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Life is filled with lemons: those life-puckering, lemon-juice-in-the-eye events we all encounter. Some are only temporary: kidney stones, crashed computers, lactose intolerance, sadistic dental hygienists, overdrawn checking accounts, and IRS audits. Others, however, can leave a long-lasting bitter taste: cancer, family feuds, prodigal children and death.

Here’s the Table of Contents from Squeezing Good out of Bad, a book proposal my agent is pitching:

When life gives you lemons . . .

10. Don’t confuse them with hand grenades (Identify the problem)

9. Give them to the school food drive (Determine if it’s your problem)

8. Sell ’em on Ebay (Profit from the problem)

7. Paint smiley faces on them (Laugh at the problem)

6. Join a citrus support group (Share your problem)

5. Use as an all-natural, organic astringent (Grow from the problem)

4. Don’t shoot the delivery driver (Forgive the problem-maker)

3. Graft to a lime tree to produce a refreshing, low-calorie soft drink (Take the problem to a higher level)

2. Grow your own orchard (Live a fruitful life despite—or because of—the problem)

1. Give off a refreshing fragrance (Live a lemon-fresh life)

• Here’s a sneak preview of Chapter 5.

And, some other articles on dealing with life’s lemons:

Some thoughts on life’s tough questions

God is never late—but He sure is slowThe Rest of the Bible Story (Bible stories don’t always end with “and they lived happily everafter.”)

Quips and quotations of encouragement

P.S. I wrote this post Tuesday and scheduled it for today. The very next day, Wednesday, I unexpectedly lost my largest client (25% of last year’s income). So, once again, I’m trying to practice what I preach, or is that preach what I practice? Whatever, thanks for your prayers as God and I squeeze good out of this bad lemon.

P.P.S. However, I’m up to my mustache in other projects, so that’s good. It’s bad, however, in that my blog will be on hiatis for a week or so.

P.P.P.S. I hope to see many of you at the 2008 Sandy Cove Christian Writers’ Experience September 29-October 2 on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay! I’ll be giving the opening keynote and teaching a continuing session on writing online.

P.P.P.P.S. (9.15) Yikes! I just learned that Gospel Communications is going out of business December 15. (I used Gospel Communication films way back in the 70s during my youth pastor days!) Also, Gospelcom.net hosts my site as well as employing a lot of friends in online ministry. Thanks for praying for the wonderful staff at GC as they try to squeeze good out of this lemon!

P.P.P.P.P.S. (9.16) Some good being squeezed out this week. A new book editing project with ACW Press and contact to do consulting work at a local university to help profs get their work into print (“Publish or perish!”) Sweet!