up to me, I would’ve changed the ending and had Jack to live. He and Rose would’ve gotten married and had lots of children together…

My favorite part of the movie was when Jack takes Rose to the front of the ship and tells her to close her eyes. When she opens her eyes, she sees the vivid ocean. Amazed, feeling like she’s flying, Jack leans over and kisses her! 🙂

Oh, I love this movie!

Have you seen this movie? If so, did you like it? What’s your favorite scene in the movie?

I’d also wanted to mention that I purchased my Titanic DVD about five years ago from the discount bin at Walmart. Before that, I’d owned the VHS tapes and before that, I’d seen it a few times in the theater. One weird thing I noticed was, it doesn’t seem to be available as a new, inexpensive DVD on AMAZON or Barnes and Noble. The copies that I saw listed were used or highly expensive, like, upwards of $40. Also, I didn’t see it available to rent like most movies on Amazon. Anybody know why it’s not available to rent or why it’s not available as an affordable new DVD? Let me know if you do!

~Cecelia Dowdy~

A Whisper Of Peace By Kim Vogel Sawyer

October 25, 2011 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

A Whisper Of Peace by Kim Vogel Sawyer

This book is one of the best I’ve read in 2011! If you haven’t read this book then you need to rush out and buy a copy now! Better yet, download a copy on your Kindle or your Nook!

Lizzie is half-Indian and half-White. One striking feature that shows her mixed race is her vivid blue eyes. Due to her mixed parentage, she’s been shunned and ostracized by her village – which include her own grandparents! She lives apart from the village, alone. Her White father left Lizzie and her mom when Lizzie was twelve. Growing up, her father taught her to read and Lizzie can speak both her native Indian language as well as English. After her mother died, Lizzie has had to survive on her own. She’s lonesome, and she only has her guard dogs for companionship.

When missionaries Clay and Vivian arrive in the Indian village near Lizzie’s home in Alaska, her life takes an interesting turn. During a comical incident where Lizzie is making sugar cookies, she encounters Clay and Vivian for the second time. She longs for companionship and since those in her Indian village have shunned her, she feels she needs to leave Alaska and travel to California where her father lives. Lizzie doesn’t know a whole lot about being White and living in the outside world, so she convinces Vivian to give her lessons that will make her more knowledgable about the outside world – Lizzie longs to be White.

Meanwhile, Clay and Vivian cause turmoil within the Indian village. Their friendship with Lizzie, a shunned Indian, is against tribal rules and they’re ordered to stop communicating with their new friend.

This book was phenomenal! I think Kim V. Sawyer did an awesome job dealing with the issues of race and forgiveness. Plus, the Alaskan setting was wonderful! I also think she did a really great job with her character development! I felt that Lizzie was the strongest, most appealing, character of all. She’s been ostracised, she’s lonesome, and she doesn’t know the love of Jesus. She’s brave and she hunts and fishes, supporting herself, and she doesn’t have the companionship of any other humans. I especially loved seeing her interact with her dogs and I loved the scenes with her working on the fur coat for her grandmother, hoping to make peace with her relative.

This book was emotional, really tugs at your heart. This book is definitely a winner and I highly recommend it.

~Cecelia Dowdy~

Saturday Matinee!

October 22, 2011 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Popcorn photo courtesy of Free Digital Photos.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

I’ve decided to start doing movie reviews occasionally. Reason why? Watching movies is a great way to help with your writing. Seriously. Plotting, characters, etc. – all those elements are in a movie. I used to watch movies a lot back in the day. However, in recent years, time just gets away from me and I just don’t watch movies like I used to.

I viewed Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind starring Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey a couple of weeks ago. I rented it on Amazon and watched it on my laptop one week night. I actually enjoyed it.

***Note, this is a secular movie.Can you imagine, having a torrid romance to end badly, and then having that person erased from you mind? Well, that’s what this movie is about.

Clementine (Kate Winslet’s character) falls in love with Jim Carrey. Two trouble souls have a torrid romance that ends badly. Clementine wants Jim Carrey erased from her mind. There’s a company that will do this – erase a significant other from your mind. They hook you up to a machine and when you wake up, you feel like you’ve had a hang-over and you have no recollection of your romance.

Before the eraser people put you under, you must bring all objects and momentos relating to the romance with you. You don’t want these things lingering in your home after the person is erased from your mind – after all, you’ll have no recollection of the item and having a love letter, gift, etc. from your erased relationship will only confuse you.

Jim Carrey is confused when he runs into Clemntine working at a bookstore. It appears she doesn’t even know who he is. Befuddled, Jim Carrey accidentally discovers that Clementine has had him erased from her mind. He’s determined to go through the same process – he wants to erase Clementine from his mind. However, havoc arises when Jim Carrey is put under – he discovers that he wants to hang onto Clementine’s memories.

Since he no longer wants to erase Clementine from his mind, he finds himself trying to hide his memories from the eraser people. The erasers are finding Jim to be a difficult patient, and they find the memories in weird spots on his brain.

This movie was a bit unusual and eclectic. It’s a love story with a bit of sci-fi/fantasy thrown into the mix. As I was thinking about this movie, I wondered, what if this same concept was used for other memories, not just botch romantic memories. Like, what if you could erase the memories of a spouse, or, what if you’d had a child who’d died and you were grieving? Would you want to erase those memories to feel better? I’m thinking, initially, you might want to, but, going through traumatic, tragic and sad moments are what shape us into the people we are today. If we could conveniently erase every bad memory, then, well, the world would be strange place.

Did you see this movie? If so, what did you think of it? Can you think of a memory that you’d consider erasing?

Leave a comment! 🙂

~Cecelia Dowdy~

A Necessary Deception By Laurie Alice Eakes

October 17, 2011 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

A Necessary Deception by Laurie Alice Eakes

When young widow Lady Lydia Gale helps a French prisoner obtain parole, she never dreamed he would turn up in her parlor. But just as the London Season is getting under way, there he is, along with a few other questionable personages. While she should be focused on helping her headstrong younger sister prepare for her entré into London society, Lady Gale finds herself preoccupied with the mysterious Frenchman. Is he a spy or a suitor? Can she trust him? Or is she putting her family in danger?

Readers will enjoy being drawn into this world of elegance and intrigue, balls and masquerades. Author Laurie Alice Eakes whisks readers through the drawing rooms of London amid the sound of rustling gowns on this exciting quest to let the past stay in the past and let love guide the future.

This book was enticing because of the world that Laurie Alice created. It’s a world full of balls, pretty gowns, and upper-class citizens. Lydia feels that aiding a French prisoner with parole is the right thing to do – especially since the prisoner was a friend of her late husband’s. Using a an expensive bracelet (that has sentimental value), Lydia funds the prisoner’s parole.

However, Lydia’s life goes awry when it appears that her deed to help the Frenchman backfires and places her in a world of trouble.

She finds herself getting blackmailed as she aides her sister with her entrance into London society. She must help some men to become acquainted with some of her elite friends since they feel these connections are necessary. She has doubts about these men and the whole scheme is linked to the mysterious Frenchman.

As you read about a world filled with elite people and beautiful ball gowns, you will get a healthy does of a suspenseful mystery and an endearing, heartwarming romance between Lydia and Christien. I highly recommend this novel, especially if you love reading about Regency England.

I also found Lydia’s affection for her cat to be a quirky, as well as endearing, character trait.

Many thanks to Baker/Revell for providing me with a free review copy.
~Cecelia Dowdy~

Sunday Brunch – How Do You Know When A Prophet Is Really A Prophet?

October 16, 2011 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

When you hear a prophecy, how do you know it’s from God?

First Corinthians 14:1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.

My Sunday Brunch blog post a few weeks ago about psychics has spurred me to write about prophecy.

About ten years ago, after my first book (Promises To Keep) was released, I received an email from a local person, asking me to speak at her sister’s, Tee’s, birthday party. I accepted the invite and I arrived at the event, impressed by the large expensive house as well as the nice, immaculately-dressed party guests. We had a fancy dinner, complete with Cornish game hens, and a nice breeze blowing through the open windows.

I started talking about my writing experiences and about how I came to be published. One of the male party members asked me if I’d ever thought about sending my book to Oprah. I responded, “No, I don’t think Oprah likes to read romance novels.”

Then, Tee, the fifty-year-old birthday woman, quickly touched her forehead, and closed her eyes. She then looked at me and said, “Oh, by the way, you’re going to be on Oprah.” The whole “prophecy” experience was very quick and I barely paid it any attention.

Later, when I went to my car to get more books, D.(Tee’s boyfriend), comes outside and says, “Did you hear what Tee said about your being on Oprah?”

I said, “Yeah…”

He said, “Well, it’s true. You know Tee’s an ordained prophet.”

I said, “No, I didn’t realize that.” The whole subject of ordained prophecy was foreign to me.

Afterwards, when I got home, I glanced at the program that they’d handed out during the birthday party. The program had Tee’s picture on the front and the program also mentioned that Tee was an ordained prophet. I didn’t realize the birthday guest was an “ordained prophet” until I’d arrived at the party.

I have no idea if Tee is really an ordained prophet. But, if she says that she is an ordained prophet and I have no proof disputing that, then I feel that I can’t disbelieve her. I only saw this person once, and since my knowledge of this subject is sketchy, I can only speculate.

I still haven’t appeared on the Oprah show, but, I have no idea what, exactly, Tee was “seeing.” I guess it could still happen in the future, perhaps, since Oprah is still on TV (although her talk show was cancelled).

In First Corinthians, the Apostle Paul speaks of the spiritual gifts, but, he really advocates the gift of prophecy. The greatest gift is love, but, prophecy is placed on a higher level than speaking in tongues. The fact that Paul says that we should especially desire the gift of prophecy makes me stop and wonder about this topic. The word prophet is thrown around and used so much nowadays – it’s a common term and it’s kind of hard to know who, exactly, is a real prophet.

What, exactly, is an ordained prophet? Who ordains a prophet? Also, when somebody says that they are a prophet, how can you be sure that they’re telling you a message from God? Someone pointed out to me that sometimes psychics will disguise themselves as prophets – do you think that this is true? Leave your responses in the comments, please.

Also, a quick change in subject, if you have a Kindle and want to read a simple, heartwarming romance, then you should try my Love Inspired title, First Mates. I’ve been getting some reader mail recently about this title and I think you might find this cruise-ship-romance story very enjoyable. I’ve been getting positive comments from both male and female readers recently.

~Cecelia Dowdy~


Holiday Homecoming By Jillian Hart

October 14, 2011 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Holiday Homecoming by Jillian Hart

Can you imagine leaving home after high school and not returning for several years?

That’s what happens in Holiday Homecoming.

This was an excellent Love Inspired novel! I think I enjoyed it so much because of the deep emotions that the author was able to portray in the novel.

Kristin is going home for Thanksgiving. She runs into Ryan on the flight home. She knows Ryan from her childhood since they grew up in the same neighborhood and their mothers are best friends.

Both of them are still healing from deep emotional losses – Kristin’s sister died in an accident awhile back and her family is still reeling from the pain, plus, her sister’s death has affected her parents’ marriage. Kristin’s parents used to be happily married, but now they’re so at odds with each other. Kristin feels that true love is nothing but a pipe dream since her parents are no longer happy and they used to have a joyous marriage.

Meanwhile, Ryan is still not over the death of his dad. His father died when he was eight, and Ryan left home after high school. This Thanksgiving is Ryan’s first time back at home since his teen-aged years and he’s coming home as a doctor. He struggles with his painful loss while in his old neighborhood and Kristin attempts to help him deal with his grief. Ryan doesn’t feel he’d make a suitable mate for anybody – he’s still messed up from his dad’s death and he just needs to be alone. He doesn’t want to get close to anybody and feels he’ll be happier just remaining by himself. Returning to his hometown brings back dormant nightmares.

I especially loved the holiday theme to this book! First there’s Thanksgiving, then Christmas and then Easter. I loved the setting – the falling snow, the Christmas lights, the holiday cookies – etc. This was a very visual, emotional book and I highly recommend it as a great holiday read. If you want to get into the Christmas spirit, then you should download this wonderful sweet romance on your Kindle. I’m sure you’ll love it!

So have you, or somebody you know, ever struggled with returning home or to your hometown? If so, what kind of emotional experience made you struggle with returning to your home?

~Cecelia Dowdy~

The Daddy Surprise By Ginny Aiken

October 11, 2011 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

The Daddy Surprise by Ginny Aiken

I downloaded this book and read it on my Kindle. Lucie had a one-week fling with Ryder during Spring break six years ago. The fling resulted in the birth of their daughter, Chloe. Lucie lost touch with Ryder after their Spring fling and has been looking for them since the birth of their daughter. She’s surprisingly found him and she brings their five-year-old daughter with her to meet her father for the first time.

Ryder is the mayor of the town and he’s stunned when Lucie arrives with their daughter – a daughter that he didn’t even realize he had. Lucie wants Ryder to develop a relationship with their daughter but she wants to buy this huge, historic house in town. Ryder owns the the house, and he refuses to sell it to Lucie. Lucie is determined to start her own business in town and Ryder’s vacant historic house is the only suitable place nearby that’s available for use.

As they “duke it out” about the possession/purchase of the house, the couple grows closer, recalling their spring romance.

This book shows how people make mistakes and then suffer the consequences of those mistakes. It also shows that we need to lean on God during rough times and to ask Him for forgiveness for our sins. Ryder clings to his pain from a past mistake instead of leaning on Jesus and asking Him for forgiveness. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of past pain and move on, and this book is prime example of how to let go of our pain and find solace in God’s grace. A nice read.

~Cecelia Dowdy~

Survivors By James Wesley, Rawles

October 10, 2011 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Survivors by James Wesley, Rawles

“I implore you: Get right with God, and get your Beans, Bullets, and Band-Aids together! Our only certain hope is in Christ Jesus.” – James Wesley, Rawles

WHAT IF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT ENDED TOMORROW?
The America we are accustomed to is no more. Practically overnight the stock market has plummeted, hyperinflation has crippled commerce, and the fragile chains of supply and high-technology infrastructure have fallen. The power grids are down. Brutal rioting and looting grip every major city. The volatile era known as “the Crunch” has begun, and this new period in our history will leave no one untouched. In this unfamiliar environment, only a handful of individuals are equipped to survive.

Andrew Laine, a resourceful young U.S. Army officer stationed overseas in Afghanistan, wants nothing more than to return home to Bloomfield, New Mexico. With the world in turmoil and all air and sea traffic to America suspended, Laine must rely on his own ingenuity and the help of good Samaritans to reach his family. Andrew will do whatever it takes to make it home to his fiancée, no matter how difficult the circumstances.

Major Ian Doyle is a U.S. Air Force pilot sta-tioned in Arizona with his wife, Blanca. Their young daughter, Linda, is trapped in the North- eastern riots. Three teenage orphans, Shadrach, Reuben, and Matthew Phelps, have no choice but to set out on their own when their orphanage closes at the beginning of the Crunch. Then there is Ignacio Garcia, the ruthless leader of the criminal gang called La Fuerza, who will stop at nothing to amass an army capable of razing the countryside. And over everything looms the threat of a provisional government, determined to take over America and destroy the freedoms upon which it was built. The world of Survivors is a terrifyingly familiar one. Rawles has written a novel so close to the truth, readers will forget it’s fiction. If everything you thought you knew suddenly fell apart, would you survive?

I found this book kind of hard to get into. This is no reflection upon the story or the author – I believe it’s just my personal taste in novels.

I’m not a big fan of novels with a lot of military scenes. I can read war/military scenes in books, but, usually, when that’s the main focus of the story, I find my mind wandering. The terminology, the stuff happening, sounds foreign to me and it’s hard for me to get into that type of setting. For example, I didn’t know what a magazine (I’m not talking about a monthly/weekly publication)was, I had to stop and look it up. I’m just not that familiar with war and military settings and lingo and I have to think too hard when I read books with too many of these types of scenes. However, I did find the premise of the story to be intriguing.

One interesting aspect that I found was that one of the characters was maimed in the war. It bothers him when people stare at his prosthetic hand and when they stare at the scars on his face. A stranger notices him, and guesses that he was hurt in the war and he thanks him for his service. I found that scene particularly touching. I don’t think we thank our military enough for all that they do for our country.

I could imagine a lot of males enjoying this book, and I did think the story was well-written. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for providing me with this free review copy.

Have you read this book, if so, what did you think of it?

~Cecelia Dowdy~

Sunday Brunch – Why Didn’t Jesus Rescue John The Baptist?

October 9, 2011 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Why didn’t Jesus Rescue John The Baptist from prison?

When John the Baptist was in prison, I believe he wanted Jesus’s help. When Jesus failed to help John escape, John sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was really the ONE (the true Messiah).

Then John The Baptist was beheaded.

His head was presented on a platter as a birthday gift to King Herrod’s wife’s daughter, who then presented the platter to her mother (the king’s wife-Herodias). Upon hearing this news, Jesus went away on a boat for some time alone. Apparently, Jesus was saddened by the death of John, and I’ve always wondered why Jesus didn’t release John from prison.

There are some Biblical questions that will probably remain unanswered until we get to heaven, but, I think Jesus felt He had more pressing things to do than rescuing John. Perhaps during those crucial moments when John was in prison, Jesus was called elsewhere to heal and save souls. There could be a number of reasons why things played out the way that they did, but, I’ve always wondered about this.

So, why do you think that Jesus refused to rescue John The Baptist from prison? Leave your responses in the comments. I’ve copied and pasted the scripture references below.

***Download a free e-book copy of my Christian novel, Raspberry Kisses!

~Cecelia Dowdy~

Matthew 11:1-6
1After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. 2When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” 4Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 6Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”
Matthew 14:3-13
3Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered him a prophet.
6On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for them and pleased Herod so much 7that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10and had John beheaded in the prison. 11His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus. 13When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.