Jesus Crucified–A Guest Post

Today, I’m guesting for my lovely and talented journalist friend, Emily. She has been focusing on the Stations of the Cross, and we shall focus on Jesus Crucified.


Jesus Crucified photo-14



the Word–

the Word who was made Flesh

splayed open

to the humid heat of bodies mingling at the foot of the cross,

to the tears of Mother Mary

to the murmur of sinful syllables

spoken for the Word’s death.



the Word—

the Word who spoke

the tree seed into existence

its roots cut open mother earth’s womb

as limbs reached up, branches contained life and death,

did You, the Word, the Word made flesh

watch as Your cross grew?

To read this, head over to Emily’s blog by clicking here.

Guest Post: Poetry and Pause

Today, I’m guest posting for one very talented reporter, blogger, and friend. Emily Miller and I met at the Renew and Refine Writer’s Retreat back in May. She has been featuring spiritual practices these past few weeks, and I am adding my voice with the spiritual practice of poetry. 

Dew scattered like seeds
Clinging to the silver-slicked grass
Bending low as the Sun dances
Over the trees…

Morning comes too soon. The alarms blares; the dogs whine to be let out; the coffee brews too slowly. Everything crackles with life and immediacy and the pull and tug of its busyness. My mind races through every detail of the coming day just before sunup when the world is still calm and dark and expectant. IMG_0134

“Write this blog post, go to the gym you just joined, finish up those lesson plans, revise your fiction piece…”

To read the rest please head over to Emily’s blog!

Beyond All This: Guest Post

Today, I am honored to welcome another guest post, Veronica Ibarra. 

I first met Veronica whilst working with at risk youth, and we became friends over our mutual love of Jane Austen, fine literature, and zombies. She and I co-founded The Dark Jane Austen Book Club, and she writes for her own blog Veronica Monique: Word Warrior. I am pleased to present her poetic contribution here today.



Beyond All This


It isn’t a room in which I sit,

Where still silence echoes,

And darkness mirrors.

It’s a calm place where the storm rages,

Where acid tears scar my heart

As cherished voices slash deepest,

And sympathy is twisted into disgust.

Reality falls away

Leaving madness in its wake.

Foolishly I believe the lie,

Begging for its obliteration.

Please, help me see.

Give me strength to believe

I am as You made me.

With bleeding fingers I will climb from the abyss.

I will breathe in the light

To hear love and feel bliss

Because You did not leave me.

You live inside,

Deeper than the darkness

Beyond all this.



Heed: Guest Post

Today, I am honored to have one of my new internet friends as guest poet. Meet Mary C. M. Phillips! She is a lovely writer, deep thinker, and fellow dog lover(all poets should have dogs). Without further eloquence, I present her poem: Heed.



Of course it snows in winter

I expect it to be cold

with menacing clouds

and a dull pain

behind my eyes that tells me

a storm is coming.

My Lord says to walk in humility;

“Consider others better than yourself.”

I vow to surrender my pride

promising obedience, I say

“I will not mess things up.”

He then reminds me to

take my gloves and

wear a warm hat.


Mary C. M. Phillips is a writer of narrative essays and short stories.  

Her work can be read in several national bestselling anthologies such as A Cup of ComfortChicken Soup for the Soul, and Bad Austen-The Worst Stories Jane Never Wrote from Adams Media.  Her story, Jumper Cables, can be read in the new anthology, Finding Churchavailable next week from Civitas Press.

Mary blogs at Caffeine Epiphanies, a blog primarily devoted to literary heroines and contributes regularly to The Dark Jane Austen Book Club
As a musician, she has recorded and toured nationally for various alternative rock groups (Matthew Sweet, Marti Jones, Chris Stamey, and Don Dixon) and most recently with Red Wordsa New York based rock-and-worship band.

My essays are based on real life experiences, both humorous and inspirational.  The most satisfying task for me as a writer is to communicate that “A-ha” moment.  Whether in the discipline of short stories, songs, or poems, creative expression is (not only the truest art form) but also a vehicle for God’s love.  

The Rape of Humanity: Guest Post

Today, I am so very pleased to present our FIRST EVER guest poster, Grace Biskie! 
Grace is a passionate, big-dreaming extroverted communicator.  Wifey to Dave & Mama of 2 little boys therefore working hard to memorize Thomas the Tank Engine’s vast friendship base.  Grace likes to think she’s Joyce Meyer meets Halle Berry meets Anne Lammott…but she also knows she shouldn’t think more highly of herself than she ought.  She is a writer, a speaker and a program coordinator for a Foundation serving high school students in NYC & Kalamazoo, MI.  Grace is an essayist in the upcoming anthology, I Speak for Myself: 40 American Christian Women Under 40 addressing the topic of taboo.  (Published by White Cloud Press, 2013).  Also, she’s working on her first book, Detroit’s Daughter, a memoir about surviving her father, her brother, abuse, racism, Christians, boys, and poverty, while growing up in inner-city Detroit.   She loves social networking, photography, fashion & swiss cake rolls. She hates horcruxes and human trafficking. You can follow her adventures in trying to lead a purposeful, grace-filled, beautiful life on her blog, Gabbing With Grace, or on Twitter.

The Rape of Humanity: A Sestina for an Escaped Sex Slave 

By: Grace Biskie


The room was filthy and cockroach infested. 

Locked in a cage.   Shocked with electrical wire.  Whipped with metal cables until raw,

it all culminated in gang rape.

My mother sold me at 7. Twenty times a day my legs were pried open.

Burned with hot pokers forced to lie under the cover of biting insects was the torture

for a failed escape. I took my chances: fate would give me death or freedom.

There are 12 million of us, voiceless, desperate to be free.

But 32 billion reasons why selling our womanhood remains a global infestation.

Under 5, over 5, newborns, too.  Over 20 is “too old” for this form of torture.

Our hearts our raw,

our bodies are sewn up, ripped apart, sewn up and again torn open

yet it’s our humanity that’s at stake; it too is subject to rape.

Soul ravaged but not raped,

I choose forgiveness to set me free.

Conserve my energy to prying freedom’s doors open

for those still caged, my desire for rescuing them upholding my heart from infestation.

Nightmares threaten to keep me raw,

but it’s my will that refuses to be subjected to a self imposed torture.

I look in her eyes and I see her torture

for the 5th time today, she’s been raped.

Every inch of her skin is raw.

She’s never been free.

She’s only 5.  Her entire life has been infested.

It’s all she knows: “lay down. Shut up. Legs open.”

It’s all he knows: “lay down. Shut up. Legs open,”

Since he was 18 he’s been in the business of torture.

He doesn’t know his heart is hell bent on infestation.

He cares little for the 12 million who –today- will be raped.

He wants the control.  Wallet open, he wants the power.  He believes a good orgasm isn’t free.

He wants her young.  He wants her raw.

Yet, they want to be “young”.  They want to hope, but it’s too scary, much too raw.

They want to shut it down with a deafening shout: “NO! Business is NOT open!”

What they want is simple: set the captive free.

…a respite from torture.

…to heal from rape.

…hope to permeate humanity’s infestation.

Gently clasp the face of the young, raw woman to declare her freedom!

Open up your mind, your heart and your wallet too lest you unknowingly slip down the slippery slope of the indifference infestation…

…or you can power up the Macbook, watch your porn and ignore the torture of our dear sisters while our humanity is at stake.  It’s nothing less than all of humanity being raped.


Redeeming Cinderella’s Stepmother

Today, I am honored to be guest posting for Rachel Held Evans. I am sharing my thoughts on faith and step-parenting. 

Redeeming Cinderella’s Stepmother

Summer by Mark Askins

No little girl ever wants to be Cinderella’s stepmother. We dream of princes and balls and weddings and babies, but all of those things would belong to us first. We would mother our own biological children, not someone else’s. No one wants to be a stepmother.


The Bible doesn’t offer us a shining example of a stepmother. We could posit that Sarah was the stepmother of Hagar’s son Ishmael; however, she forced both Hagar and Ishmael to leave after the birth of her son, Isaac. Not the best pattern to follow. Literature isn’t kind to us either. We give away poison apples, prey upon feeble-minded men, and force servitude upon the stepchildren. Even the Greek playwright, Euripides said that “it is better to be a serpent than a stepmother.”


I am stepmother, not a stereotype.


To read the rest of this post, please head over to Rachel Held Evan’s blog. I’m part of her series Faith in Parenting.

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Happy 6 Days til Christmas and a Giveaway!

Happy 6 days till Christmas!

Today and this week, my newest collaborative project The Dark Jane Austen Book Club will be featuring a series of guests posts and a few awesome giveaways!

For those of you who don’t know, the Dark Jane Austen Book Club delights in the adaptions of Ms. Austen’s works with such things as zombies, vampires, and sea monsters. We will be giving away a copy of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters to one lucky reader.

So, why not head over to The Dark Jane Austen Book Club, and enter to win this book giveaway?

Trade in the Pompoms: Guest Post

Autumn’s calling cards…

Red and orange and yellow leaves, check. Cooler temperatures and cozy wool sweaters, check. Sunday afternoons spent watching football, check. For most of Fall, football dominates the Sunday afternoon agenda. No, I’m not a football widow during the season. I graciously submit the remote to my Redneck Romeo on Sundays especially during the Carolina Panthers games.

Sometimes, I watch the game too. Sometimes, I watch the cheerleaders. Who can miss all the pompom waving, short skirt wearing, cheerleaders screaming out “Let’s Go Panthers” or insert an NFL team of choice?

In marriage, we are often told that we should be our partner’s best cheerleader.

Today, I’m guest posting on Some Wise Guy…as part of the Some Wise Gal series. To find out WHY we need to trade in our pompoms, head over to Some Wise Guy.

Then read the other contributors and K.C., the blogger and wise guy.

Second Cup Friends: A Guest Post

Good morning y’all, I hope everyone has had a goodly amount of coffee to kick-start this Monday, this month. As a coffee lover, I believe the easiest way to foster a friendship is over coffee.


I’m guest posting for my Twitter friend, Coffee Club founding member, and blogging comrade Alise. Her lovely blog, Alise…Write is gloriously written. I’m honored to begin Alise’s Guest Posting month with this post:

Second Cup Friends

We live in a world of one cup, rushed through friendships.


Our lives spinning through a maniac to do list while squeezing in time for a brief respite of conversation. We schedule our coffee dates to avoid the inevitable guilt-laden nights, the I’ve been meaning to call messages, but mostly the guilt. The comfortable earth toned coffee shop fully equipped with WiFi, just in case we can fit another work task in, serves as the ideal meeting place. Music, loud espresso machines, and other talkative patrons mask the lag of our conversation. Lattes offer a brief distraction from the awkward pauses when we have run out of the compulsory topics—how’s the hubby/partner, what grades are the kids in again, did you hear about…? Coffee gulped and general Facebook fodder shared; we rush off to the next thing and the next thing. Always a rush to check off each box on the to-do list.


To finish reading this post, click over to Alise’s blog here.

When Hats Become Masks: Guest post

HATSphoto © 2008 Bijoy Mohan | more info (via: Wylio)
Today, I’m guest posting on identity over at Jennifer Luitwieler’s blog. She has been doing a series of guest post on identity which have me made laugh, cry, and think. As all good writing should at some point.  So hop over to her blog for the rest of my posts on identity.


Pardon the cliché, but I wear lots of proverbial hats.


In fact, I may wear enough of these hats to open my own proverbial hat store. What hats? The usual suspects: woman, wife, daughter, stepmother, sister, reader, writer, teacher, student, cook, occasional overeater. These I wear daily, one stacked upon another, an ever-present balancing act of managing all of these various roles, their demands, without bringing the whole lot crashing down on my head. My identity makes for an interesting hat display, or does it? Am I just a whole mash-up of roles, hats, and duties? I think not.


You can read the rest of this post  at Jennifer Luitwieler’s blog.