David C. Hughes, Writer

“For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your JOY will be complete." –Deuteronomy 16:15

Archive for the month “February, 2014”

Reflections on My First 50 Blog Posts

On August 15, 2013, exactly two weeks after I handed in my badge to the nice out-processing people at my former company, I took the next step of faith and posted my first blog post.  “Hi!” I wrote.  “And welcome to my brand-spankin-new blog site.  I hope you’re as excited as I am!” And was I ever excited!  And nervous.  And scared.  And I wondered almost constantly if I’d made the right decision to sever ties with a company with whom I’d carried on a seamless 22-year relationship. But that first blog post generated 196 hits, a couple comments, and the assurance I’d at least managed to figure out, from scratch, how to crank up a blog.  Then the work really began . . . .

On February 19, 2014, almost exactly six months after I posted that first hello to the world, I published my 50th blog post, and I have to say, it’s been a heck of a lot of work!  But you know what? I absolutely LOVE IT!  Over these past six months my worry about making ends meet has dwindled to almost nothing as the Lord continues to bless my family with little kisses on the cheek to say “I’m here, I’ve been here, and I’ll continue to be here.  Quit worrying, stop fretting, and just enjoy this adventure with Me.  This is what I intended for you to do all along, and I am faithful to My promises.”  And man-o-man has He been faithful!  I’ve got a whole book planned to “make known His marvelous deeds.”  And the writing?  Oh, the writing . . . . It’s also been nothing short of miraculous.  And for that, I thank not only God for giving me the talent, the means, and the persistence, but I also thank you, my loyal blog followers, for sticking with me, encouraging me, and helping me to feel more comfortable wearing this avocation.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

So what’s been happening over the last six months?  A bunch!  Let me fill you in on some of the excitement:

1) I managed to post 25 “Dailies,” my little devotionals, reflections, and essays on what it means to be a Christian man, father, husband, son, brother, and friend in these exciting and challenging times. All I can say is “Yay, Jesus!”

2) I’ve posted ten of the 23 chapters of The Epiphany of Joy, the book God ordained for me to write back in June of 2011.  Since then I’ve completed all but seven of the chapters, and I’ve provided the work-in-progress to Progressive Rising Phoenix Press for their publishing consideration.  Your encouragement and support of this project has been exciting and heartwarming, and I hope to hear from Progressive Rising Phoenix soon.  Please pray for me!

3) In response to Pastor Marc Owings’ request, I provided four “guest” devotionals to be emailed to the elevateHim Ministries distribution.  My first one, “Overflowing with Hope,” has already generated a response which glorifies God and confirms I’m firmly planted in His will.

4) You know the old cliché, “God works in mysterious ways.”  When I first considered committing to writing fulltime, I never in my wildest dreams thought that I’d wind up becoming a professional editor as well!  But that’s what happened, and it’s been eye-opening, to say the least.  Since October I’ve had the pleasure of editing three books, one of which has been picked up for publication by Progressive Rising Phoenix Press.  Emma Gingerich’s book, Runaway Amish Girl, is currently in the design phase, and should be released soon.  Progressive Rising Phoenix also asked me to write a review of Emma’s memoir, and this review will be included on the back cover of Runaway Amish Girl!

5) A couple months ago I consulted with Courtney Gonzales, a young woman who’s four-year-old son was born with omphalocele, a condition where the fetus develops with its abdominal organs on the outside of its body.  She related to me the details of her pregnancy, the medical challenges her child faced, the decisions she made, and the prayer covering cast across the United States for the health of her baby.  She told me about the birth and how, against impossible odds, her child was able to go home after only three weeks in the hospital, and how after 5 ½ months Landon had his one and only surgery to tidy up the hole in his belly.  After telling me this emotional story, she asked if I’d be willing to write a book about it.  I agreed.  I plan to start Love Me from the Inside Out as soon as I complete the final manuscript of The Epiphany of Joy.  It is an honor to help this young lady to share her miraculous testimony with the world, and at the same time encourage other women whose babies have been diagnosed with the same condition.

I fully recognize the huge responsibility this gift comes with, and as I’ve mentioned before, this labor of love would be meaningless without your participation, whether it be actively reading these blogs, engaging with me on Facebook and LinkedIn, sending me emails, encouraging me in person, or, soon, coming to one of my book signings!  As Jesus said in Luke 12:48, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”  I will continue to be faithful with the gifts and talents I’ve been given, and I ask for your continued prayers, encouragement, and support as I move forward with my next 50 blog posts.  And the 50 after that.  And the 50 after that . . . .

Oh, by the way, if you’re not following my blog, please go to my blog site and click on the “Follow my blog!” link in the lower right-hand corner of the website’s home page.  Enter your email address, and you’ll automatically receive notification when I make a post, which is usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Please also encourage other folks who might be interested to check out my blog page as well.

Also, I’ve had folks tell me they’d like to make comments on my posts, but can’t find the place on the website to do that.  On the blog format I chose, it’s not that obvious, but if you scroll down to the bottom of the post, in the “tags” section, “Leave a Comment” is the very last hyperlink in the list.  I know, it’s weird.  Alternatively, you can click on the date of the post and a “Leave a Comment” radio button will appear underneath the date.  If you read my posts via email, a prominent “Leave a Comment” button is included at the bottom of the post.  I would LOVE to hear from you!

Thanks again for your continued support, love, and encouragement, and please feel free to get in touch with me any time with comments, suggestions, and ideas you’d like to see me write about.  God bless you!

Copyright © 2014 David C Hughes

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10-Pin Lamentations (2014-02-19 Daily) [2 of 2]

So I started my first game, and the next thing I noticed was how the light illuminating the bowling pins on the pin deck kept shifting colors, from cool pink to lime green to sunshiny yellow.  Cripes almighty!  What the–?  When the color changed to something dark, like blue, the arrows on the lane blended in with the gloom over the entire lane, and suddenly my game was in the dark.  I’m a spot-bowler, for goodness sake, and the only way I can line up a shot is to place the tip of my right toe, still sportin’ those swell suede shoes, on the fourth board to the left of the center dot on the first line of dots, and drop the ball precisely on the lane so it rolls smoothly over the third arrow from the right-hand gutter.  When I do that, a strike is practically inevitable.  But when the dots blend in with the swamp light emanating from the pin deck, I might as well be using the fluorescent orange dinosaur and bumpers with the rest of the bowlers to my left.  Speaking of which . . . .

What’s up with parents nowadays?  Back in my day I’d get smacked on the back of the head if I began my approach after the player on the lane next to me had started his approach.  It’s not only distracting, it’s just plain rude!  Etiquette, people!  Etiquette!  I guess that particular nicety went out the door along with paper scoring, bowling shirts, beer frames, and squinting at the pins through a thin pall of blue cigarette smoke.  Ahh, the good old days.  Some things just shouldn’t be messed with.

And you know what else is distracting?  What’s up with the 55” flat-screen TVs mounted from one end of the bowling alley to the other . . . above the pin decks?!  Look, when I come to bowl, I don’t need Miley Cyrus swinging her stuff in my face while I’m searching for my arrow on the lane in the chartreuse mood lighting.  That stuff’s distracting enough in real life, let alone magnified ten times and hung right before my eyes above my rack of pins.  For Pete’s sake!  But the clincher came toward the end of my last game, as the clock counted down the remaining ten minutes and I had five more frames left in my sixth game.

For the previous fifteen minutes I’d enjoyed blessed aloneness on my lane, just me, ten pins, my ball, my sportin’ suede shoes, and Miley Cyrus swinging her stuff.  The other party’s hour had drawn to a close and the coordinators had hustled them from lanes 5 and 6 to their designated party room.  As things quieted down I managed to bowl a 177, a game consisting of a turkey on the opening three frames, and an additional turkey toward the end.  It had taken only five games, but I was finally getting into the groove!  Then it happened.  The party palace let in another group of rug rats and plopped them onto lanes 5 and 6.  Again I glanced at the 41 or so open lanes to my right as the sweet young coordinators raised the bumpers, dragged out the fluorescent orange dinosaur, dimmed the lights even further . . . and switched on the green laser lights!  Criminy sakes alive!

Suddenly random patterns of dots swirled over my arrows like the onset of a migraine, and all was lost, especially when not only the kids, but their parents too, stood in front of me as I lined up a futile shot.  Needless to say, I was done.  Done.  Yes, all done.  Done, done, done.  Done . . . . *sigh*

Next time I go bowling I’m going to search for an alley built in the 1950s, with lots of old trucks parked out front, bright fluorescent light shining from the windows, and maybe even a low-hanging pall of cigarette smoke drifting out the open front door.  Because that, my friends, is how we rolled back in my day.  Now where’s my bowling shirt?  I could have sworn I hung it up right behind my mustard orange corduroy bell bottoms . . . Oh look, here it is.  Just gotta blow off the dust. . . .

 

-THE END-

Copyright © 2014 David C Hughes

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