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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wee Ones




I had another book signing today. This little darling girl named Katlyn came in. Her daddy bought her both books. She told me all about her baby brother - Preston. It's because of small souls like Katlyn that I feel the Lord keeps me pushing my pen.

Love you, Katlyn! Merry Christmas,
Mizz Dixie

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Itsy Bitsy Children







Today I traveled north to Rochester, Minnesota, to my first school visit. I read my two books - "Stubby's Destiny" and "Angel Eyes" to the morning and afternoon kindergarten classes. The little ones were so adorable. Their little eyes danced with excitement when they saw Stubby carrying the King of Kings on his back.

The girls seemed to like "Angel Eyes" and the boys enjoyed "Stubby's Destiny."

On Friday I have a library visit and on Saturday I have another book signing at the Christian book store in Charles City, Iowa.

Writing for little ones,
Dixie

Friday, December 12, 2008

The "Dear John" Letter
















In honor of my husband Paul's successful kidney transplant, we decided to share his thoughts from a father's point of view. Paul and I sat down and wrote this together. With our pens raised and thankful hearts, we pray that this story will be a blessing to you.

Dixie & Paul



I’ve experienced first-hand the love of a father for his child. I’ve even known some fathers who have laid down their lives for their children. In fact, I consider myself to be in that number. I can say without a doubt that my four children are my greatest assets. I call them my “monuments.” They are by far my greatest earthly achievement. I watched as each one of them took their first breath and at that precise moment I was held captive by the powerful force called fatherhood. I pledged my allegiance to them as I cradled them in my arms for the very first time and gazed into their fresh faces. I would take whatever measures were necessary for each one of them to be safe and protected. A father’s love was basic instinct for me, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the day when the roles were reversed and my only son laid down his life for me. His sacrifice has given me the gift of life and has left indelible “footprints” in my soul forever.

In April of 2008, I was informed that my fifty-five-year-old kidneys were only functioning at nine percent. I was referred to a team of nephrologists at the renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. After a thorough examination, I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Failure. I was given two options. I could prepare for dialysis or I could bypass dialysis completely and begin the kidney transplant process. After discussing the pros and cons of each lifesaving procedure, the doctors felt I would have a better prognosis if I would avoid dialysis altogether and just proceed with a kidney transplant. I opted for an organ transplant and after a few days of intense testing, I was informed that my name was on the National Kidney Registry. The doctors warned me, however, that it may take up to four years, before a kidney from a cadaver would be available. I was running out of time and knew my diseased kidneys wouldn’t last but a few more months. My only hope was a living donor.

My three brothers offered to give me one of their kidneys. Being full-blooded siblings, I was confident we would all be a match made in heaven, but after simple blood tests, we were devastated to learn that none of them were compatible with my rare blood type.


My four children were aware that my kidney’s time clock was ticking. They called the Mayo Clinic and volunteered to be tested as soon as possible. I struggled with accepting one of my offspring’s kidneys. The mental anguish and all the ‘what ifs’ were much worse than the kidney disease. I worried if the disease was hereditary. ‘What if one of my children gave me one of their kidneys and then years down the road they faced kidney disease?’ The doctors assured us that the living donor must endure and pass some stringent testing before they would even be accepted as an organ donor. His words gave us enough peace of mind to proceed.

It was twenty-seven-year-old John, who was chosen as our family’s M.V.D. – ‘Most Valuable Donor.’ The surgery date was scheduled on June 12th, 2008 at the Methodist Hospital in Rochester. It was just three days before Father’s Day.

The night before surgery, a flood of precious memories swept over me. Scalding tears stung my eyes as I took several sentimental journeys. The one memory that kept playing over and over in my mind’s eye was the day John was born. It was a rainy day on October 27th, 1980, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. We were only at the hospital a couple of hours when he announced his arrival. He had a head full of fine, brown hair and tipped the scales at a whopping eight pounds and ten ounces. As his mother and I examined every inch of his chubby frame, we were shocked to see he had a black eye. We teased that he would surely be a “prizefighter” when he grew up. Our words were prophetic. Thirteen days later, he was in a fight for his life. He woke up one morning with a high temperature and refused to nurse. We rushed him to the doctor and he was immediately admitted to the hospital. He was diagnosed with a deadly bacterial spinal meningitis and his pediatrician informed us that John’s life was in danger. We watched as our little champion fought hard and defied death.

It was a full circle moment for me. ‘What if John hadn’t survived when he was that tiny baby?’ I was still having some “what if” moments, but they were no longer filled with fear and negativity. ‘What if John’s life was spared years ago so he could help save mine now?’ Suddenly I was convinced that my son donating one of his kidneys to me was part of his divine destiny. I believed that John, as a newborn, was given a second chance at life and because of the victory he won, he was now able to give me a second chance at life.

I gasped as hope swelled in my soul. “He fought for his life and won and now our little “prizefighter” is in the ring again fighting for my life.”

I pulled a pen and tablet from my briefcase and began writing a note of gratitude to my son.


Dear John,

Life can take many twists and turns. Isn't it interesting that twenty-seven years ago your mother and I gave life to you? Now, God is using you to give life to me. Because of your unselfish gift, my life will be extended. I love you, John, and I will never forget your sacrifice. Thank you. Never forget that I will always have a part of you in me.

Dad

PS You are giving me quite a Father’s Day gift. I wonder what you’ll give me next year. (grin)
Just as I finished stuffing the letter in an envelope, I looked up and saw John walking toward me with a card in his hand.

“Dad, I want you to have your Father’s Day card before surgery.” he choked.

“I’ve got a note for you, too.” I said as I handed him my letter.

“You read mine first, Dad.”

“Okay.” I replied.

Dad,

You are the best dad a boy could have. You have always been there for me. Now it’s my turn to be there for you. I know it is hard for you to accept this gift, but I would rather have one kidney and my dad still alive than have two kidneys and not have my dad here with me. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.

Love,
John Drake

I reached for my boy just as he was reaching for me. We embraced and wept together.

“Happy Father’s Day, Dad.” John sniffed.



Brushing the tears from my cheeks I replied. “It’s your turn to read my letter now, son.”

I watched as John devoured every word. Our deepening bond had been cemented by the difficult circumstances life had dealt us. And at that very moment, my prizefighting son, was and continues to be the finest man I know.

John’s eyes glistened. Winking at me he joked. “That’s the best “Dear John” letter I’ve ever read.” We laughed together as he continued, “If it’s alright with you, Dad, next year for Father’s Day I think I’m just going to buy you a tie.”

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Can-Can















It is something to be able to paint a picture or carve a statue and to make a few beautiful objects... But it is far more glorious to carve and paint the atmosphere in which we work to affect the quality of days. This is the highest of arts...

The above quote was on a plaque hanging on the wall in the Gift of Life Transplant House. It reminds me of all the Lord is teaching us through Paul's kidney transplant. It's all about Jesus' love flowing through us everywhere we go. His love can change the atmosphere in a room and transform lives. Because of the kidney transplant, we are "forever" changed!

Tomorrow is Paul Franklin's 56th birthday! It is also his 6 month post-transplant milestone! I guess we don't need one more thing for Christmas. God has blessed us far more than what we deserve. Each day if a gift from Him... We've been having Christmas every day since the transplant.

There are days that you wonder why God lets certain things happen in our lives. The transplant was one of those 'big question marks' to us.... We trusted Him in the dark..... those days and months we just couldn't see, but we had a history with Him and knew HE NEVER MAKES A MISTAKE. He has been sooooo faithful to us....... The transplant has changed our perspective on so many things. It's so hard to explain, but we'd never go back to the 'pre-transplant' us. If we had the power to write our own life's story, we'd write the kidney transplant in our lives. It was our family's "defining" moment! Suddenly the eternal is far more real than the temporary.
While we were in Rochester, Minnesota, there was a day when we were walking the halls of the Methodist Hospital and saw a quote by John Wesley.


Do all the good you can,
In all the ways you can,
to all the souls you can,
in every place you can,
at all the times you can,
with all the zeal you can,
as long as you ever can....


When Paul and I read that we almost started doing the "Can Can." We had been in fulltime ministry for 26 years and felt we loved people, but the kidney transplant took us to a new level of compassion. We made a fresh committment to the Lord..... We were keenly aware that we had more years behind us than ahead of us and the time we had left we were going to love God and love others sincerely and fervently.


Our hearts are filled with gratitude that Paul Franklin is doing so well and that we are blessed to celebrate his 56th birthday!

Happy birthday, Kidney Bean!

Christmas blessings,
Dixie

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Maddon's Journey



In You the orphan finds mercy. -Hosea 14:1

Our family was blessed this past year to add two new family members. Our niece Christa and her husband Muhsin adopted two children - Journey and Maddon from Ethiopia. We have all been amazed at how quickly they have adapted to the American culture. Christa introduced my husband and I to a wonderful adoption ministry at www.allgodschildren.org. What a story of God's faithfulness!

I can remember when I was a little girl my grandmother used to sing I Wouldn't Take Nothing for my Journey Now! This fall when I was visiting my niece and her family I sang that song to Journey. It was a full circle moment for me. Hmmmm.... I think Journey's great-great grandmother was a prophetess singing that song. :-)

And I agree WE WOULDN'T TAKE NOTHING FOR OUR JOURNEY OR MADDON NOW...

Enjoying the trip,
Dixie

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Elly May Clampett





Our two oldest daughters were in a wedding of one of their friends this past weekend. They were excited to call us and tell us that Elly May Clampett of the Beverly Hillbillies was at the wedding. They had their pictures taken with her. (see above)

It made me think about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and all the famous characters in the Bible that we will see. Won't it be exciting to visit the first hundred years with King David and listen as he shares about his adventures. And I want to sit down with Deborah and glean from her wisdom. And what about Moses, Joshua, Elijah and Noah. And we haven't even touched the New Testament! Oh, it will be glorious......

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. I Corinthians 2:9 KJV

Hallelujah!

Well, as Elly May would say, "Y'all come back now. Ya hear!"

Dixie

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Resolutions



Yesterday we sang beautiful Christmas carols in our services. Oh, the depth of some of the lyrics. They were absolutely profound! Let me share a few with you.

How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv’n;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav’n.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.


Come, Desire of nations come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the Woman's conquering Seed,
Bruise in us the Serpent's head.
Adam's likeness now efface:
Stamp Thine image in its place;
Second Adam, from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.


Heaven came to Earth yesterday in our services.... As we touched Heaven, Earth was changed. As we sang these timeless carols, I couldn't help but reflect on HOW SILENTLY God's wondrous GIFT was given.... How just a few humble souls didn't miss His coming.

I thought of how the Old Testament speaks of the Temple being built WITHOUT THE SOUND OF HAMMER..........

I thought of how there was "NO ROOM" at the inn, but the BABE born in the stable cries out, "WHOSOEVER WILL MAY COME...." and "IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE ARE MANY MANSIONS.... I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU."

And like Moses we all need to endure as seeing HIM who is invisible.....

We walk by faith and not by sight.......

I wondered how many times I "MISSED" opportunities JESUS might have sent my way... Were the clamoring voices in my soul sooo loud that I missed HIS STILL SMALL VOICE?

I decided to not wait until New Year's to make some resolutions...... I'm making Christmas resolutions.

I'm going to PRACTICE HIS PRESENCE more this Christmas and when I am in touch with HIM.... He makes me sensitive to the needs around me. There are certain lives HE wants my life to touch.... We can change the world one soul at a time.

Shhhhhhhhhhh! Did you hear that? It's Him..... The REASON FOR THE SEASON......

I don't want to miss a single assignment HE has for me.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

THRIFTY BOOK BUYS - Books on CD are GREEN - They Save Trees!




Dixie Phillips wants you to know:
The word is out. . .
Children's e-Books, on CD or Download,

Are the Bargain of the Year!
Cheaper than paper, they are the epitome of "GREEN."
These are QUALITY BOOKS - fun, inspirational, and educational.

<><><><><><><><><><><>
BUY a "green" CD and save a tree.
Do your bit to save the planet!
<><><><><><><><><><><>


Kids Are Computer Savvy!




ADD to a LAPTOP or PC
and
A book on CD can distract kids before a doctor or dentist appointment, on rainy
Sundays, holidays, or in the back seat on long car trips.


<><><><><><><><><><><><><>





Dixie Phillips
Children's BOOKS


Angel Eyes






Stubby’s Destiny







** Reluctant reader friendly **
Hard copy also available.


<><><><><><><><><><><><><>


Picture Book Series

Two new books by Dixie Phillips coming out in 2009

One Noble Journey
Baby Jethuth is Mithing

CLICK the links provided for purchase information,
+ sample verses, illustrations, and reviews.


<><><><><><><><><><><><>


Dixie Phillips

School Visits & Book Signings


http://floydslighthouse.com -- http://writing4littleones.blogspot.com/


<><><><><><><><><><><><><>



Visit
Guardian Angel Publishing
www.guardianangelpublishing.com

Find a wide range of wonderful children's books,
by authors who care about children.

On Download, CD, and . . . . . Hard Copy!

<><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Weeping May Endure for the Night but Joy Comes in the Morning!



Yesterday we learned a very dear friend, Talmage Ladd, went to Heaven. Years of memories flooded my mind's eye. My husband and I swapped one story after another as we walked down Memory Lane. We'd laugh and then we'd cry.

In the midst of our grief, we turned the pages of our Amy Carmichael's devotional. Her entire piece was on death and the grieving process. She pointed out, as only Amy can, that grief for the Christian is NEVER eternal. It's just temporary. Her words were soul food. The trials of this life are just temporary! The waves of sadness that sometimes feel like they will suffocate us are just temporary. There is a day coming when all suffering will come to an end. There will be no more goodbyes, no more pain and no more grief!


Oh death where is thy sting.... Oh grave where is thy victory....


We are a day closer to Home. A day nearer to being reunited with our loved ones again. And that is ETERNAL! Hallelujah! We shall forever be with our Lord!

It reminds me of a song my beloved grandmother often sang....

What a day that will be
When my JESUS I shall I see
When I look upon His face
The One who saved me by His grace.
When He takes me by the hand
And leads me to the Promised Land.
What a day.... glorious day that will be.

There will be no sorrow there.
No more burdens to bear....
No more sickness, no more pain...
No more parting over there
And forever I will be with the One who died for me
What a day... a glorious day that will be...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

One Noble Journey




Drum roll please... **** The talented Kim Sponaugle has begun the pencil sketches for our new book - One Noble Journey. There's something about when Kim starts sending me these sketches that just makes the book more real. Even though the pictures aren't in color, I know the process has begun and in a few short months... the book will be in our hands.

Today I visited with a mother, who is a new Christian. She accepted Jesus into her heart and life three years ago. During this time she has prayed to see her grown sons come to know the Lord. Whenever she speaks to them about what the Lord had done in her life, they seemed uninterested. She was discouraged and like many of us was losing hope that they would ever come to know Jesus personally. Just when she was about to give up, Thanksgiving 2008 rolled around. After a delicious meal on Thanksgiving Day, one of her sons began asking questions about the transformation that has taken place in her life. She shared simply what God had done in her life. She was so excited to share with me today that her boy plans to come to church with her.

God is faithful to work behind the scenes. Just like Kim Sponaugle is working behind the scenes to make One Noble Journey come to life. She is diligently pushing a pencil to get the pictures just right. Right now they are pencil sketches but in the near future Kim will wave her magic paintbrush and One Noble Journey will develop a personality and characteristics all its own. So it is with JESUS.... Some souls grow more slowly and their spiritual life begins with pencil sketches, but as God works behind the scenes.... He will add the colors of His choosing and that soul, which once seemed so untouchable, will be touched and transformed by the Holy Spirit.

Don't lose heart... dear mothers of Israel, we can have confidence in the One who sent His very best to us.


Hugs and fishes, <>< <>< <><
Dixie

Monday, December 1, 2008

God Knows Your Phone Number

I remember one time hearing Joyce Meyer say, "Find your mess and you'll find your ministry." The first time I heard that simple sentence it resonated in my soul. For too long I tried to ignore past pain and not build on my splintered roots. As I rediscovered my mess and presented it to the Lord, He began to send brokenhearted children and women into my life. And when I put my arms around them, the Balm of Gilead began soothing my fears and healing the wounds on my own heart. I experienced this truth.... Only when we are broken do we become whole.

As the Lord began to heal me from the inside out, I began to have clear direction in my soul. I wanted to write stories for children that would captivate, inspire and offer hope to hopeless little souls. The Lord blessed my feeble efforts. He brought people into my life that would publish, illustrate and distribute my stories.

God knows our phone numbers. He is able to bring the right people into our lives and fulfill the Divine destiny He has planned for each life.

There are days when I forget this wonderful truth. Then, I remember thirty-two years ago when the Lord took me from my familiar surroundings in rural Iowa and placed me in East Texas Bible College. A shy Iowa girl meets a confident Arkansan. The two fell in love. It was a match made in Heaven. My pastor-husband Paul is my very best friend. The Lord put us together. He is no respector of persons. What He has done for us.... He will do for you.

Let us not grow weary in the work of LOVE........

Keep blooming where you are planted and get ready.... your phone will ring.

May Jesus richly bless each one of you,
Dixie

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