Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday Whimsy - Can You Believe This?


Lilybits, not large, but back in charge.
Can You Believe This?
Mom has lots of silly nicknames for me. Sweetie Pea (blech!), Peanut butter Cup (really?), Lil-a (closer to my name, okay), Baby Girl (don't mind too much) and Munchkin (because of my little stature). Did you know there really is a Munchkin cat breed, though? And I am not one of them! They have stubby legs. My legs are long and graceful, well, sort of.

Here’s a video about Munchkin cats. It’s a wonder they can get in and out of a litter box.








On a totally different subject, I’m sure the maker of “Simon’s Cat” saw me try to wake up my adopted mom and dad one morning. Hee hee. This cat has his priorities straight. Wake up and feed the cat first . . . and nobody gets hurt.






Posts to look forward to coming up on Wednesday Whimsy (not necessarily in this order):

The Kitten Chronicles – More news from my Siberian cousin on kitten life in Minnesota.

An interview with Toby, Patty Wysong’s monkey!

Book review for Rachel, by Jill Eileen Smith.

What silly nicknames do you have for your pets? And what do they think of them?
Please share!






Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Motivation - Becoming a More Productive Writer


"Secrets" to Becoming a More Productive Writer


What is the secret to becoming a more productive writer? (Tweet this.) 

1) Make it a priority to make time for writing.

2) Write.

Let me restate that: Find what works best for you and show up for your writing appointment. Write.

Not much of a secret, you say? No, but it’s what you have to experience on your own.

As I’ve taken time, especially this year, to find out what is keeping me from becoming more productive, I’ve learned some things about myself. In all my years of family life, caring for my husband, children and parents, I set writing time on a pedestal as some unattainable, ethereal reward from another realm. It became something I didn’t deserve to do, because I had to get everything else. Done. First. I felt somehow if I didn’t I was being selfish.

Yet every time I heard a sermon on the Parable of the Talents, where the frightened servant buries the money given to him, I would wonder if that’s what I was doing with my writing. God gave me a desire, a love for stories and words, which I put on hold, and sometimes rightly so, but sometimes out of fear. I feared not writing something perfect, not being good enough. I feared what others thought.

There are times and seasons, but there are also moments we can seize—times when husbands can watch children for a couple of hours on a weekend, when we could leave early for work and write for a half hour at a coffee shop on the way to work. If you’re a homeschooling mom, as I was, what about taking a half hour at lunchtime while the kids read on their own or watch an educational video to do some writing or just some brainstorming on your own? If this is what God has given you to do, it’s all right to give yourself permission to take the time and enjoy it.

I had to learn to give myself permission to enjoy my writing, whether it was good or bad. I am still working and struggling through this, not allowing my perfectionism to slow me down or keep me from sitting down and writing. But one thing I have learned over these last few weeks of purposefully making new goals and attempting to follow through, I am making better progress, because I am planning for it. I’m not waiting for it to happen. Some. Day.

Last week, I decided to take the challenge my friend gave me not to check email
or social media before I reached my word count. I started the week with a 1,000 per day word goal and ended with a 500 a day word goal. I lost my resolve and started checking email when I thought it was important or at least after 500 words. Sigh.

However, I made it to 3500+ words last week. Yay! This week, I will have some research, editing and rewriting to do, but I am hoping to at least reach this word count. I will be happy to reach between 500 and 1000 new words each day, so we’ll see.

My advice to you: Start small with a goal you can attain. (Tweet this.) Can you put aside two hours this week to do research for a story you’re writing? Can you make a goal to write 500 words each day? 250 words? Can you set aside five days to do some writing? Three days? One day? It’s okay, no matter how big or how small, make it a goal you will strive for and achieve. Then show up, write and rejoice in the progress you are making!

What are you working on that you would like to make progress on this week? What are your goals? Please share!

Writing Prompt:  Sunshine on a cold winter’s day makes me feel . . .





Saturday, February 22, 2014

Saturday Spiritual Uplift - Be the Sheep

Be the Sheep

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. (Psalm 23:1-2, NLT)

Psalm 23 gives us such a lovely pastoral scene. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, who takes care of His children as though they are sheep. The sheep’s instincts are to flock together, especially toward the center of the herd to stay safe. Out alone, by itself, the sheep doesn’t have much defense against preying animals.

I can’t imagine a safer place to be than by the Good Shepherd where He leads. Jesus desires to lead His children into a peaceful place in the meadow. As a sheep, wouldn’t it be great to nibble on the cool green grass and rest there instead of pushing our way to the center of the flock for protection? We can trust Him to watch over us. He desires to have His sheep be refreshed in peaceful waters, not dangerous rapids. How often do I want to run ahead and deal with things on my own, not considering that He has a better way for me?

If I want the Good Shepherd to lead me, I need to follow Him. I must trust and rest in Him. That’s where I can feed on His Word and drink in His living presence. Some days I feel like I’m growing closer than others. I am thankful Jesus will never leave me or forsake me, even when I’m not the smartest sheep in the bunch!

Father, lead me closer to You through your Son. Without You I am nothing. Thank you for your unfailing love and mercies every day. Help me to trust in your presence and guidance one day at a time. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wednesday Whimsy - News for Mom's Book!


I’m keeping this post short today, because I am busy napping a lot. I’m not feeling well. Sniff. Cough. I have an upper regulatory inflection—no, that’s not it. I have an under reparatory infection. That’s not it either! Oh bother! I think I’ll just call it a “kitty cold.” And I’m still getting over it. My regular vet was out of town, so I got to go to the Country Cat Hospital. Really, I did! Mom’s been holding out on me. They were so nice to me there and fussed over me . . . the way I should be fussed over. Ahem. Anyway, I do have an announcement to make today for Mom:

Brave New Century is being featured at eReader News Today . . . this week! The four inspirational urban historical romance novellas are bargain priced at  $0.99 for
Kindle!

Read more about the book below:

Brave New Century

Inspirational historical romance from Prism Book Group
Stories of four young women who are braving challenges at the dawn of the 20th century in the big city. Will they overcome their hardships and find love?

Three Rings for Alice by Lisa Lickel
Love and respect in 1899 Milwaukee is as close as a phone call.

Forgiven by Paula Mowery
When Henry and Jessie meet it seems to be classic love at first sight until a shocking revelation tears them apart.

The Pocket Watch by Kathleen Rouser
Searching for the past an orphan and a young doctor find love for  the future.

                          Flames of Hope by Teena Stewart


Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday Motivation - More Write Prioritizing



More Write Prioritizing

Household chores are done, check. Laundry placed in dryer, check. Seated comfortably in recliner, check. Homemade low-fat caramel latte sitting on the end table at my side, check. Cat sleeping on lap, check. Flames are dancing in the fireplace and music is playing on the radio. My circumstances are now just right for my daily writing appointment. However, why don’t I just check my email and get it out of the way first? Then I won’t be curious if anyone has replied about something important. Well, then I should answer another email, write a little, read a blog, make a comment, recommend the article on Twitter and Google +, write a little more, hit like on friends’ Facebook statuses . . . Oh look, it’s nearly time to make dinner.

Now my two hours of uninterrupted, productive writing time has become 45 minutes. My ten in the morning writing appointment didn’t start until 2:30 p.m. But  it only took a couple of minutes to check my email, right? Wrong! While I do admit to truly being present for my writing appointment three times last week and being fairly productive during those times, it certainly made me look more closely at what I am truly doing with my writing time. I sure am easily distracted!

A successful author friend of mine encouraged me to make writing even more of a priority. She challenged me not to even check email or any social media before I write until I hit a set daily word count. Hmm . . . Or I’m thinking, at least hit goals for the day, whether it’s finishing an outline or a chapter.

This week’s goal is to move writing time to the next priority after time with the Lord and a little exercise. I don’t have to have everything perfect first. The dust bunnies aren’t going anywhere!

I do miss the days of physically having to plug in the modem to be on the Internet, though. Yes, I can turn the connection off while I write, but distractions are only a mouse-click away. What about you—how do you unplug from the Internet and social media while you write? Please share in the comment section below!

This week’s writing prompt: The first time I went to see a movie in the theater I . . .

Enjoy the walk down memory lane today!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday Spiritual Uplift - Just Rest


Just Rest

 After Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt to Mt. Sinai, God gave his people a set of commandments to live by. The fourth one began like this: “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God . . . “  Having been slaves for so long, they must have rejoiced that they were commanded to take a day off from their physical labor.

Today’s world never sleeps, let alone rest. With a global marketplace and connectivity made possible by electronic communication, someone somewhere is always working. It’s too easy to stay constantly connected. Even on days off, there are emails, Facebook and Twitter feeds to check, people to text and work to do. Smart phones are almost too smart for our good!

I’m not actually picking on the connectivity the Internet, laptops, pads and smart phones have made possible. Used with boundaries, they are wonderful tools. But what I want to compare it to is my own constant thought patterns. It’s so easy for me to think about things I can’t change, worry about the future, about loved ones, etc. Sometimes there is a panic going on in my brain worthy of comparison to global connectivity!

Instead, I need to be giving that panic, the things I am worrying about and can’t fix to the One who is in control. The Lord Jesus Christ said to a weary Jewish people, under the oppression of the Romans, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29, NLT)

My focus needs to be on Him, sharing my thoughts and feelings, giving the Father my worries on a daily or moment by moment basis, leaving them with Him and having the rest and peace He meant for me to have. Of course Jesus’ offer goes beyond that. Have you come to Him to confess your sins, to let Him bear the burden only intended for Him? Jesus’ finished work of His death for our sins and His resurrection is the only hope for our forgiveness, for true peace with God. But it’s a burden Jesus gladly took out of love for us when we didn’t deserve it. 

On top of that, if we are His, He wants us not to have a frantic mess of worries to carry, but the confidence to know He is caring for us and our loved ones. He knows what the future holds and will give us the grace to handle it one day at a time.

It’s time to hit send on those texts and emails of prayer we lift to the Lord and let Him carry them all for us, while we wait to hear back through His word.

Father, help us to give our worries to You each day, to be thankful for each moment of grace and take on the peace You give each day. Thank you for love us so much. In Jesus’ name we ask this. Amen.




Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday Whimsy - The Valentine Cat!


The Valentine Cat 

Kathy here: Five years ago my youngest son left home for military training. He was the last to leave the “nest”. After being a stay-at-home mom for many years, our house seemed awfully quiet. Two different people, my sister and a dear friend of mine, kept telling me I needed a cat to keep me company! While I enjoyed being around my sister’s cats, I was married to a card-carrying member of the Cat Haters Society. Well, okay, Jack wasn’t that bad, but he didn’t think cats were absolutely adorable the way I do. After telling my husband how badly I wanted a small dog or a cat—the decision was his, he decided a cat would be less work and we went to the local PetSmart where they host Last Chance Rescue. We went during the Valentine’s Day weekend. 


Here’s Lily’s alleged side of the story:
I had been waiting awhile to pick my humans. Being the runt I had to toughen up and not get pushed around by other cats. Consequently, there’s no love lost between me and my feline brothers and sisters.

What was that I heard them say to Doris*, one of the cat rescue ladies I was staying with? Mom looked so sad, actually rather pathetic, when she said she was looking for a lap cat. I licked my paws pretending not to listen. When I casually glanced at Mom, her eyes said, “I am looking for a gray tabby.” I could just tell from the way she studied me and the big old lug of a male cat in the cage next to mine. He was a gray tabby too. Besides, there is nothing quite so adorable as a gray tabby!
Me, relaxing up north, on vacation.
She asked to see me! When we went into the little “get acquainted” space, I ran over to one of the cat cages, stood on my hind legs and hissed for good measure. After that I was content to jump up on my mom-to-be’s lap first and then carefully charm the cat hater by placing my front paws on his lap. I could tell right then and there I had won her heart. His would take a little longer.

Just to seal the deal, when I was put back in my cage, a little girl was watching me, so I turned sad green eyes on her and she stared at me for a minute. Mom had that panic-stricken look as she observed our exchange. I was sure that I saw her lip quiver. No doubt she would be back next weekend for me. To my surprise, she called Doris that night and asked if she could bring me home the next day! Sure enough, that Sunday, her and Dad came to get me.
Me with one of my friends. "What's that, you say?"
When I arrived at my new home I took in the strange new smells. It smelled like people instead of cats! Mom took the pet carrier into the laundry room. She let me out and showed me the litter box. Ugh! Like I wouldn’t have found the sandbox eventually! Anyway, I squirmed out of her arms and hid behind the washing machine. She went in the other room and left me alone. I meowed. It was a big new world out there. Finally, I came out into the family room to say a tentative “hello”.  I wandered around, inspecting one room and then the next. To my surprise I made a most wonderful discovery. There were no other cats! I had just come from a house where I had lived with two-dozen others. (And they say cats can’t count.) Mom insists I was so happy I purred for nine days straight.
Would you believe I get
cranky sometimes?

Since then I’ve even managed to earn great affection from Jack and I have both of my humans quite well trained, though they often have to be reminded to fetch my treats or canned food at a specific time. They also take very good care of my house and make sure I have lots of toys to hoard and ignore as well as soft spots to sleep on. The big guy even puts bird feed out in the feeder, so I have birds to watch during the day. I guess I didn’t do such a bad job picking out my adopted mom and dad that fateful Valentine’s Day weekend five years ago.

Next month I will have to share the story of why they call me the "Tailless Wonder", or as I like to call it a “Tail of Woe” . . . or perhaps, “A Tale of No Tail”. Stay tuned!

*Not real name.
Time for a snooze.



Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday Motivation - Write Prioritizing


Write Prioritizing

Shortly after Jack and I were married, we moved into our first house. It wasn’t all that big—less than 1,000 square feet, but it was ours. That little brick abode might as well have been twice the size. I wasn’t sure where to begin when it came to cleaning and keeping it organized. I remember asking my sister-in-law, who was an exemplary homemaker, for advice. She recommended starting with a list and taking care of the few items that were most important that day. 

Despite years of homemaking efforts on my part and books galore read on the subject, there are many times I simply return to making a list when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Every day we tell ourselves what is most important by doing—or not doing--that activity. Last week I let the tyranny of the urgent take over my schedule.

I thought I was making my writing important by setting a word count goal, but it’s time to step that up and make and appointment with myself each day, blocking out writing time. So after devotions, this week I will put writing at the top of that list. What I mean is that I will put “writing time” near the top and see if I can better accomplish my goals, make the best use of my time rather than a mediocre effort.

What about you? How do you complete the tasks, which are truly important to you? Please feel free to share your expertise in the comment section below. 

This week’s writing prompt: She had looked forward to her vacation in Aruba, but when she awoke from her nap on the plane, she found they had landed in . . .

Oh boy, you can just imagine! Right? Have fun with this one. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Saturday Spiritual Uplift


Where Were You, Lord?

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Heb. 11:1, NLT)

As I was driving to an appointment (and as usual hadn’t left myself enough extra time), I missed my turn. I thought the sign was telling me that the turn was for 12 Mile Road, but that I was still on M-5 North. Unfortunately, the sign was showing me that I needed to turn off of I-96 at that point to take M-5 northward. Instead of being at the medical facility in West Bloomfield, I ended up in Northville, basically in the opposite direction. Once I took the turn around and was eventually back on the right road, I was able to find office building. I was quite late and fully prepared to reschedule and head home, but they were gracious enough to still accommodate me. 

Going home, I hit rush hour traffic and took quite awhile to return. I suppose the whole thing only took me an extra half hour, but the anxiety and stress made my little trip seem worse. I returned safely home and I know the Lord was with me the whole time. He told His disciples He would go with them to the ends of the earth! But He allowed me that little detour. Things didn’t go perfectly even though He was there. If anything, it was simply a consequence of my poor planning.

Every day, believers are going through much more difficult detours in life. Unexpected serious illness takes hold, marriages fail, jobs are lost, wayward children leave families behind and terrible accidents happen. These are the things that test our faith.

When Lazarus had died, his sister, Martha, said to Jesus when he arrived on the scene, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” How honest Martha was with Jesus! And if I’m honest there are many times that I am asking that question. For example, when my husband fell off the roof 15 years ago I wondered why He allowed that to happen. After each of my four miscarriages I wondered why He allowed each baby to die in the womb when each of them were so loved and wanted.

When I ask why, I’m really asking the Lord where He was when that happened, because if He’d been doing what I wanted, those bad things wouldn’t have happened. But get this, it’s what I wanted. I wasn’t asking what He wanted to do in my life through those things at first. That took a while longer.

A little later, when Jesus asked for the stone to be removed from Lazarus’ grave, Martha complained that since her brother had been buried four days before, it would smell pretty awful. Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” Jesus called Lazarus forth from the tomb and Martha had her happy ending regarding Lazarus, right then and there.

For us it isn’t always so immediate. We need to trust even when we don’t have the instant results we want and believe that the Lord is here working on the results He wants to see in our lives. As we come to know Him better and center on His presence more fully, we’ll begin to want what He wants in our lives, which is the best for us.

Father, please teach us to desire You and Your will most of all, to know You are working out your perfect plan, despite how it may look to us today. Please give us the gift of faith that we might trust You more fully. Amen.



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Interview with Sissy the Dog!

Lilybits: not large, but in charge!

Today, Sissy Threadgill is visiting us! She is writer, Tom Threadgill's, dog. Mom says Tom likes to write humorous blog posts that make her lol. What's a "lol" anyway? 

Please join me with another interview that's going to the dogs!

Hi, Sissy! Thanks for joining me today on Wednesday Whimsy. How long have you owned your humans? What’s the best way to train your humans?

About seven years I think. I’m not sure how old I am, ‘cause I was at a rescue place when I picked them. They were pretty well trained when I went home with them, but sometimes I have to remind them of stuff. Like when it’s time to go outside. Or eat. Or go to bed. Or go outside.

Today's guest, Sissy!

What does Tom write?

Books I think. This last thing he wrote is about a scary man. Maybe a dogcatcher, I’m not sure. Anyway, a brave man has to catch the scary man before he does more scary things. It sounds scary. Have you seen my toy? It’s my toy. You can look at it, but you can’t touch it.

How do you help him with his writing?

I remind him when it’s time to take a break and go outside for a walk. And sometimes when he’s really busy, I know he wants to play. So I stand right next to him and wag my tail. For a long time. He likes to pretend he doesn’t see me, but I know he does. It’s part of our game.

Any advice to other canine muses? How can we best help our writing humans?

I don’t know what a canine muses is, but if it tastes good I’ll try it. I like to help my Daddy by reminding him to stretch his hands. If I put my paw on his arm and pull real hard when he’s making words on the ‘puter, he remembers. But sometimes I have to jump in his lap to remind him it’s break time. Did I show you my toy? Don’t touch it.

Sissy with her human, Tom
Um, that's okay, Sissy. I think it has dog drool on it. Blech! 

Do you ever get in trouble for helping “too much”?

Not really ‘cause he needs a lot of help. Mostly I stick my nose under his hand ‘cause he likes to pet me when he’s working on his ‘puter. And on garbage day, he likes to take a lot of walks, so I help him remember that.

How does Tom help you?

He doesn’t try to get my toy.

Thank you for joining us today, Sissy and Tom!

After years in the big city corporate world, Tom Threadgill now lives in a small rural community in the South. When he's not pretending to write, he spends his time puttering around the yard while his dog watches with complete disinterest. His wife tends to agree with the dog. Tom can be reached through his website, TomThreadgill.com or on Facebook.



Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday Motivation - The Writing Diet


The Writing Diet
All right, now that I have your attention, let me explain. Unfortunately, I don’t have 
magic formula for helping writers lose weight or I would be wearing those too small clothes which I, ever hopeful, keep jammed in the closet! Now that I think of it, though, writers ought to be able to come up with a way to peddle or walk while they write. I supposed someone out there has already figured it out.  Hmm . . . if they haven’t, I could be thin and rich!

On a more serious note, though, the word “diet” comes, at its origin, from a Greek word which means “a way of life”. This evolved into a prescribed way of eating, which is how we think of a diet. When we do diet, we look at what we eat and add up the calories or perhaps just the value of the food, whether measured in glycemic index or nutrient density. We try to spend a certain amount of time in exercise to boost our metabolisms. As we get older, we have to be more patient to get results, but if we keep going, we find we’ve lost a pound or two and have to keep plugging away to lose more.
Definitely a favorite writing snack.

 In the same way, writing is a way of life. I’ve been adjusting to working outside the home again and likewise have to adjust my writing time. In addition to my blog writing, I have been trying to write something several days a week on my new work in progress. I decided to look back at last week and add up what I’d written on that wip. I had made it to over 2500 words. This week I’ve made a goal to reach at least 3500. Honestly, I would like to have written 2500 words a day, but right now I realize that having ten pages written in a week is better than no pages a week, because I thought I might fail at writing 50 in a week and didn't even try. It’s the long-term goal that helps us find that writing something every day or even every other day adds up to a whole book! Even at 10 pages a week, I would have over 500 pages in a year and that’s more than enough for a whole book. 

It's the big goal broken up into manageable pieces, which we can tackle, that count. 
Celebrate the small victories! Just like I should be happy to lose two pounds, I can celebrate that I am a writer making small steps toward the bigger goal. What small victory in writing do you have to share to encourage your fellow writers?

This week’s writing prompt: Broken shards of pottery were scattered in the field . . .

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Saturday Spiritual Uplift - Out of our Control


Out of our Control 
For the first time in my life I was driving a brand new car. We had leased a minivan, cherry red, one of my favorite colors, and I was returning from errands while my mom watched the kids for me. I waited to turn left on a four-lane road with no left turn lane. 

A minivan, driving the opposite direction crossed the line, careening toward me. My first thought was wondering if he thought he could turn left into the house on the right side of the street. Where did he think he was going? Barely having time to breathe a prayer for help, I held tight to the steering wheel, watching as the driver ploughed into the front end of my car, crushing the front bumper and the hood. The airbag inflated, then popped, skinning my arm. Other than that minor injury and the stress being hit head on caused, I walked away unscathed. God had protected me during an accident I hadn’t caused and couldn’t prevent.

I’m sharing this story, because so many God fearing parents today, myself included, have been watching some of their children take a path away from God. Some of these young people are making choices, which may cause irrevocable damage to their lives, others will live through the consequences that could have been avoided, but still be hurt by them. For many of us, it’s like watching a car wreck waiting to happen. We can do nothing in our own power to change it. We can cling to the Lord and pray, we can encourage each other with His word and wait on Him, while finding what we can be thankful for.

That day long ago, when I walked away from that demolished car, God woke me up to how fragile my life was. Yet he protected me through it and my children had been safe at home. The car had been stationary, so there was probably less damage due to a lesser impact than if I'd been moving.

Though we can’t always see it, the Lord is working and He is waiting, with even a deeper love for our children, for them to come back. He is with you as you wait on the road with the ring and the robe and the hug, for your prodigal to return.

In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.
“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.
 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food
enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’
 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ (Luke 15:10-24, NLT)