SA Councils in Champaign, IL

I was so honored and blessed this week to speak to a gathering of Salvation Army officers (ministers) from parts of Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana at the Hilton Garden Inn in Champaign, Illinois.
The accommodations were first-rate, but the company was even better! I shared rich fellowship and (I hope) a teeny bit of wisdom and perspective with the fine men and women of two Salvation Army divisions (Heartland and Indiana).
I couldn't have felt more welcomed and better treated. They even gave me some parting gifts, including a couple coffee mugs. How did they know? (Oh, maybe it had something to do with the ferocity with which I hogged the coffee pitcher at the breakfast table every morning. Yeah, that was probably it).

Asheville Christian Writers Conference 2016

What a joy it was once again last weekend to gather with fellow writers at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, in Asheville, North Carolina, for the Asheville Christian Writers Conference. Located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, this is my kind of place. 
The setting is absolutely spectacular. 
The speakers (with maybe one exception) are inspirational. 
The meals are of the highest quality.  
The discussions and consultations with other writers are stimulating and energizing. 
And, as if that wasn't enough, conference director Cindy Sproles (above) asked the gathering of 100+ faculty and conferees to support my efforts on behalf of my grandchildren, Calleigh and Ryder, to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, to find a cure for cystic fibrosis (more here). The photo above, taken at the end of the conference, turned out to be premature; my friends there gave $900 toward a healthy future for Calleigh and Ryder! How wonderful is that? 

Thank you, Cindy Sproles, Eddie Jones, and all the great minds behind Christian Devotions!

Book World, Chillicothe, OH

The lovely Robin and I made a whirlwind trip to her childhood hometown of Chillicothe, Ohio, last weekend with her parents. For part of the quick family outing, I slipped away to spend some time on the phone with my son and then duck into the locally owned Book World, at 16 W. Water Street in Chillicothe.
Book World is small unique shop in the historical district of downtown Chillicothe. It has an old fashioned flavor and thousands of used and new books to choose from.
While I could have wished for a little more organization, Book World is the kind of spot I love (if I lived nearby, I'd apply for a job there): Local. Independent. Books in every nook and cranny. They didn't have enough of my books (I only stumbled upon one), but otherwise it is a place I could spend the day--especially since there is a candy shop just two doors down.