Vanessa’s Character Picks July 26, 2015

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What’s the Difference?

Voices in my head


“That lady is going to think you are an idiot. You went on and on about your new book release. She’s not interested. You bored her to death and made a fool out of yourself.” What was that message I heard in my head? My face reddened as I walked out to my car after my brief conversation in front of the church with a woman from the congregation.

Wow, God, you really told me off. But wait, was that God’s voice?

Throughout my life, I’ve heard many other messages like this in a variety of situations. Belittling, depressing, discouraging thoughts. Thinking a bit deeper, the notion struck me. Maybe it wasn’t God’s voice. If not, then who? The enemy of my soul?

I did a little research on a few Christian websites and found some enlightening information about ways we can distinguish God’s voice from Satan’s. Here are a few points.

God’s voice is gentle and free from pressure. Satan’s is loud and clamoring. God speaks within our spirits and Satan talks to our minds. God’s voice produces peace but Satan’s despair. God’s utterances are clear and Satan’s filled with confusion. Generally we hear from God when we’re seeking Him in prayer and Bible reading. Satan breaks into our thoughts uninvited.

These are only a few comparisons, but enough to allow me to assess the word I heard in front of the church. That message broke into my thoughts without an invitation and certainly didn’t bring me peace. I think I know the source. So I told him to get lost. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7.

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Vanessa’s Character Picks July 23, 2015

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Vanessa’s Character Picks July 21, 2015

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Vanessa’s Character Picks July 19, 2015

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Morgan Shaw, from MaryLu Tyndall’s latest novel, “The Reckoning,” is visiting IC Today

As a reader and interviewer, one of my favorite times is when MaryLu Tyndall has a new book coming out. Why? One, because I know I will have a great novel to download to my Kindle app. Two, because that means she might just stop by with another one of her characters for me to interview. Today, MaryLu has brought the heroine from her latest novel, The Reckoning, and boy does she have a story to tell you. reckoning_ebook

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Morgan Shaw, but my friends call me Morg. However, this infuriating pirate captain insists on calling me Lady Minx. Why, I have no idea. If you’re reading this, you must help me! I live in San Diego in 2015, but somehow I’ve been transported to a pirate ship in 1694!! Please contact the authorities and all experts in time, space and interdimensional travel! Oh, and my mother too! Please, I’m begging you, get me out of here!

Um … I’m afraid I’ve lost the number to the … um … interdimensional travel authorities. That is, if I ever had it … But I’ll call your mother.

In the meantime, can you tell us three things about yourself that would surprise our readers?

  1. I’ve been dumped by guys six times in six years.

Oh, how sad.

  1. I have OCD and acute anxiety.

That was my specialty as a counselor, maybe I can help.

  1. I’ve been transported back in time 300 years. (Help! See question 1)

I had a feeling that one would come up again … and I have no idea what to do for you there. My flux-capacitor just broke last week.

Moving right along … Do you have a profession? If so, tell us about it.

Back in my own time, I’m lead software engineer at Qualcomm Holographic in San Diego. Impressed, aren’t you?

<Connie nods>

Well, a lot of good it does me in 1694!

Yeah, I had a feeling that skill would be pretty useless for you now.

As a child or teenager, what did you dream of being?

I wanted to be a famous oil painter. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? A childhood dream meant for children who have no bills to pay or responsibilities.

I hear ya.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I hid from my X-boyfriend in the stinky hold of a pirate ship replica. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t be in this predicament!

Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader to feel as though they know you a little better.

Back in 2015, I led a very structured life. I like things to be ordered and planned, so I got up at the same time each day, stopped by Starbucks for coffee promptly at 7:45 a.m., went to work all day, and then arrived home by 6:00 p.m. to a quiet evening painting or reading. On the weekends, every outing was planned and had a purpose. People say I’m a bit of a control freak, I guess, but hey, it works for me and helps keep the stress at a minimum. So you can imagine how utterly FREAKED OUT I AM ON BOARD THIS CRAZY PIRATE SHIP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CARIBBEAN 300 YEARS AGO!? And I don’t even have my meds!

<Connie jerks back in her chair> Um … can I get you some chamomile tea?

<Morgan glares>

Ooookie-Dokie. Next question. When did things change dramatically in your life?

Could it be when I was transported from 2015 back to 1694? Does that count as dramatic?

Well, yes. I think it does.

Who do you despise?

No one. The Bible says not to hate anyone.

But what about that pirate who calls you Lady Minx?

<Morgan blushes and plays with the folds of her gown>

Tell us about the current journey you are on.

I’m trying to find a way home to my own time, but there’s that very hunky pirate who can’t figure out if he likes me or wants to toss me overboard. Either way, he seems to need my help in deciphering some crazy map that leads to a treasure chest. Yeah, I hear you laughing. But I’m not kidding! I must be stuck in some nutty nightmare!

<Connie holds her hand to her mouth, and snorts> I’m not laughing. <cough> Really, I’m not.

Ahem … What inspired you to change things in your life?

Nothing. I hate change.

Then, describe yourself in three words.

Honest, Dependable, Predictable

What inspires you to do what you do?

Peace, calm, and order. My goal is not to end up in the funny farm someday.

A lofty goal!

<Connie looks at her notes and then to Morgan—and grimaces> Um, are you a highly scheduled person or do you like to “wing it?”

You’re kidding, right?

<Connie shrugs>I think I know the answer.

Do you have to juggle different aspects of life, ie. a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance them?

It’s best to use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of daily, monthly, and yearly activities and responsibilities. Structure is born out of discipline. Without both of those, the world would spin out of control. <Morgan organizes the pencils on Connie’s desk from shortest to longest>

<Connie considers twirling the one in the middle>

Does your faith affect who you are? How?

Right now, I’m not sure what I believe about God. I mean, why has He done this to me? What is the purpose other than torturing me? He knows I have anxiety attacks and need my medicine and structure. But here I am on a pirate ship. I want to believe He’s in control and loves me like I learned about in Sunday School, but it’s really hard at the moment.

<Connie resists messing up her pencils and pats Morgan’s hand instead>

Do you have any advice for those behind you?

Don’t hide in the hold of a replica pirate ship.

Great advice!

What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?

Once, I went wine tasting with some friends and I ended up drinking a half glass of real wine. Yup. I was a wild and crazy girl back then!

If you say so!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Remember when I begged you to get me out of here? Well, it seems this pirate captain has a tiny crush on me and somehow I’ve gotten him in a bit of trouble that might cause his death, so I need to figure out how to save him, so can you hold off alerting those space time multi-dimensional experts until I give the say so?

Morgan, I can assure you (since I still can’t find the multi-dimensional-guy number and their website seems to have been hacked) I will give you all the time you need.

And then some.

MaryLu, I’m sure my readers will want to know how things are going for Morgan—so they can pray for her and all. Can you give us your websites so they can follow her adventures and those of all your other colorful friends?





Google Plus:

Thanks, ladies, for stopping by today. And don’t forget to have your boat—I mean ship—docking ticket validated at the front office.


MLtyndall-Headshot2013Best-selling author MaryLu Tyndall dreamt of pirates and sea-faring adventures during her childhood days on Florida’s Coast. With more than fourteen books published, she makes no excuses for the spiritual themes embedded within her romantic adventures. Her hope is that readers will not only be entertained but will be brought closer to the Creator who loves them beyond measure. In a culture that accepts the occult, wizards, zombies, and vampires without batting an eye, MaryLu hopes to show the awesome present and powerful acts of God in a dying world. A Christy award nominee, MaryLu makes her home with her husband, six children, and several stray cats on the California coast.


The Reckoning

When Morgan Shaw crept into the hold of an old pirate ship replica at San Diego’s Annual Tall Ship Festival, her only intention was to avoid the guy who had just dumped her and who was now boarding the ship with two women on his arm. What she didn’t expect was to wake up aboard a real pirate ship three-hundred years in the past. But of course, it wasn’t real. Her wealthy father had obviously staged it all in an effort to get her mind off her upcoming chemo. Or had he?

Pirate Rowan Dutton seeks enough treasure to repay a debt to his sister and reinstate the Dutton name among British Jamaican Society. He is but one major haul away from accomplishing his goal when a strange woman appears on his ship and causes him to lose his prey. Despite his anger, he is enthralled with the little minx, her strange clothing, odd speech, and her insistence that they are all actors playing a charade paid for by her father.

Yet when the brazen little lady divulges Rowan’s secret to a longtime nemesis, events are triggered that could cost them both their lives and change the course of history forever.

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Vanessa’s Character Picks July 16, 2015

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Vanessa’s Character Picks July 14, 2015

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Take Time for God

“Spend fifteen minutes each day with God this coming week.” The Sunday school teacher challenged her students. “When you first wake up, maybe even before you get dressed, take a few minutes reading Bible verses, listening to your favorite gospel or worship songs while you meditate on your Heavenly Father’s love, or turn to Him in prayer for the needs of others. Share with us next week the difference this makes in your life.”

Jane closed her Bible and bowed for the closing prayer before shuffling down the hall to the sanctuary for morning worship. Could she do it? Fifteen minutes didn’t sound like much time, but sometimes it felt like it. Especially in the mornings when life began pressing for attention. She’d probably have to get up thirty minutes earlier just to be awake enough to concentrate. She shoved the challenge from her mind as morning worship began.

That night, Jane left her CD player on the dresser in her room with a disk of old-time hymns ready to play. She set her alarm clock thirty minutes ahead and slipped into bed a few minutes early to make up for the sleep she’d lose. “I’ll at least try this to see how it works. The Lord knows I’ve been neglecting my time with Him and need to do something.”

When the alarm went off the next morning, Jane smacked the snooze button and rolled over. A groan rose from her throat as her eyes popped open. She sat up and blinked a few times trying to clear her mind and her vision. With a sigh, she rose from bed and dressed then took her Bible to the kitchen table and opened it to Romans. Might as well start at the first chapter.

She set the alarm on her cell phone for fifteen minutes and began reading the introduction from Paul that immediately went into an explanation about God’s Son, Jesus. “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith …”

She read a few more verses, then went back and read them all again, letting the words sink in. She had received grace just as Paul had so long ago. Jesus was for all then and now, every man, woman, and child. She read a little farther and backtracked again. There was so much here in just this first chapter. How had she missed this before? One verse stood out in her mind as she read it several times. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”

The shrill ringing of her phone’s alarm startled her. How could she have spent fifteen minutes on half a chapter? She’d even forgotten her background music. She bowed her head, “Lord, bless the reading of Your word to my heart today. Amen.”

All day at work, her mind drifted to the last phrase in Romans 1:20. “They are without excuse.” She was without excuse. Infractions in her life floated through her mind. Neglect mostly. An unwillingness to help. Such as the cookies she could have baked for the ministry team to take to the nursing home. All she had to do was bake cookies, not spend her time singing and visiting with the elderly who were probably lonely and loved to have company. Was this one of the invisible things of God? Doing her part in His kingdom on earth. Spending fifteen minutes a day in His word. Showing a cheerful face to those around her as a witness of the joy of the Lord. Praying for others. The list could go on and on, and yes, she did know what was right to do. Each person probably had their own list. She was without excuse.

Resolve grew within her heart to continue her time of devotion. Each morning she set her timer for fifteen minutes then spent another several minutes in prayer for others. On Wednesday evening she baked cookies for the ministry team. She couldn’t miss work to go with them, but she could send her love and prayers for those they ministered to.

Sunday morning, Jane arrived at her Sunday school class with a smile on her face and a story to tell. Spending time with God each morning was well worth it.

Matthew 11:28-29 says: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

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Vanessa’s Character Picks July 12, 2015

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