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Untrained Servants


I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. II Corinthians 11:6 NIV

Paul and the other apostles made it clear that Paul was untrained as a speaker. When he spoke it was of his personal knowledge and relationship with Jesus. I speak of my personal relationship with Jesus through my writing. I don’t have the first hand and physical knowledge Paul had of Jesus. Paul and the other apostles were plain everyday people passing the message on the best way they could. That is what they were led to do. Now days, people who look plain, ordinary and even boring are looked over. We miss the knowledge and love that lies in their hearts. Paul would have been overlooked by our modern standards for spiritual leaders. People look for talent to entertain, instead of content to touch their souls.You know the preachers that can yell the loudest and have the biggest cathedrals. By commingling my knowledge and understanding, I pray I am successful in my small endeavors. For me that means I would like some spiritual nugget I possess to grow into a boulder for someone else and be passed onto others.

Through your writing or speaking you can only hope and pray that someone’s heart is touched. Whether we are children’s writers, spiritual writers, anthology writers ,we all want to speak to or touch someone’s heart. That’s what writing is all about. We are untrained servants too and no matter what we intend to pass onto others,we need to do this with some knowledge in our genre. If we are intimidated by our lack of knowledge, we should keep searching and learning. I know this keeps me searching and learning in my spirituality and writing endeavors. Just like Paul, our way of communicating may not always be the most eloquent, but if it’s coming through with love and discernment, people’s hearts will be touched.

Lord help us to always to communicate our knowledge to the best of our ability. Help us to communicate and touch people’s hearts and spirits through prayer and love. Amen

Many Parts-One Body


The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.– 1 Corinthians 12:12 22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 

When I put it in the context of writing, I really didn’t know which part of this seemed more important, so I chose these two verses that spoke to me the most. I immediately thought of my critique group, which is made up of many wonderful individuals. Unfortunately, I always felt uncomfortable and out-of-place because most were accomplished writers. Some of us writers are weaker and feel less important than the more experienced and knowledgeable ones. These verses have helped me realize that I do have a place in the group. Being one of the weaker writers I was led with great care to encourage my strengths. God also put us together so the more accomplished writers can hone their leadership skills. I will be rejoining my group once again.

Pray about it and if you want to belong to a critique group, don’t hesitate. It may take a few tries before you mesh with a group, but there’s one out there for all of us. Sit, listen and take in all you can from their experiences and corrections. We all have a purpose in a group. Even though we may appear the weakest or less important, we are most necessary for everyone’s growth.

Lord help us to reach out to each other with love and care. Help us to grow in our writing and honor your choices for us. Help us to believe that even though we may be the weakest and feel less important that we are a necessary asset to the group. Amen

Chosen Ones


In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,

There was great joy and freedom when I realized that I didn’t choose God, but He chose me! Someone wanted me. As a kid, I always waited to last to be chosen for a game. As an adult, it was wondrous to realize I was chosen before I was born. God had a predestined plan for my life. I realized that’s why, even as a  child, I always had  in my heart a desire to write. I’m ashamed to say have been very lax in my writing in the past few years, but it’s always there nagging at my heart. God wants me to get involved in my writing life, once again. I love writing, but sometimes I let the ups and downs of my life dictate, when I write. I’m so glad God works with me on my weaknesses. He keeps urging me on in my destiny. He may not have a great book in my future, but He has the confidence in my will to move on with my life, writing and desire to share and help others.

This great love we have for writing is nothing compared to the love we will face when we come into the kingdom of heaven. The overwhelming desire to please the Lord with the talents he has given us should be used with respect. Whether you write for children, spiritual, fiction, or non fiction, God chose you for a purpose. God’s choice in me or you didn’t just happen at salvation and it will continue throughout our lives. God is working things out in ways that you aren’t even aware of.  Get involved in your writing life. God works in ways that are invisible to our view. Rejoice in that truth. Trust in His unending love. We will fail at times, but need to pick up where we left off and continue on with the talents he gave us and the love he is giving us. I am and will continue to follow His lead.

Lord, lead us and we will follow.

Serve Wholeheartedly


“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.”  Ephesians 6:7

When I sat down to write, I used to worry a lot about the words I wrote. Will they hurt or touch someone’s heart? Will they make someone angry or happy? Will I find the right words to put on the paper. Sometimes, I wrote an article or passage over and over trying to find just the right words. It’s in my nature, I am predominately a people pleaser. I don’t want to make anyone angry, hurt or confused by what I say or write. If I continually change my writing, who am I serving? Am I serving God with my writing? Am I doing God’s bidding or am I people pleasing?

Do you find yourself in this dilemma? It’s a demobilizing state for any writer. Thinking and changing words continually is non- productive for you, as a writer. Later in my writing and faith journey, I’d offer my writing, as a sort of offering to God. I felt some comfort with the belief he would guide me.  He helps when we reach out to Him in times of need. It’s a battle, when I sit down to write. Do you feel the tingling of stress mounting in your body? I used to. I would get so nervous, my head would be swirling. I would realize I was almost hyperventilating. Sounds silly, but it was true. Ask and God will give you the words. Allow Him to lead your fingers on the page. He wants to be in charge, let Him. You will make Him happy and you will be happier, too.

Lord help us to remember in those times we lose the words we need to allow you to give us the words you want others to hear. We are your servants. We offer our hearts and words to you.

God First in Everything


warm-mouse-heated-keyboardIn everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success. Proverbs 3:6 NIV

I don’t know about you, but when I had a lot to do I used to jump right in and get right to work. I would start one writing project jump to another, and so on. At the end of my writing session, I didn’t feel any sense of accomplishment. Nothing was finished, I hadn’t taken time to revise each project, and nothing could be submitted. I felt defeated because I had worked so hard. One day I threw my hands up and said, “What am I supposed to do?” I was totally frustrated. I took a deep breath and took in the quietness around me. “Finish one project at a time,” popped into my head. Now for anyone else, this wouldn’t be a great revelation. We’ve all been taught this, but I get excited when I have more than one idea and I have to get started. I am afraid I’ll forget my ideas before I get to them.

If you’re getting ready to get into a writing session, stop and take some quiet time first. Put on some music, no rock and roll. Try some spiritual or instrumental music and quiet yourself. Take a few minutes and put God first. Ask him what he wants you to accomplish. Let him direct your efforts and he will crown your efforts with success. I’m not saying everything will be published, but you will feel a sense of accomplishment because God came first. He gives you the talent and he will direct your writing.

Lord quiet our spirits and guide our thoughts, as we begin our writing. Direct our writing path and give us the words to guide others. Speak through our writing and help us lift up another person’s spirit with laughter, guidance, and knowledge.

The Spirit’s Nudging


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“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6)

When I first started writing after a seven month siesta, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get back into the daily grind of writing. It never was a grind before, but my desire and ambition had dwindled to nothing. Even though some silent spirit kept nudging me to get to work. I tried hard to ignore, by only writing, if I felt like it. However, as I began writing, I felt the old excitement more and more. My mood lifted and I connected with my spirit once again. God was in charge because if I had my way, I wouldn’t be writing. God wouldn’t let me ignore the desire he put within me. I am not sure I have anything of interest to write because of the lack of comments, likes or shares on my web sites. I do know someone is reading because my stats go up ever so slowly.

If you are having a hard time writing be confident, God will complete his good work in you. He will carry it on until he feels you have answered his call. He won’t let you ignore your calling. Don’t look at your stats. Don’t wait for praise or comments, though it’s nice to know your efforts are appreciated. Sit and write. Start to journal in the morning. These writings can and will lead to other writing. Ask God for insight when you create your weekly writing schedule. Move at a pace that is right for you. Be wise writers who choose and avoid the trap of rushing, which often leads us in the wrong direction.

Dear Lord, give us Your wisdom as we plan our daily schedule. If we begin to feel anxious because we’re trying to do too much, remind us to slow down. Help us to focus on what we’re doing and help us avoid the trap of rushing in the wrong direction. Amen.

Vulnerability in Service


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Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others (1 Peter 4:10-(NIV).

God gifted me with the desire to write. I try to use it to use my thoughts to empower others with some meaningfulness in their journey. I constantly strive to improve on the skills God did give me. Some people find it cathartic to write about their trials. Being an introverted person, I find it extremely difficult. I try to follow through on my commitments but I sometimes fall short of my goals. I let life get in the way, like when my husband became ill. I couldn’t focus. The words weren’t able to break through my scrambled brain or the sadness of my heart. I was only able to use my writing to ask my friends for prayer. For me this was enough, as I went about getting through each day.

If God gave you the skill of writing, do everything you can to improve it. God gave you a gift, but he also waits for you to do your part. You are not a bystander in your life and can only improve by strengthening, reaching out and sharing your faith and journey with others. It’s a difficult process, but it is one that will enrich your life and someone else’s. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. God will use your words to heal someone’s heart and faith. That is his part in your gift and life journey.

Lord help us to remember you are in charge of hearts. You will lead others in the right direction for their journey. We are only one catalyst in reaching another’s life and journey. Thank you for your many gifts in our life.

Diligence in Writing


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The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. Proverbs 21:5(NIV)

I’ve had trouble scheduling everything lately. I couldn’t eve accomplish straightening up my living room. I would sit in my disarray with my mind racing about all the things I needed to do. In the end, I accomplished nothing. My writing had taken step back. My life was a void without Jim or my writing. I always shared my writing with Jim and it seemed useless without him. The mental activity of online games replaced it. This didn’t leave me time to think. But I did think and remembered that Jim’s encouragement was why I went back to writing.

If you are having trouble scheduling your time, ask God for insight and move at a pace that pleases Him. Be a wise writer, who avoids the trap of rushing. Rushing only leads us in the wrong direction. If we calm our hearts, our anxiousness will wash away. Watch for God’s hand in your writing and walk in His grace. If we please Him with our words, we will please His followers. 

Dear Lord, give us Your wisdom as we plan our schedule each week. If we start to feel anxious because we are behind calm our spirit. Help us to remember we need to please only you. Give us the strength and wisdom to follow your lead.

Enrich Your Spiritual Gift


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For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. – 1 Corinthians 1:5-7 (NIV)

Sometimes, my shortcomings as a writer weigh me down. I remind myself old mistakes and my rejections loom in front of me like a neon sign blinking FAILURE. It has produced a desire to quit, as I wonder, WHY do I keep writing? I have even stopped for a while. After a cool off period ideas swirl in my mind again. I can’t seem to stop and I remember how much I LOVE WRITING. The desire is in my heart and I won’t ignore my muse.

Along with our desire, God gives us everything that we need to develop into and succeed as the writers he desires us to become. Success is within our reach. He enriches us in every way by putting mentors, programs, and free webinars in our path to enhance our capabilities. If we take hold of what he offers us, we will develop our gift. It is so important to renew our minds and put on the new self. Don’t hang onto your old self, instead grow and change every day with God’s help. He will work through and with us as we adjust our lives to the promises that He gives in His word.

Lord, help us to recognize and take advantage of the strategies you place in our path. Remind us not to look at our past rejections. Give us strength to ignore feelings of discouragement. We thank you for your help and guidance during our writing journey.

 

A Critique is Not Criticism


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Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Proverbs 15:32 New International Version (NIV)

 I was very excited, when I received my first critique from my new critique partners. I never belonged to a writing group before. I was naive enough to expect accolades for my writing. My excitement soon turned to frustration and I was overwhelmed, when so many corrections appeared in my manuscript. I wondered what was wrong with these people. I felt led to writing as my vocation, so I decided to never send another manuscript to a group.  When I calmed down and went through the story, the changes weren’t really so bad. It was just that the red stood out so loud.

If you’re a writer, count each critique as a blessing from God. He sends people our way to guide us toward His goal. In that respect we all have a lot to learn. Writers never stop learning. When you belong to a critique group, accept corrections or I prefer suggestions of your critique partners. You will learn whether to accept the changes or not. Sometimes a suggestion is only another writer’s preference. God doesn’t force us to take the help he sends us. He lets us make or own choices. The consequences of not accepting correction is ours. Don’t be to proud to accept help. You will not only disappoint yourself, you will disappoint God and never become the writer he desires you to be.

Lord, help us to be open to the critiques of our groups. Please help us to discern which suggestions to implement and which to ignore. We thank you for the gift of free will. Help us to accept the results of our decisions with grace.

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