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.

Wealth Chokes God’s Word

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but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing Mark 4:19 NIV

 Each day, I give my worries to God. When I don’t, too much of my time can be spent mulling over my husband’s health problems, writing that was rejected, or projects that need to be finished. I try to take time to meditate in the morning, but I can make excuses for not doing that, just  as I do for not exercising or taking my meds. I do line things up, but then say I’ll take my meds later, I’ll write later after I finish this game, or I’ll exercise tomorrow. All this disorganization chokes out God’s messages to me. Prayer or meditation opens my heart to God’s word.

 Do you find it hard to not let the cares of the world interfere with your writing? By cares of the world I mean worry about health issues, family problems, money problems or the desire for new and better things. Sometimes the lure for wealth and other things can stop our creative flow. Should our time be wasted worrying about insignificant desires or gaining wealth? Worry cannot change the past or future. The moment we live in now is the most important moment because it could be our last moment. Read God’s word and give God time and He will give you the inspiration and words.

Lord, dreaming of wealth chokes God’s word from our heart. Procrastination chokes the flow of our writing, exercise, or health. Remind us to give our worries to you and that will leave plenty of time to get to the important things in life.

 

Let Go And Write

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If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. (James 4:17, NASB).

I often sit typing, while intermittently staring at my housework. I have my past work life stored in my den. I loved my job working with children. I find it difficult to part with the things that remind me of those good times. I’ve rationalized putting off  sorting and giving away these things. By using my writing as a way to avoid an upleasant task, I am sinning. Whether I use writing to put off house work or use housework to avoid writing, I am wasting time.The simple truth is I’m sinning holding onto things and God has been whispering to me to get on with what he has in store for me by letting go of the things, but keep the memories. If I share my things, I will open my den and writing life won’t be cluttered. All my memories will be fodder for my writing.

It takes as much time and energy avoiding a task than it does to do it. Avoiding the inevitable drains our energy. Action produces energy. Let go of the junk in you life and make room for Gods  changes. God will bless and empower us with the strength let go. If we do, we make it easier for ourselves and God to attend to the new and wonderful things ahead of us.God is not impressed with our good intentions to write.Obedience to his daily callings is the greatest preparation for our every tomorrow.

Father remind us that even the small unpleasant tasks in life can have a lesson for us. Help us to realize these lessons, without a lot of coaxing. Thank you for helping us move forward and not live in the past.

Put Your Hope in God

bible-and-laptopCommand those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. – 1 Timothy 6:17 (NIV)

Are you working hard at your writing career? Have you already achieved success in the genre you write in? If you have, that’s great. If you haven’t, your time will come. God wants to bless us all for our hard work. He wants us to enjoy the fruits of our labor. He, after all, gave us the talent to put words on paper with some meaning for others. God has provided everything for us, but we have to learn how to use the talent He has given us.

When we do achieve a following for writing, it’s wise not to become arrogant and count on the riches we receive to last forever. Money and fame can be so uncertain. When we achieve recognition for our talent, that’s the time to put our hope in God and thank Him for all he has given us. Our recognition, and money he cannot use. He, however does expect and deserve our thanks for all we have received.

Lord, thank you for the gift you have given us in our ability to share our words with others. No matter how small or large our recognition is, help us to remember we are receiving from you. If we receive much, help us to remember You are the reason.

Writing with Sincerity

For we are not peddlers of God’s word like so many; but in Christ we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence  2 Corinthians 2:17

 Wow, If you think of standing in God’s presence, while you write, it can put a burden on us. God calls us to write with sincerity. His spirit with us with each finger stroke. Have you ever thought about what God thinks about what you write? His spirit is guiding each word. Do you ignore His prompting, when you hear, “Maybe I shouldn’t write that. Maybe that’s not a good idea?” Sometimes it’s our inner guide and not out inner critic. We can go around willy, nilly thinking what we write is wonderful. Most times it probably is, however, one insertion of a wrong idea can affect another’s life. This is an awesome responsibility. The public accepts our words in their hearts as true. Whether it’s a novel, short story, children’s story or poetry, others hold onto what we write.

I believe we are all doing God’s calling and He has led us to our vocation, however, I often wonder are my words reflecting His words. Does he approve of how I use His word? This is a great burden, as I continue what I continue my vocation. As write my devotionals, I will not to peddle God’s word and force my beliefs. I will speak with sincerity because being a messenger of God’s word is important to me. He knows I am not  perfect, as I intertwine my life with my beliefs. He understands my thought process isn’t the same, a yours. He is happy if readers disagree with me because it makes them think about Him. God understand this and I accept this. I will try to remember I am standing in his presence with each word I write.

Lord help us to know the difference between our inner voice and our inner critic. Guide our thoughts and words. Help us to weave our thoughts and words with care and love.

Servants of the Word

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I became its servant according to God. Colossians 1:25

Many writers, I believe, are introverts. I find it easier to express my thoughts and beliefs on paper. Even though I’m happiest when I’m writing and bringing God’s word to others, I don’t always feel equipped. I wonder if I am the right servant for this particular service. Do my words reach someone’s heart or change a life? I have a spiritual relationship with God and deep respect for my faith, but I wonder will my faith help anyone else? These concerns, however, shouldn’t be a burden to me. God uses my words His way to  touch the person. He will strengthen or change their life. Despite how inadequate my words might seem to me, God finds a way to use them to touch a life. I wrestle with these thoughts each time I sit down to my laptop, but I will rely on God to help me find  the words and incentive to continue my vocation.

If you wrestle with insecurities about your writing, or life’s problems interfere with your writing, take some time to meditate or pray in the morning. You can take some time and walk your dog and commune with nature, or listen to some relaxing music. These activities will relax you and  inspire your writing. Relax and enjoy the new flow  you will have in your writing life. God wants us to prosper in our writing and in the life he’s given us.

Lord, help us to look to you and the things you put in our life as support. As we use music, nature, or prayer to support our writing, be by our side guiding our fingers and imagination on the keyboard. Help us to always write things that nurture, enlighten or help another’s growth personally or spiritually.

Internal Change

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Lord, my ultimate desire is to know you and serve you in this world so as to spend eternity with you in the next. Sometimes my own beliefs, opinions, and desires get in the way of knowing your will. Please send your Holy Spirit to conform my will to yours. The New Evangelization and You

I’ve been gathering, organizing and planning for my writing and personal life for 2014 for a month now. I want to serve God more efficiently this year, but God doesn’t want planners; he wants doers. Of course all planning takes place from my couch. I get in my own way when it comes to following God’s will. I don’t respond to His whispering or the nudging of the Holy Spirit pointing out to me what I need to do to have a better life. Opening my heart and listening is the first step in serving better. God whispers come to me through nature, pets, music, kids, and even TV  commercials. Especially the times  I’m sitting in front of the TV, writing and  enjoying a snack. Suddenly a commercial comes on about a piece of exercise equipment or a diet and I cringe. The Holy Spirit is convicting me in a loud whisper then. God doesn’t want me to spend all my time sitting and writing; he wants me to get up and do something physical.

If you’ve planned on making changes in your writing and personal life this year start now. Do it! God wants us to succeed, but he wants healthy and well-rounded writers. Make time for exercise, enjoy special times with your family, and cook special and healthy meals. Find new ways to enjoy the time he has given you. All these pleasures create writers who will serve God in a new and happy way. He wants us to enjoy our lives, as well as our writing. Service doesn’t always have to be working. Listen to God with your heart so your life and your writing will serve in a happy and healthy way. Your life and service will become a joy.

Lord help us to keep listening to your whisperings. Help us to listen to the Holy Spirit each minute of the day in order to serve you. Give us the stamina to follow through with new and needed changes in our lives.

God’s ImperfectPeople

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I often think that God can’t use me until I am fully prepared. I write and take small steps of learning. I practice my skills, learn from other writers, and gain faith in my abilities. I become stronger the longer I work at my craft. It won’t happen all in one day. Recently, I decided if I keep waiting, I won’t be any use to God.

 Is that how you work at your writing? Do you perfect each and every aspect of your material? That’s not how the story of Moses went. It was because Moses felt unready that God told him that he would use him to become the great leader of the Jewish people. He would lead His people from Egypt. God did on the job training. Just like Moses, we don’t need wait until we feel ready to do something for God, we just need to do something and God will meet us along the way.

 Lord help us to remember that you are there waiting for us. Help us to slow down so  we can meet you during our journey. You will lead us, if we only take the time to let you give us on the job training.

Faith in the Unseen

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Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Do you find it hard to have faith in your writing skills? I didn’t always have faith in myself, my writing skills, or in becoming a success in my writing career. I hoped for these successes, but didn’t have faith in accomplishing them. Over the years, however, I have learned to lean on God. By leaning on a God I developed some faith in myself. I realized that God has been and will continue to help me accomplish my goals. Right now, I’m feeling led to continue writing devotionals and anthology pieces. God is, however,  putting others in my path to one day add a children’s book to my writing credits. For the time being I am happy to follow the path I’m on.

If you have been waiting to accomplish a writing goal, put you faith in God. When you have faith in your unseen God you can develop faith in your convictions. God will put others in your path to help you achieve you writing goals. He will help you hold onto your convictions and succeed in the future. He is our Guide and hope for the future.

Lord as we pray each day, remind us that your are with us. We cannot see you, but have faith you are there and you have the desire for us to achieve our hoped for goals. We have faith you will supply our needs.