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Cec taught a class on how to write your story at the Quad Cities Prayer Center in Davenport, Iowa. The event was sponsored by One Eighty.
Rusty Boruff, founder of One Eighty
Cec is with Rusty Boruff, the founder of One Eighty, a ministry that brings hope, love, and opportunity to people and communities impacted by crisis, poverty, or addiction. 
With Betty Dexter at the QCPC
With Jeannette Doran at the QCPC
With Forrest Bezotte at the QCPC
Being Used
In 1998, I taught at a writers conference in Philadelphia. A woman, I remembered only as Agnes, befriended me. We had several delightful conversations, and she attended all my workshops.
Six months later, I spoke at a conference in Southern California and Agnes was a conferee. She all-but avoided me. That perplexed me until I figured it out.
In Philadelphia, I had given Agnes many suggestions on improving and selling her manuscripts and suggested three different editors who might be interested. She no longer needed my help, so why bother with me?
After that experience, I started noticing the Agnes types who flattered me with attention. I like interacting with others, but a few don’t really care about me—they want what they perceive I can do for them. How to get a publisher for their manuscript. Entice me to endorse their book. Edit their book for free. Nothing wrong with wanting my help. They need only to ask and I can say yes or no.
I find it troubling that they approach in the guise of friendship and shower me with attention and affirmation. But underneath, as the saying goes, they want to use me.
The hidden agenda troubles me. Perhaps it’s because I’m an upfront person, and I try not to play games with people.
I wish I could add that I’m always straightforward and without guile. I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it. Almost daily I think of the incident where Jesus first meets Nathaniel, who became one of the 12 apostles. Jesus’ first words were, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” (John 1:47 NKJV). Another translation reads, “a man of complete integrity.”
I can think of nothing I’d rather hear than for someone to say to me or about me that I’m guileless.  
Personal News
  • May 18-24, I’m scheduled to be in Toronto for several days of speaking, arranged by Allison Restagno and Helena Smrcek.
    On June 17, I will receive the first annual National Award for the Encouragement of Writing given by the Southern Christian Writers Conference in Tuscaloosa, AL. “The purpose of the award is to recognize people who have been important in encouraging others in their writing ambitions and careers.” I feel deeply honored that they would choose me.
    Because I’m intentionally slowing down, I have no further out-of-town speaking trips scheduled until late September.
    I’ve signed a contract with Tyndale House Publishers to write the story of Mariam Ibraheem, a Sudanese woman beaten and condemned to death because she refused to recant her Christian faith. (She’s now free and living in the USA.)
Here's Cec with Dr. Ryan Fraser, Assistant Professor of Counseling at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, TN. Cec is mentoring Ryan on a book project.
During a bit of free time in Iowa, Cec enjoyed dinner out with his nieces Sue Huntley and Sharon Bailey and their husbands.
The Twila Zone--Words from My Assistant, Twila Belk
Cec had a great Iowa experience in April--and he stayed out of too much trouble. Although I wasn't able to travel with him to his many events because of doctor appointments and starting chemo while he was here, I made sure to have plenty of spies who reported back to me and sent pictures. As you can see, I've included several of them in this month's newsletter.
Cec enjoys reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones. He'll have that opportunity again when he travels to Toronto in May. We're grateful for the people who help make connections for him and for those who invite him to speak at their events. 
On a Personal Note: Life is a bit different for me these days, and I'm having all kinds of new and special feelings since starting chemo on April 19, so I'm turning down all invitations to run 5Ks or to climb mountains. The good news is that I've discovered online grocery shopping, and I'm just about giddy with excitement that I can have groceries delivered to my house! I feel like I've conquered the world.
God has hugged me in so many ways, and I'm especially amazed with His timing. Months ago, as I wrestled and paced the floor and cried out to God for the words in each of the daily readings for Raindrops from Heaven: Gentle Reminders of God's Power, Presence, and Purpose, I had no idea they would be words that would minister to me on specific days in specific ways for what I'm going through right now. I'm beginning to think God wanted me to write the book just for me. He makes me smile.
For those who would like to follow my periodic updates, you can access my Care Pages site after creating an account to log in.
With Mary Schepker and Mary Humston, coordinators of the St. Thomas More mini-retreat in Coralville, Iowa
With Barb Fannon at the Coralville mini-retreat
With Rini Hudachek at the mini-retreat
With new friends Sara and Scott and Julie Theisen at the Inspire Café in Dubuque, Iowa
With Jeff Lenhart at the Inspire Café in Dubuque, Iowa
With Rick Smith at the Inspire Café in Dubuque, Iowa
Cec and Mary Potter Kenyon led two grief seminars together--one in Manchester, Iowa, and one in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Cec and Mary Potter Kenyon with two new friends at the grief seminar in Cedar Falls, Iowa
With Robin Grunder at the Quad Cities Prayer Center in Davenport, Iowa
Gotta Tell Somebody, Inc. | 5672 Appleton Road | Bettendorf, IA 52722

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