Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Empty Space

No, I’m not going to talk about what’s between my ears. I’m going to talk about outer space, or better yet, the universe. Notice I didn’t capitalize the word universe because that is a pet peeve of mine. What on earth am I talking about?

It saddens me when I hear people talk about getting signs from the universe or stopping to listen to what the universe is telling them. The word universe is just another name for the vast outer space and all the contents therein. “The universe” is not capable of reason or love. It didn’t create you in its image. It didn’t die on a cross for you or resurrect from the dead. It can’t forgive your sins and it can’t get you into Heaven.
“I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me,” Isaiah 45:5 (NIV)

Don’t let the world confuse you. The universe is not a god, but it was created by One .

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cows in Texas

Being a Tennessee girl, I have been raised with many colorful southern “sayings.” I will on occasion discuss these clever phrases and how they relate to the bible.

   My mother has a southern saying for almost every occasion. Now, before we go any further, let me say that my mother is a “big cut-up.” She loves to have fun and make people laugh, but she also has a big heart. She tries to help people and she’s raised me to do what is right versus what I want to do or not do.

   So, if you ever hear my mother say, “If it hair-lips every cow in Texas!” you better watch out. Yes she is making a joke, but she is also being very serious. She will do what needs to be done and she’s not afraid to do it. At this point, you better get out of her way.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1(NIV)
   Awesome verse! Talk about the invincible power of God. When you lean on Him, you tap into His strength. Don’t be afraid to do His will and do what He commands you to do or not do. The ones who need to be afraid are the ones trying to discourage and/or stop you. They won’t succeed, even “If it hair-lips every cow in Texas!”
*by the way, we’re from East Tennessee, but I think Texas has many more cows than we do.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kathy Cretsinger 's "Callie's Mountian" Interview

I’m so excited to have an interview with my friend Kathy about the release of her new book, Callie’s Mountain.
When did you fist realize your calling to write?
I’ve wanted to write since in elementary school. I didn’t have any idea how to go about it until I met a friend who was an author. She showed me I could write, and helped me with the process of getting started.

What inspired you to write Callie’s Mountain?
The story of the Melungeon people has been dear to me for a long time. They were so mistreated by the white people. I guess I feel for the downtrodden people. I’d much rather write about people who are lifted up from the depths of hurt.
We were researching our family tree, along with my cousin’s husband. He found information about our family that we had not heard of before. Believe me, it was a wild family. With his discovery, we realized we had Melungeon blood in our veins, from my father’s mother. My father and his siblings bore distinct characteristics of the Melungeon race. I tried to use native Melungeon names in the book, but it isn’t about anyone in particular.

Writing Callie’s Mountain has been quite a journey for you. Do you care to talk about it?Callie’s Mountain has had a lot of starts and stops. The book has been with me, and a part of my life, for seven years. I started writing for therapy after my father’s death. I wrote off and on while caring for my mother. Callie wouldn’t let me alone, and I continued to write.
There have been a lot of discouragements, mostly from agents and publishers. We all have them if we desire to write. I have persevered. It’s made me a better person and a better writer.

What is Callie’s Mountain about? What time period is it set in? What makes it stand out?Callie’s Mountain is set in the hills of Tennessee, around Rogersville, in 1798. It is a love and hate story. Callie’s father tells her he has arranged a marriage for her with Jacob McGinnis. She’s never met him, and she rebels. First on her agenda is to teach school. Then she wants to find her “own true love.” The wagon train they are traveling across the mountains in is attacked by three strange men, the first introduction of the Melungeons. Jacob runs them off, but it doesn’t impress Callie.
She becomes close to one Melungeon family, and teaches them to read and write. The store owner raised prices when he sells anything to the Melungeon. He is killed by Indians, who he also cheated, before they have a chance to approach him with their knowledge.
There are Indian attacks, Callie likes Jacob, then doesn’t. I think there’s a lot of action.
To me the story of the Lost Race, the Melungeons, makes it stand out. Very few books have been written about these people and I want them to be portrayed as the sweet, wonderful people they are.

What about your new publishing company Mantle Rock?
When I was having trouble being published, my dear friend and author, Sandi Rog, encouraged me to start my own company and self-publish. My husband, Jerry, and I decided this was the way publication was going. It’s hard to be published in a large publishing company. It takes years to see your book in print. Mantle Rock Publishing can publish your book for you with no cost to you, and in months instead of years. The only thing we ask is you have it edited before it comes to us. We want a perfect manuscript. We can then have it printed on Kindle and in paperback. You will receive a commission when the book is sold. We will also help you market your book by helping you with blogs, interviews, and other ways of marketing. Of course, you have to do a lot of the leg work. Callie’s Mountain is being printed now in paperback. If anyone has other questions, they can contact me at kathycret at yahoo dot com.

What other releases do you have coming out?Susannah’s Hope is scheduled to be released in January, 2013. Susannah is a brat in Callie’s Mountain. She goes through a lot of changes in the beginning of the story. She takes a complete 360 turn when her father dies and she is left to manage the store. Dr. Val Minor befriends her. There are no Indian attacks, but a smallpox epidemic. This book also involves mixed marriages between Melungeon and Caucasian. It really happened in that time.
After that is Emily’s Faith. Emily is the daughter of Callie and Jacob McGinnis. This will involve the Trail of Tears and be set in Hopkinsville, KY. After all, I live in Kentucky now and the Trail of Tears is part of our area. It is also a love story between Emily and a part Melungeon man. I think it will be a sad book to write because of all the things that happened to the Cherokee Indians. I am enjoying the research.
In the fall, I hope to finish Gilded Winter. I may change the name to Golden Winter. Haven’t decided yet. It’s set in 1908 on Jekyll Island. It’s the end of the Gilded Era, and Jekyll was a winter haven for the rich. It’s about four employees on the island. It’s a little lighter book than the Melungeon stories.
After that, I have several running around in my head. I pray God lets me live long enough to tell them.
A lot of the process of my writing is on my blog, My website should be up soon. It will be I also write another blog for teen girls. I invite you to stop by You may also check out Mantel Rock Publishing at Thanks Brooke for having me on your blog. I’ve enjoyed being here. Thank you to the readers who have taken time to read the blog. I pray you will enjoy my humble endeavors to tell my story.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


     30 years ago in last April, I saw the best fireworks display ever!! I saw my future husband Tim for the first time. Here’s a little surprise, I knew I was going to meet him before I met him.
     At the start of my junior year in high school, God told me three things. I was going to have somebody who was to be very special to me, I didn’t know him yet, and I was going to the prom with him. Every time I went out with somebody, one of the conditions was not met. By the spring of 1982, my junior year was almost over and I hadn’t met anybody to fit all three of God’s conditions.
     Did I misunderstand God? Was I being silly romantic teenager? When I least expected it, I met Tim. From the first moment I looked into his big green eyes, he had my heart. It was as if God whispered in my ear, “This is the one I was telling you about.” He meet all of God's onditions and more! Three years later on October 12, 1985, I married Tim, the man God chose especially for me.
     I want to dedicate the following verse to the man who is the love of my life, my husband, and my best friend.

Song of Songs 5:10-16 (NIV)
“My beloved is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand.
His head is purest gold; his hair is wavy and black as a raven.
His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels.
His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh.
His arms are rods of gold set with topaz. His body is like polished ivory decorated with lapis lazuli.
His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars.
His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Stringin’ and Breakin’

    I’m a farm girl who’s not a farm girl. Seriously! I was raised on my grandfather’s farm and I didn’t fit in at all. I didn’t want anything to do with any farming except for stringin’ and breakin.’
Stringin’ and breakin’ what you may ask? Green beans of course.

    After the beans were picked, my family and I would sit together to string and break them. It was a    wonderful time for many reasons. My family was together laughing and talking. If it was during the day, we’d sit in the carport. Sometimes the wind would blow a gentle cooling breeze. Other times, we’d plug in the fan. It was still nice. If it was night, we’d pile in front of the TV and watch family shows like Andy Griffith and the Beverly hillbillies.

“This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:2 (NKJV)

    Too bad I didn’t realize how special that time was or how short it would be. Too bad I didn’t realize what a blessing everything was; from the beans to my family. Stop and thank God for what He has given you. Rejoice in the day the Lord has made.