Author Archives: brontebrown2

About brontebrown2

Hi, I'm Rhonda, a mom, grandmother, retired teacher, storyteller, and writer. Storytelling is a natural way to teach. Jesus often told parables to get His message across to the most severe critics. My new passions include writing picture books, maintaining a blog, traveling, photography, and politics. Thanks for visiting!

Rushing Through the Middle

Photo by Ena Marinkovic on Pexels.com

I’ve often read the beginning and end of the book to see how it starts and how it will end. I’ve even put a book back on the shelf if I didn’t like the ending. I’ve rushed through the middle of a book and stayed up all night just to get to the end.

Life before 18 seemed like an eternity. I couldn’t wait to be 18. Oh, the joy of being 18 again and the wisdom to know what to do with it. ( I would stop rushing around like a grasshopper and never looking up…God’s description of man.) It seems I’ve been in the middle all my life as:

  • The middle child
  • Middle of the sandwich generation
  • Center of my family negotiating
  • Middle-grade teacher
  • Middle of mid-life crisis

Even in retirement, I am still in the middle of my husband’s surgeries. I guess life is really lived in the middle. The best part of any book or life is in the middle: happy moments, life events, friendships new and old, and life. Life is lived in the middle of whatever stage you are in.

So, my advice to myself is to slow down and make sure I’m walking in the middle with Jesus. It will be messy but a much better story with Him in it.

Isaiah 40: 26 Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number. He call them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing.

I’m an like a star, in the middle of His creation and I am not missing. I am not missing in the middle of a messy life. Jesus is stuck in the middle with you…and me.

Deborah: She was a prophet, warrior and Judge.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

Deborah, in the Old Testament, was known for her wisdom and courage. Many Israelites sought her ruling on matters.

She was respected and valued as a Judge.

She was a prophet, able to hear God’s voice.

She was a warrior. Barak would only go to battle if she came.

What is my takeaway?

First, be obedient to God’s Word. Calling out sin is not hate. It is telling the truth. Know God’s word and be ready to answer. Deborah was prepared.

Second, stand firm in your convictions even when you don’t have all the answers. My part is to speak the truth; the Holy Spirit draws the person to Jesus. People sought her ruling and knew her to be wise and fair.

Third, be courageous and don’t waiver in your faith. Today more than ever, we need to stand in our faith and take back our country.

Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

The Eyes of a Dyslexic Child By RL Brown (WC 190)

My brain hurts.
My eyes won’t work.
I can’t read anymore.
Why do letters move?
Be still, so I can read you.			
Yet, I hear the letters whisper-
Don’t give up.

Jumbled Words.
Letters flip and flop. 
Then they jump and hop.
Why do letters move?
Be still, so I can see you.
Still, I hear the letters whisper. 
Say my name.

Grumbled Sounds,
And mumbled tones, 
Never sounding the same.
WHY do letters move?
Be still, so I can hear you.
Then I hear the letters whisper-
Blend the sounds.


Teacher, Teacher!
The letters are moving!
No, no, that’s in your head.
Why do letters move?
Be still, YOU!
Now, I hear the letters whisper-
Concentrate. 

Taking Test
Orally, I’m best.
I can’t print on the test.
Why do letters move?
Be still, so I can write you.
Scared, I hear the letters whisper-
Yes, you can. 

Read aloud!
Nervous mistakes,			
Makes my insides quake. 
Why do letters move?
Be still, so no one laughs at me. 
Wow, I hear the letters shout. 
Keep on going. 

Every day,
my teacher says,
“You’re reading better today!”
“Why did letters move?”
Not anymore! 
I hear the letters shout, hooray!
I’m reading today. 

Rex hated to read aloud. Words skipped, tripped and stumbled over his tongue like jabbering gibberish. Flustered, Rex stopped.

Susie loved to read aloud. Her words glided in seamless syllables of streaming sounds. Her correctness rattled Rex. 
 
Susie closed the book. Torrents of confusion ceased; his heart sank in horrible comparison.  Susie can read and he cannot. 

Rex wished he could slash words off all the pages. Then there would be no more letters picking at his brain. The pages would be silent like listening to quiet rain.

(WIP)
Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

Brokenness: Where does it begin?

Photo by Bruno Pires on Pexels.com

The blame for the girl wielding a knife attempting to kill another girl doesn’t begin with the officer taking her life. It started long before she ended up in a foster home full of defiance, anger, and a disregard for life. For her, it began at home.

Long, long before God created the church or established Israel as a nation, before cities, God established the family as the basic unit of society. Parenting is one of the most demanding and most rewarding jobs ever. It is where we teach the love of self and others. It begins at home.

No parent is perfect, and even when you think you’re doing your best, things still go wrong. Missing subtle signs of depression, bullying at school, a child’s desire to be liked, willingness to sacrifice their (or your) values to succeed but then realized it costs them their soul. Parental conversation, church, counselors were still no help. It’s still the parent’s responsibility. It was mine.

Today we live in a world that flaunts Christian values as outdated, ridiculous, and even judgmental of others. The plumb line of Truth for the world has moved gradually in the seventies to drastically today. Raising a child amid that change can leave one blinded. Hind-sight has that glorious 20-20 vision.

Moving away from God’s design for the family, away from the families’ umbrella of protection, using the world’s plumb line for truth is the path to brokenness. There are many ways that brokenness enters our life and will whether or not we’re Christian. Healing comes by trusting God to mend our brokenness.

Familiarity with the gospel

Familiarity with the gospel often keeps us from seeing the Glory of God. Sometimes we search for things that tickle our ears instead of trusting God’s Word. If we don’t dig our roots deep, then we are caught off guard by subtle deceptions.

Colossians 2:9 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world rather than according to Christ.

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sward, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Voddie Baucham, the black-white divide is not a real divide that God established. God’s Word will take care of the false divide that men create. Tenants of Critical Race Theory: First, that racism is everywhere. White people are incapable of righteous action (convergence theory), Antifa liberalism rejects objectivity or enlightens knowledge, and knowledge is socially constructed. They say listen to them, not God. Listen to their stories and not the truth.

But facts are relevant to truth.

The Bible is sufficient for everyone, -red and yellow, black and white. Feelings are not the arborator of truth. God’s Word is the plumb-line for Truth. I have many brothers and sisters in Christ of many colors, and ethnic backgrounds, from around the world.

People need to be delivered from sin not liberation theology. Marxism is a death trap.

Permission to Love Your Soul like the Soil Loves the Tree.

Photo by RL Brown, Edinburg, Scotland

How many times have you started your day like you were already behind? Your list of things to do is long, necessary, and mundane. You have pulled up into the driveway on auto-drive and didn’t pick up the milk. In the Bible, there is a reference to people being like grasshoppers. The grasshoppers never lookup.

Maybe today, you take a long way home and slow down, knowing your destination will always be there. Raising a family is for the long haul, but you are here right now. Give yourself permission to enjoy the ride, take time to look at your moments, write them down.

Love your soul like the soil loves the tree and gives it all the space it needs. (That is not my metaphor. It is by Dovan Beck, my niece, Chloe sent it to me through FB) I’m borrowing his metaphor with a different application.

Colossians 2:6 speaks of being rooted in faith, growing in knowledge, and overflowing with gratitude- one faith, one hope, one Lord.

Colossians 2:6: Having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed and overflowing with gratitude.

God’s Word is the soil where we root our faith. The soil (God Word) loves the tree (me) and gives the tree (you and me) all the space it needs to grow. Give yourself permission to look up and take the rest your soul needs.

Pressure

Photo by RL Brown, Niagara Falls

I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

I have learned life consequences can take you beyond your emotional ability to handle, especially if it involves family and their decisions that cost so much. Grief and sadness are natural and break the heart in two. Tears well up, and loss overwhelms and hopes dashed. These emotions are overwhelming and indisputable, know that. But also know that God’s heart for you is real.

God intends me to place my faith in His Word and not in the caboose of my emotions. The engine is God’s Word, and my faith is like coal that I put in the engine. Faith in God’s Word is putting your trust in Him, not your feelings.

I said to a friend one day, if I were writing the Bible, I would leave out a bunch of David’s sins or wiping out nations, but then I would not have seen the depth of David’s torment, his hurt —his return to God and a relationship restored.

Now that is a wow! God loved David and He loves me too, even when I doubt.

In Romans 5 describes a sequence of growth. Tribulations brings about perseverance, and perseverance, proven character and proven character, hope: and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hears through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

A Gentle Spirit Within by RL Brown

Will, I created you with a free will to know Me or not,” say God.

“It is my choice,” says Will.

Yes.

 I can choose.

Truth weathers time with no variation. You can trust it.

How can I be sure?

I created time for you to know Me.

Why free will?

During your time here, you have with-in you the capacity to love and not hate; to experience joy and peace, not to stir discord; to develop patience and grit as you overcome anger and idleness; to show kindness, not intolerance or selfishness; to have a heart filled with goodness, not meanness; to have a gentleness of speech with others; and to grow in discipline and self-control as you hone your mind. 

I created all that’s within you.

I have all that inside me, cool.

YES.

Hello, God, I’m Will. 

Pollinizers

By RL Brown (WC 147)

Brontebrown2 GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

GIF for Spring Fling 2021/ Designed in GIPHY.com / excerpt from RasulRaumaVideo

The little things that run the world 
with silent beats, their wings unfurl. 
As ambrosia seekers,
they're nature's keepers. 
Spreading golden pearls as they twirl. 

Susie and Becca, friends since birth, 
stretch their roots in fertile earth. 
Butterflies frolic and play.
When finding nectar, they stay. 
Rudbeckia’s titter reveals their mirth. 

Bees love blossoms of purple and red, 
and wildflowers mix with anther thread. 
Lavender flowers are pure and sweet.
Honeybees make a delicate treat.   
Non-hybrid blossoms yield the best spread. 

Sweet aromas attract this flying jewel. 
Hummingbirds need to constantly refuel. 
They search for fragrant flowers, 
to feed every three hours. 
Territorial, these feisty birds duel. 

Trees need pollinators for apples and cherries, 
also for drupes like peaches and raspberries. 
Hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies 
toil diligently under blue skies. 
They sweeten our world with bountiful berries. 

Pollinizers-
The little things that run the world. 

Picture Books for Today

Today’s picture book market is very different from when I was a child. The book market is more selective. There exits an underlying pc culture. Very few publishers like in the past take direct submissions from new authors. So now you have written a children’s book, but does it cut the mustard (meet current standards)? 

The first step is to compare your book to what’s currently written. Go to your library and read. Read in your genre, then read books out of your genre. But read current books. Water is Water by Miranda Paul is a perfect example of a nonfiction narrative that varies vastly from the expository/factual nature of picture books in the past. Books like I Talk Like a River explore the world of a stutter and address personal issues that kids face beyond friendship or bullying. So, read and find your mentor texts. 

The second step is to know your craft before sending the query letter. Editors and agents get so many manuscripts that if they are not near perfect, they toss them. It’s like a resume filled with grammatical errors or false information. Research your agent, editor, or publishers. Make sure they are open to submissions in your genre. 

The third step is to use the tools at hand. Microsoft Word has a review function that reads your work out loud. Use Grammarly or one such program to edited your work. Don’t pay someone like I did to take the extra space from behind the period when you can do it yourself. Crtl A copies, and Crtl H brings up a dialog box to make edits all at once. 

Lastly, participate in a good critique group. Not an online, never see your face type but a Zoom group. It makes people accountable for what they say and why. A picture book must allow the reader to see for themselves what you are trying to say, not telling them what you think. For young readers, you are helping to develop their imagination. A mind free to think will imagine, reason, and then decide to act. (My synopsis line from a CS Lewis study with Hillsdale college.)

I will end by saying I had made every newbie mistake in the book by sending my manuscript out before it was ready. Take your time, learn the process, research, get your work ready, then submit.