Let’s Chat! With Yours Truly

Welcome, Readers! 

This week I’d like to visit with you myself. About family. This blog doesn’t meet the requirements of whoever makes the rules about optimal word length, but that’s OK. I’m not asking for their approval. I must warn you, however, that I speak in very explicit terms that may offend you. I hope you’ll read it anyway. And that you’ll share this link with every Christian parent you know.


I just looked at the calendar and can barely believe my eyes. Only five days until Christmas. Probably like you, I have boxes and bins full of Christmas memories. But our boxes and bins, plastic-covered larger items, and certainly a tree that in former years was decorated by our grandchildren long before now, remain in closets. No food coloring for sugar cookies on the grocery list this year. No tangled lights or bulbs needing to be replaced. No hiding of gifts.

Christmas 2017 is not the season to be jolly in a certain home I’m about to tell you about. Nor ours.

An Ordeal of Biblical Proportions


Because of the love my husband and I have for a dear family we know well, we have been enduring alongside them an ordeal of biblical proportions for nine months. And it’s far from over even now.

This sordid story involves the shattering of a stable, loving, Christ-centered home by organizationally incestuous government agencies whose employee rolls include  individuals who are biased against Christians. I’m not at liberty to reveal names, but you can believe me when I say our county’s Child Protective Services and our state’s Department of Family Protective Services are mis-named by calling themselves “protective.” CPS has destroyed—not protected—this family.

We have learned by walking alongside this particular family that our state’s Department of Family and Protective Services is a huge, unwieldy, bureaucratic agency with “policies and procedures” they check off as accomplished without true accountability. And that the title “investigator” is given to their least experienced, entry-level person who has the power to destroy a Christian home. The Department assigns “tenured” status to a case manager with only one and one-half years experience. And the “professional” counselors and therapists with whom the Deparment contracts, by and large, receive the lowest reviews by clients. In many cases, these professionals cannot make a decent living on their own, so CPS takes them.

Not only does the Department of Family and Protective Services fail to “protect,” it is inept, corrupt, and anti-Christian. They protect their own above all else. Certain of their employees want to destroy whatever vestiges still remain of Christianity in our homes. We crazy Christians are a dangerous cult, after all. And our family court system is in league with CPS. In recent days I witnessed a family court judge sweep away a family with Christian principles like so much roach droppings.

Christian Family


If you are a Christian family, be careful … be VERY careful … in reporting child abuse to CPS. See a Christian attorney before you make the call.

If you have crosses on your walls … or Bible verses on bulletin boards or refrigerators … If you implement a household behavior plan that’s connected in any way with your Christian faith … or if that household plan requires consistent accountability that ties in with God’s expectations and the history of God and His people … If you believe and teach your children that sex is a God-given blessing granted ONLY to a married man and woman … and if you protect your children from pornography and sexually-explicit movies and books but discover a certain someone outside your home has taught your children how to get around the password-protected security on your computer so the children can watch pornography … If that pagan someone has taught your children sex acts too graphic to describe here … even then, contact CPS only through your attorney. Why? Because you may be accused of abusing your children by coaching them in how to claim sexual molestation.


If yours or your loved one’s is a broken home where the other spouse has hooked up with a militantly atheist family who present the essence of today’s political correctness to the world and practice unheard-of incest in their home … If your life is the polar opposite of the ex-spouse’s (an ex-spouse who once claimed to be a Christian but now claims atheism and makes fun of the Bible TO THE CHILDREN) … If you or your spouse are a clergyman or -woman or professional counselor … be careful. Be very, very careful. They consider you dangerous.

Sex

If you learn your children or the children of anyone you love have been exposed to sex not in a violent way but as pleasurable and a natural way to express love between adults and children … if that sex has progressively included more and more acts over several years of the children’s development so that they no longer believe engaging in such activities is wrong … If those children have now turned on their Christian parents … and if CPS and the judge have been taken in by those disturbed children and given them to the molester, you are facing the worst trauma of your life.

‘Tis certainly not the season to be jolly.

My Faith


I’m a Christian. Have been since I was 12—60 years ago. I believe God is completely good. He is completely wise. Completely powerful. And He is limited by neither time nor space. His goodness lives everywhere at once.

I’m none of the above. Not one iota.

However, I believe Jesus is the Son of God and He died for my sins—the perfect sacrifice given on my behalf, which I’ve accepted and rely on for my eternal destiny.

That said, I know He is at work even while I crawl into bed, cover my head, and weep for this family. No one need tell me I can claim unshakable hope. I know my hope rests in the unshakable promises of God. I don’t understand why God allows such evil to prevail for a single day. But by faith and hope I know one day I will.

This Time of the Year


Even at Christmas, the love of God, the purity of Jesus, and the sweetness of the Holy Spirit do not erase this world’s evil. One day they will, but not yet. In fact, God’s children alone see the indescribable contrast between the two. And when evil has blanketed a family devoted to God with its blackness, that family sits in sackcloth and ashes while all around them people cover their homes with colored lights, set out lovely nativity scenes, hang mistletoe, loop garland around balusters and porch posts, and sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

The Persecuted Church in America

Meanwhile, certain individuals who compose Child Protective Services and others who sit on family court benches will carve their turkeys, spoon their cranberry sauce, and compliment the cook on Christmas. So will the molesters.

If my body didn’t actually ache after being in bed for hours, that’s where I’d stay, weeping and praying for this wonderful, godly family. But I’m sitting at my computer composing a far-from-jolly message to whoever will read it. I’m sorry if it disturbs your sensibilities or interferes with your joyful anticipation of Christmas. I hope you’ll find it in yourself to forego such reactions and, instead, pray for persecuted Christian parents in America and elsewhere.

That’s exactly what we are.

Writing

Below you’ll find the reasons why I write from an explicitly Christian perspective. At present I’m not able to muster and organize thoughts sufficient to finish the last ten chapters of my second novel. But everyday I pray the Lord will help me accomplish it.

Meanwhile, between shopping and baking and gift wrapping, perhaps you’ll give a thought and prayer to those whose Christmas is saturated in misery even as they grasp at unshakable hope.

~ ~ ~

Family History: Why I Write Christian Historical Fiction 

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Ella and W.T. Banks, Oklahoma 1910

Family history claims the heart of why I write Christian historical fiction.

First of all, as a child, I sat on my grandmother Ella’s lap for her stories about life in Indian Territorybefore Oklahoma oklahoma-43773_1280became a state. And her hardships decades later. Also my mother Goldie spoke of her life in Oklahoma and Texas during the first half of the 20th Century. 

Similarly, my own memories developed in the 1940s and beyond. Family tales of grit and faith overcoming hardship and heartbreak mesmerized me. I often imagined story lines based on memories. 

My “Before”

First, I was born the only daughter of a cotton farmer in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the 1940s. As a result, I experienced none of what other kids enjoyed—the neighborhood. Consequently, my first friends were the children of the kind, hard-working Mexican laborers on our farm. Then my circle expanded to include friends just down the unpaved road. Those farmers’ daughters constituted my neighborhood.

“Birth” as a Reader

Because school friends in town lived several miles away, I learned early on to love reading. As a preschooler, I enjoyed a book with audio accompaniment: Bozo Under the Sea. I wore out the book and record! Because Jack & Janet, Dick & Jane, and Tip & Sally fascinated me in first grade, come summertime, you could find me in the community library. books-942602_1280The air conditioning created a crisp, welcoming atmosphere. As a result, I wanted to stay all day. I can still feel the air and get a whiff of the distinctive scent of book bindings.

Certainly, by fourth grade my appetite for reading was insatiable. With a dictionary at my side, I read Little Women and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. In fifth grade, The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables. Similarly, in sixth grade I read Where the Red Fern Grows and The Red Badge of fern-489910_1280Courage. Likewise, by middle school, I was tackling Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol, The Adventures of Oliver Twist, and A Tale of Two Cities. And Gone with the WindLater on, To Kill a Mockingbird  made an indelible imprint on my heart and conscience. I could go on, but you get the picture. As a result, I cared little about genre, setting, or plot. Above all, I treasured the characters and experienced their emotions, failures, and triumphs. 

“Birth” as a Writer: Family History

Due to attending Abilene Christian University five hundred miles away from home, I delighted daily in writing letters. I told Mother and Daddy and my brother Dale every move I made, no doubt with editorial embellishments. Then a quirky English professor asked if I’d ever considered creative writing as a career. In a word—No—but his discovering my secret longing intrigued me. You see, baring my soul in print—a reality I knew writing would entail—was more than I could consider.

Ella of The Calling of Ella McFarland is named for my grandmother (center), Ella Pyle Banks Knox. I called her Mama. She birthed 9 children and buried 5, as well as 2 husbands. She deserves to have the heroine of a novel named for her. (My mother Goldie is second from the left.)

Then, I wrote down family history. Mother’s clan migrated in 1923 from Oklahoma to the southernmost tip of Texas in a train of seven covered wagons, a novelty on the roads even then. So I set down for posterity my family’s recollections of their caravan journey. It turned out to be no more than a cataloging of who traveled in which wagons, where they stopped and for what purpose, and the spectacle they presented along the way. As a result, it ignited a desire to write historical fiction based in family history. I had a well spring from which to draw.

“Growing Up” as a Writer

Later, life took me elsewhere in Texas and Alabama and Germany, with fun-filled forays into Great Britain, South America, Europe, and Scandinavia. I was an Army spouse rearing children and living life. Therefore, my writing pen sat in a drawer. Years later, when my The Calling of Ella McFarland by Linda Brooks Davisdaughter struggled with an at-risk triplet pregnancy and her three 2 ½ pound babies fought for survival, a desire to release the storehouse of words I’d long bottled up tugged at my heart. I vowed would devote the rest of my life to them. And if disabilities didn’t plague them and they could read, I would leave them a legacy of faith in writing.

Nine years later, my story won the prestigious Jerry B. Jenkins Operation First Novel award. Thereafter, Mountainview Books released The Calling of Ella McFarland in December 2015. In August 2016 it won another prestigious award: American Christian Fiction Writers’ Carol Award.

Consequently, I’m certain these successes came from my faithful God who affirmed my vow: to leave a legacy of faith in writing. Rather than shy away from outright Christian faith, the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a must in my stories. 

Writing Well Spring: Family History

Certain ancestors and their experiences appear in my stories. First of all, there’s bit of my grandmother and a strong dash of my mother in one character. Then my father’s sterling qualities appear in another. In contrast, there’s a low-down family reprobate in another. Certainly, there’s cotton planting, hoeing, and harvest time. The glorious Picking_Cotton_by_Lewis_W._Hine,_1916_(LOC)_(491307954)aroma of fresh-picked cotton and the nothing-in-the-world-like-it odor from the pig pen. Similarly, our sewing machine whirring. The clink of a milk pail. A cow hollering to be milked. Likewise, summer’s sun on my face, the hearty South Texas wind in my hair, and the comfort of backing up to a wall heater on a cold winter morning. As a result, all find their way into my stories. 

palm-trees-360885_1280

Above all—my family’s history, my own life, and the kaleidoscope of lives in my storiesJesus appears as the golden thread linking the past to the present and beyond. Because Jesus turns an ordinary morning into a hint of the “Sweet By & By,” He adds the delicate aroma of the Rose of Sharon to the sultry stillness before a summer storm. Most importantly, He wraps the bitterness of grief and failure in the richness of His incomparable grace.

My Purpose as a Writer

Tales that reach beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary because of Jesus are the stories I write by His grace.

I pray each of you will enjoy a Christmas packed with love, peace, and joy and that you’ll come away from it saying, “This was the best Christmas of all.”

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8 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! With Yours Truly

  1. Marilyn R

    My heart breaks for you and all families involved. Prayers for all. Thankful our hope is in Jesus Christ even in the darkest valleys.

     
     
    1. I met a young mother from Switzerland recently. She said in their schools sex education begins in Kindergarten and it includes—get this—believe it or not … instruction in masturbation. Parents may “opt out,” if they choose, but I wonder how long that will continue. Come quickly, Lord! (Sorry if my frankness offends you. It’s just that the whole subject is so offensive that sometimes I think stopping short of using offensive frankness somehow takes away from the weightiness of the subject matter.) I also heard recently from a couple who have been seeing a counselor that the counselor—a contractee of CPS—believes sex education is the school’s—-and ONLY the school’s—responsibility. And that parents should NOT get involved.

       
       
  2. Carlene

    Heartbreaking.

     
     
    1. In the truest, deepest sense, Carlene. Come quickly, Lord!

       
       
  3. My dear friend, I weep and pray with you.

     
     
    1. When I consider the trauma and grief of this one situation—more than mere humans can withstand—I’m reminded that Jesus took on the sin of the whole world … every single lie, murder, betrayal, cruelty in every form, all grief and shame and regret, unfulfilled longings, tears and groans and screams … from the beginning of time until time is no more, I stand amazed anew in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene. Come quickly, Lord.

       
       
  4. Joyce Herron

    Neither of us could imagine that in our future when we were in the fifth and sixth grades in Raymondville TX the state of our world today. Christians have been under attack for several decades and the assault keeps increasing. CPS or whatever a state calls their agency, has gone off the tracks in their mission to protect children.

    Thank you for sharing this story. I will be praying for your family friends and those precious children.

     
     
    1. No, Joyce, we couldn’t have imagined it. The evil Satan is capable of is unimaginable. We are praying Jesus will take this horrid experience and use it to bring glory to His precious name. Come quickly, Lord!

       
       

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Let’s Chat! Author Louise Looney

Meet Louise Looney

Louise Looney. Meet her and never forget her. Louise refers in her interview below to Hidden Manna, a Christian Retreat Center she managed for fifteen years. I first met Louise, first sat at her feet, and first gained from her wisdom at Hidden Manna.

I know you’ll be glad you met her. And you won’t forget her either.

**The winner of one of Louise’s books is Judy Goshy! All Judy did to enter the drawing was comment below.** 

Who Is Louise Looney?

I entered the world in one of the worst of times, the Great Depression, the eighth child, and with a misshaped head. But my parents loved me anyway. And throughout the years, in spite of my misshapen life, my Heavenly Father loved and blessed me anyway.

Athough poor, my family stressed the need for education. I graduated from Abilene Christian University. I earned my master’s degree from the University of Wyoming and did Post Graduate work at East Texas State University. I never studied journalism or creative writing because I didn’t dream I’d become a writer.

Louise Looney, Teacher

I taught all levels of education, in the prison system and on four occasions in a Bible training program in China. Adult students arrived from all over the country and stayed in hiding—in tiny places where they slept on the floor and weren’t allowed even to go out for a walk–for three months to do an in-depth study of the Bible

I enjoyed the wonderful experience of managing a Christian Retreat center, Hidden Manna, for fifteen years. When I turned seventy-five, I stepped away from cooking, mowing, cleaning, etc.

Louise Looney, Writer

I wrote my first book at age 79. (Tweet That!) My computer crashed, my printer acted up and I stepped on the flash drive that contained the backup for the book. Though I had hard copies of some of the chapters, I still had to redo much of the book. I was almost in tears when I called a friend to ask for prayer.


She failed to answer her phone, and I left a message, asking her to pray for me. A few hours later, she stopped by the house. I thanked her for responding to my call, but she said, “I never got a call.” That night, a young man phoned me. “My name is not Bette,” he said, “but I want you to know I got your message this morning and I’ve been praying for you all day.”

I moved to a retirement community, where I saw many people who complained about the aging process. And the Lord nudged me to write a book looking at this season of life from His perspective.


S
olomon’s description of aging is dismal, but God whispered, “Solomon wrote about the outer man. Look at the inner man.” My first book, Hidden Treasures for the Golden Years, addressed this issue and won the “Best Book on Christian Living,” 2011.

The second book came as the result of taking the yellowed notes my deceased psychologist husband had written over 35 years before. I struggled with the skeleton of this book for a year, attempting to resurrect his dream. Ultimately, the Lord spoke to my heart, “Use your voice, not his.” Then, ideas began to flow. This book is entitled Splashes of Living Water.

Marvels and Mysteries, is about the wonders of God’s creation, the intricate details of human organs and attributes of animals and their migration habits.

Louise Looney, Encourager

As an encouragement to seniors, I decided devotionals with humorous and heart-warming stories of encouragement would be a welcomed message. Over the Hill, Onto the Mountaintop, contains stories of hope for those growing older.

The Lord encouraged me to use our five senses like rungs of a ladder to climb out of the pit of depression. My latest book, Out of Darkness, Into His Marvelous Light, provides exercises at the end of each chapter. 

Three of my books served in fellowship groups: Hidden Treasures for Golden Years, Splashes of Living Water, and Out of Darkness, Into His Marvelous Light.

Louise Looney, Speaker

Currently, I write short humorous You-tube videos called “Looney Tidbits” that end with a spiritual message. They’re published each Friday on social media. I pray even non-believers will watch them for their humor, but grow curious about Christianity and check it out to find answers to life.

I speak to groups frequently and delivered a keynote address at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in May. Recently, I participated in interviews on two television programs, two radio programs and am scheduled to appear on another television and radio show this next week.

My heart’s desire is to encourage those who live in the autumn and winter seasons of life. And assure God’s older children that He has a purpose for each of us until we take our last breath. (Click to Tweet!)

Louise Looney, Survivor and Thriver

Other of my experiences—the death of my son by suicide; my husband’s brief unfaithfulness; nights when my family—including a two-year-old, a one-year-old, and a third child on the way—slept on the floor of a church building because we had no place to stay and no money; the dark days when my husband fought and lost the battle with cancer in the prime of his life; a five-year period when I was faced with the death of five members of my family; my daughter’s battle with cancer; and the death of a newborn grandson—I leave to another interview, another time.

Louise Looney, Award Winner

Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference honored me as “Writer of the Year” in May for Out of Darkness, Into His Marvelous Light.

Find me at my website, www.louisellooney.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter. 

~ ~ ~

Oh, Lord, our Unchanging God, Jehovah, You set Your hand on Louise Looney. You walk alongside her through valleys and on mountaintops. You smile as she ministers to so many in Jesus’ name. Through her You convey messages hope and encouragement for others in the autumn and winter of their lives. Bless Louise’s every word for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake.

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13 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Louise Looney

  1. Anthea Kotlan

    What a wealth of encouragement this lady has to offer. Thank you for sharing your chat with Louise, Linda. Her legacy is amazing as I can testify to the life saving intervention her son gave to my father-in-law a number of years ago. I needed to read this tonight as a reminder of what God can do with a willing vessel.

     
     
    1. You used the perfect words to describe Louise, Anthea: “what God can do with a willing vessel.” (She lives in your area, by the way, and she loves to speak to groups.) Paul and Teri have done so much for the Lord’s kingdom in ways few know about. They are an amazing family.

       
       
  2. Marilyn R

    Wow, God never ceases to amaze me when individuals allow Him to lead them. I enjoyed the legacy and testimony Louis Looney shared here. Her books sounds amazing and I’m going to have to check them out. Thank you for the introduction. Each day is a blessing no matter the age, as I tell my friends who complain about a big 0 birthday. Live each one to the fullest as some never reached that 60, 70 or 80 milestone.

     
     
  3. Judy Goshy

    I met you at your son’s (Paul) relationship conference in early 2014. Later that year, my husband had a stroke. This summer, I turned 65 and although I don’t feel older, I see the number and know my time is limited to leave a positive legacy. My dad died in the spring of 2014 but he was always positive about growing older. The only downer he ever said about aging was “The first 80 years are easy. After that, it’s harder.”
    I look forward to reading your words of encouragement.

     
     
    1. What a wonderful connection, Judy. Like Louise, no one can ever forget Paul. So happy you stopped by. You’re entered!

       
       
    2. What a blessing to get back in touch with those whose paths have crossed. Thank you for your encouragement.

       
       
  4. Bonnie Mae Evans

    Dearest Louise,
    I just love that you wrote your first book at 70! That proves that as long as we are willing to let God use us He will! That statement alone gave me a much encouragement today!
    Bless you as you seek to serve Him more!

     
     
    1. Bonnie, I was actually 79, but the amazing thins is that
      God often chooses unlikely people at unlikely times to prove He had to be involved. Your comment was a blessing.

       
       
    2. So glad you stopped by to chat a bit, Bonnie. You’re entered in the drawing! 🙂

       
       
  5. Ann Ellison

    I new to me author. I enjoyed the interview and her books sounds like good ones.

     
     
    1. Louise is a one-of-a-kind, Ann. So glad you joined us today. You’re entered in the drawing!

       
       
      1. Thanks for adding the reply. I wrote one, but somehow it didn’t show up. Perhaps I’m to put my name and address below (?)

         
         
        1. You’ve done exactly what you need to, Louise. You’re not at all “technology challenged.” Love you!

           
           

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