Tuesday, September 10, 2019

An Alert and an Update to My Book

I received an interesting email yesterday, supposedly from our interim pastor who is resigning his post, and then leaving for three months to travel in Europe. Since his last day was Monday, it wasn't too odd that he requested help.

When asking how to help, the response was to purchase two $100 gift cards that he wanted to give, but had no time to buy himself. Okay, that could be plausible, but then the request was to acquire the PIN on the cards and email them to him. BINGO! Scam alert!

I, and a number of other members of the congregation immediately realized this was phishing. My main concern, however, was for those who may have received the obviously hacked email, and could possibly fall victim to the scam. Of course, the pastor immediately sent out an email to those he thought most likely to receive the bogus correspondence. but my name wasn't on it so I know there must have been many others who received the email as well. I tried to alert anyone I knew, but I'm now making this scam more public.

On a good note, I just ordered a proof copy of my next book, and if all goes well I'll be able to order actual books within two weeks, and it will be available on Amazon as soon as I am okay with the proof. I'm pleased with the content of 80 stories compiled into 241 pages, and grateful to all who shared their experiences. That required courage for contributors, even if it were only to credit their story with initials rather than full name. After all, the name of the book identifies what most of us believe about our own experiences―If It Hadn't Happened to Me...

Monday, August 26, 2019

God Winks and Contents

I love the idea of God winks. These are the little coincidences that are so bizarre, they appear to be more than just something random. It makes me happy to think I am being watched over, and sometimes even saved from my human self.

There have been many times it was good that I didn't receive what I wanted. And there were also times it was good I had no power over a result...because I was wrong. Not surprisingly, I love stories which speak to those matters. For that reason, it isn't difficult to guess the type of stories included in If It Hadn't Happened to Me. 

To give you a taste of what is included in my forthcoming book, the Table of Contents tentatively include chapter headings as Contact from Beyond, Premonitions and Knowing, Urges and Nudges, Seeing and Hearing What's Not Rational, Feeling out of Body, Odd Phenomena and Occurrences, Hearing the Voice of God (and Others).

As previously mentioned, in writing the book, I was not interested in the occult or anything scary. The idea was simply to show our connectivity with one another and our very being. I think I succeeded, but as with all things, I think the book will go where God wants it to go!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Rest of the Story

I promised to post the rest of the story from my forthcoming book, If It Hadn't Happened to Me, and that follows below. Thus far, everything is going well with the schedule to publish on Amazon in September.

As you may recall, my intent was to show a connectivity between God's creatures, especially between humans. In writing this book, I found some very unusual and unexpected corroborative experiences as well as some that ranged from simple to a bit bazaar. Another discovery was that I am almost surprised now when someone says they have never had any kind of urging, premonition, or unexplained story to share, but we are all different in what we think, believe, or perceive. So, without further ado, here is the rest of my story with the last paragraph from the previous blog re-posted:

  Then, less than two weeks after losing Steve, I began noticing a particular scent. It really was more like an odor because it was exactly like the smell in his hospital room—a mixture of sterile hygiene and a body shutting down. It was very distinct.
  I tried to ignore the scent initially, but then began to notice how it came at different times and in different places in my home. I actually wondered if my mind was playing tricks on me. Finally I determined it was not; it was just too odd and consistent to ignore.
  I’m not someone who can think of a particular smell and then seemingly smell it so it was difficult to dismiss. I also wondered, if this were Steve making contact, why he didn’t pick something more pleasant such as the aroma of gingerbread we used to make. I finally guessed the chosen smell was more poignant and tried to “request” it when I really needed to feel Steve’s presence, but it never came. It only “appeared” when unexpected. Gradually, the scent became less frequent, and by the time I needed to move to another location 11 months later, it had been gone for months.
  It was difficult to leave the home Steve and I built and shared for 26 years. Our children grew up in the house, and Steve had engaged in so many big and little improvement projects over the years including landscaping, building a patio off the deck, and remodeling our entire kitchen. Leaving our home was like losing a piece of him again.
  When the last of our possessions were given away or moved to my new residence, I was very sad. As I got into bed that first night in my new townhome, I cried. And then I smelled the scent. I believe Steve let me know that he had moved with me. – The Author

Monday, August 12, 2019

Excerpt from If It Hadn’t Happened to Me

As promised, I've included another excerpt from my forthcoming book, If It Hadn't Happened to Me. This time, I'm sharing the first part of a story about my own experience.

In future blogs, I will give you a glimpse of the Table of Contents, and maybe a few more snippets from the book. I am grateful to the many contributors who made this collaborative work an interesting source of proof that there is still much unknown and greater than us in the universe.

The Scent

My soulmate and husband spent his last 10 days in the hospital succumbing to the cancer that had attacked his body for two and a half years. It was the worst experience of my life, but it was also a time of serious discussion. I finally had to face facts that my future would not include the man I loved most in the world, but that still did not stop me from praying for a miracle. 

During those 10 days, we spoke about everything − from how he wanted me to continue living to what happens next when someone dies. Like many people desperate not to lose someone so precious, I asked him to make contact with me if at all possible, and he promised he would. 

After losing him, I was devastated. I sat on the edge of my bed and stared straight ahead for what seemed like hours. I wailed and could find no peace. After a few days, I finally gave up hope that he would ever be able to make contact with me, except for one very strange dream. 

I was conscious of dreaming when the dream was suddenly interrupted. Steve appeared, completely devoid of any background. I was surprised and said, “Honey, you look so good.” No more was the gaunt face of illness and the ravaged effects of cancer on his body. He smiled and replied, “Vicki, I’m well,” and then he was gone, letting my dream resume. His appearance wasn’t like any dream I’d ever had, and it made me think of Biblical accounts where a prophet might have a vision within a dream. I just hoped it was real.

Then, less than two weeks after losing Steve, I began noticing a particular scent. It really was more like an odor because it was exactly like the smell in his hospital room – a mixture of sterile hygiene and a body shutting down. It was very distinct. (more to come...)

Monday, July 29, 2019

A Taste of ...

I believe we are put on this earth to care for one another − plain and simple, that is
our purpose. After all, Jesus emphasized and commanded his disciples to "love one another." 

The connectivity in knowing Jesus, bonded his followers to each other, just as I think there is a great deal of proof of our own connectivity with all humanity. The strange things that happen to many of us are part of that proof, and why my book, If It Hadn't Happened to Me, was written. (It should be published in September). 

In my last blog, I promised a glimpse of the contents in my future articles. Following is from the Author's Note section: 

When I decided to write this book, I requested stories only from trusted individuals whom I knew, or from others who were trusted by those individuals. Some of the stories are from fellow authors who have previously written about their experiences, and some are from the most unlikely sources − people I never really expected to respond. What I also discovered in requesting stories is, even many of those who had not had experiences to relate, often knew stories about other people who had. And there were some who never encountered or knew of anyone who had experienced such events, yet were still open to and believed such things happen.

It was also interesting that some people had only one story to tell and others had many. Strangely, one of those individuals said she had once read these types of “unbelievable” experiences run in families. With a few submissions in this book, that seems to be correct, but due to respect for anonymity, I can’t disclose which writers are related.

As a final note, I appreciate the willingness of all who shared their stories with me for this book. There are accounts where the reader may still question the validity of what someone wrote, but that is the point of the book. Those who shared their experiences, too, would not have believed what happened if it hadn’t happened to them.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Week 15 - The Final Week

This week has no assignment or suggestion because you have hopefully begun your own journey to make this world a better place. By now, you should also see how easy it is to do, but it does take a concerted effort to do something daily.

It's easy to go through life, rather than living it. The first part means that we don't make a difference; the second part is what allows us to affect change for the better. If our attitude each day is positive with a desire to make this world better, we will do it. That's where the journal comes in by helping us to track our progress toward that goal, and make sure we do it each and every day.

You should now also see what you do doesn't require anything on the epic scale, cost a lot of money, or even time. It's easy. You just have to do it (apologies to Nike).

Next week, I'll post some excerpts from my book, If It Hadn't Happened to Me. I'll also give updates on another book I'm finishing which will be published first, and information regarding two stories which will appear in two Chicken Soup for the Soul books due out in September and October. (And by the way, I count much of what I write toward my personal goal to make this world a better place.)

A few of my journal entries this week: Wrote 3 condolences to families who lost loved ones (I always include a personal note in a card and try to mention something positive about the deceased)*, checked on a friend who was home from the hospital, and helped another friend with a project. 

*My book, Simple Things to Make This World a Better Place, lists more than 20 things you can do for someone who has lost a loved one as well as other ways to help in other circumstances.. "If there is anything I can do" is a kind offer, but it's more meaningful when you can actually do something without being asked. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Week 14 to Make This World a Better Place

This is number 14 of my articles to make this world a better place, and I want to give you just a few more ideas to do while you vacation or enjoy a "staycation." (And by the way, you can type, for example, "staycation kansas city" into your computer's search engine, and it will give you a multitude of things to do. It works for other major cities too.)

While on vacation or taking a staycation:
  • If you need to pay to park at events or amusement parks, pay for the car behind you as well
  • If you receive extra coupons or booklets with things to do, leave unused or extras with the hotel front desk, or leave where other tourists might find them
  • Shop local stores as much as possible many depend upon tourism to keep them in business
  • If you have two-for-one price tickets, and only need 3, go ahead and get 4 so you can gift it to someone in line
  • If you stay at a hotel, leave a tip each day as there are often different people providing the daily service to your room
  • Make a point to engage in conversation with a local resident. This could be the waitress at the restaurant, theme park security, etc. Learning about and showing interest in your location can be beneficial to you and lets those who serve you feel more important
  • If you ask about places to go, see, or do, take the advice and then let the individual who made the recommendation know you enjoyed the experience
  • Put a bag in your vehicle for trash and then dispose of it in a proper receptacle
  • If you bought a book to read and finish it, leave it in a conspicuous place for someone else to pick up and enjoy. (You might want to put a note on it, or make a note visibly apparent inside to say it's free)
  • Offer to share sunscreen if someone doesn't have any
 These are just some simple ideas that you can do most anywhere. Summer makes it easier to be outside and enjoy nature, events, and to interact with our fellowman. Let's make ours and their world a little better place!

A few things from my journal this week: Helped a few individuals write their stories for inclusion in my next book; checked on a friend recently out of the hospital and offered her rides to the doctor, etc.; shared information with a neighbor to prevent her from being assessed a fine for a Home Owner Association (HOA) violation; and gave stickers (from a junk mail solicitation) to friends for their granddaughter.