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Personal News
  • This month, I won’t leave metro Atlanta.

  • March 28, I’ll teach a Bible class for a women’s group at Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Decatur.

  • On April 11 at 7:00 p.m., I’ll speak about writing at the Tucker Public Library.

  • From April 12 through April 20, I’ll speak, teach, preach, and do interviews in Iowa. Twila Belk is still adding activities to my schedule. 
Gifted Hands
In last month's newsletter, we held a caption contest featuring pictures of Cec's "gifted hands."
Congratulations to David Barkey, our winner! His prize is a copy of Gifted Hands, the first of two books Cec wrote for Dr. Ben Carson.
To view the pictures again and read David's fun captions, click on the tab below.
Pics and Captions
I’m a Liar
Coming from a conservative, Christian background, I can cite a number of places where we’re commanded not to lie. But I still prevaricate.
My defense is that sometimes lying is an act of kindness or wisdom. And I have biblical precedents. When David fled from King Saul, he asked the high priest for food, saying he was on an urgent journey for the king. (See 1 Samuel 21.) In that same chapter David pretended to go crazy to save his life and those of his men. Later he lied to Achish, claiming to be Israel’s enemy.
Recently, my friend David Morgan helped me by using the word motive. Why do I lie? To gain an advantage? If I want to sell my house and know there’s a serious problem but say everything is fine, I’m lying and taking advantage of someone else. Clearly wrong.
Sometimes we speak truthfully and injure sensitive individuals. Or we lie to encourage and comfort them.  So what if my lie comes from not wanting to hurt a person’s feelings? Some would say, “He needs to hear the truth.”
Maybe.
But what if I want to encourage or support individuals? For instance, a friend gave her first public lecture. Afterward she asked, “How did I do?”
 “You were barely tolerable,” I could have said. Instead my words were, “You did well.”
When my friend David spoke about motive, I thought of an incident near the end of my first year in Kenya. I wasn’t afraid of making mistakes, and I spoke the Luo language within three months. Shirley, being cautious, took nearly a year to become fluent.
One day, Rosalie said to her. “You speak excellent Luo.”
Later I confronted Rosalie. “My wife speaks bad Luo.”
“That is so.”
“You lied. Do you know what happens to people who tell lies?”
 “Yes, sir,” she said. “They go to heaven because they make people happy.”
Simplistic theology, but her motive was right. 
When I lie, may it always be to edify others.
Are you a writer or aspiring writer? Maybe these books will help.
Unleash the Writer Within Writer to Writer
The Twila Zone
Words from My Assistant, Twila Belk
I felt like a proud mama as I received this glowing report after Cec spoke for a retreat in Myrtle Beach in February:
"I wanted to let you know what a wonderful weekend we had with Cec. And that old saying about you can't please all the people... throw that out the window! I have not heard a single negative comment. I feel sorry for next year's retreat committee. Cec is a hard act to follow."
I'll admit that I asked Cec if he paid the retreat committee to say those good words! 
Cec will be in the Quad Cities (and surrounding areas in Iowa) in April, and Toronto in May. I'm working on adding events to what we already have scheduled. If you might have an opportunity for him, please let me know. 
On a Personal Note:
I'll speak for a MOPS group in Bettendorf, Iowa, on March 28.
I look forward to teaching at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in May and at the Speak Up Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in July. 
As Cec transitions into retirement, I'm laying the groundwork for my next steps--a business I'll call The Writer's Champion. More to come on that later.
Gotta Tell Somebody, Inc. | 5672 Appleton Road | Bettendorf, IA 52722

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