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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

Spiritual Grounding

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. – Luke 10:21 (NIV)  

It scares me, when I sit down to write a devotional. There are so many implications in each Scripture. I know no matter how much I study or learn; my dependence is on the Father to open my heart to understand each Scripture. I’m still not sure. I have to remind myself prayer and study go hand in hand. If I don’t study and pray my writing is just an exercise in intellectual vanity. Prayer without study produces spirituality with no grounding. Both are necessary for what is placed in my heart. I accept that someone else may read the verse and find a different meaning for them and that’s okay. It’s how the scripture touches each of us.

No matter what we write, we need to be careful where we lead one another. I always think about the fact that long after I’m gone, my words may still be there. I don’t want them to haunt me, I want them to be good words that make a lasting impression. We may mean well, but unlike speaking our words aren’t spoken. People can’t see our facial expressions or hear the inflection in our voice. Without those additions our words can wound or send someone in a direction we didn’t plan. Words are powerful. If you’re ever on Facebook, you can see how that happens every day. Putting prayer with our writing is an asset, not an annoyance.

Father, if we need prompting, prompt us. We give our writing to you and want to please you. Help us to do that each time we put ink to paper or fingers to the keyboard. 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.

Who Leads You?

For all those who are led by God’s spirit, these are God’s sons.” Romans 8:14

Did you know one of the greatest gifts God offers us is the privilege of being led by the Holy Spirit? I love the fact that I am led by the Holy Spirit’s wisdom. When I lean on my own wisdom, I am in trouble. The Holy Spirit provides me with God’s wisdom. He helps me to make good and right decisions. Knowing I  have the ability to tap into the Spirit’s wisdom to make my decisions is freeing. The Spirit’s wisdom allows the decisions I make today to change my tomorrows, too.

In our daily decisions, whether it’s in our personal or writing life we need to use this guidance. Stop and ask for guidance with each new decision you are unsure of because you will receive an answer. It may be through another person, or an inner reassurance, if your decision is based on prayer. When my girls were small, I would take a deep breath, close my eyes and throw a “Lord, help me” to the heavens.  I think that deep breath along with closed eyes gave my girls the impression an explosion was erupting within. However, that short prayer gave me enough time to regroup and receive an answer. Depend on the Holy Spirit, he never leads us in the wrong direction. Just like we like our children to listen, God loves his children to listen to His counsel.

Lord help us to remember, as your children, we are not alone. In those times of anger or confusion let us turn to the Holy Spirit before making our decisions. You are always there with guidance and love. Let our decisions be your decisions for our lives and the lives of those we love.

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.

Completed Through His Hands

photopottershandsFor we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV

I get scriptures in my email. When I read this scripture, I had an “Aha” moment. I shivered as goose bumps popped out on my arms. “Wow, I am the results of God’s workmanship.” This was a new understanding and it struck a note. I always understood God created me, but being the result of His workmanship struck a different note. It made me realize that a great deal of thought and care lent a hand to complete me. I felt valuable and knew God fashioned something special in me, enabling me to accomplish things that only I’m uniquely gifted to do. Another fact I learned from this devotional is that the Greek word for workmanship is poem. So to be a poem is special. Poems touch people’s’ hearts. I like to feel that as a writer, my writing can and should touch someone’s heart and or feelings. I’m sorry that have a peculiar train of thought, but. I was touched by this scripture.

God has empowered all writers to do good works. If God has led you to be a writer, each day he will trust your to serve him. Your don’t have to write devotionals, children’s stories, or human interest pieces. We do have to be respectful as writers in our choice of words. He wants us all to be able to do something special with the talents he has given us. Remember your are a product of he workmanship and that alone should make you feel valuable. Keep his poem alive and touch others hearts with your writing.

Lord help us to remember how hard you worked on creating us. Help us to create our own wonderful poems and touch others in you name.

Do Not Be Shaken

Jesus-comforts_web-150x150I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, – Psalm 16:8-9 (NIV)

I am constantly worried about the future of my children and grandchildren.  Talking to other grandparents, I know I’m not the only one. We’ve always had upheaval and uncertainty in our country, but not living in our country. The situation now days seems so much worse. So much is coming at us at once, we don’t know who to rely on or who is our friend. All the anger and shouting around us fuels our confusion. We look at strangers as enemies and they are doing the same. When I sit down to write, whether it’s on Facebook or emails, I try to let my words reflect optimism for a secure future. Sometimes that little gesture of checking a like or sharing a post spreads more meanness than words can to another. I am ashamed to admit I am guilty of that at some of my weaker moments.

This psalm is telling us that our security is felt in our heart. We will be prepared, when we put the Lord in the situation. These situations can cause us great anxiety. However, when we see the Lord in our circumstances, we gain confidence and peace. Because of this we will not be shaken. We have been given all that we need and will see beyond our immediate problems, when we focus our thoughts on Him. We can rest secure even in the most challenging situations. Rejoice with good and friendly words in our hearts, writing, and in our voices.

Lord help us to see beyond the challenging situations that are here and coming in the future. Whether they are personal or global, we know you at our side. We will not be shaken because you are at our right hand. Our hearts can once more be happy, while our tongues and writing rejoice in your love for us.

Believe In Yourself

Believe in Yourself

“If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23

 There are times I lack confidence, when I explain my views to others? I make a lot of rewrites , creating a greater lack of confidence in the worth of my writing. God doesn’t want me writing under those conditions God wants strength in my words. I don’t always remember He will help me put conviction in my writing. He wants me to believe in what I am writing. If I don’t believe in my myself or my opinions enough to convince others, how can he support me? I have to do my part by believing and  he will guide my words and convictions.

 If you have this problem in your writing life, remember you have your own private editor. If you feel you are being prompted to edit your words, do so. Be led by the spirit. It will never fail you. Don’t write by countering another’s opinion, to back up your opinion. If we are confident in our beliefs, we won’t feel the need defend them or convince others. Our opinion should stand on its merit. Some people will never believe in what we say, but that’s okay. Give people time to hear the message, time to think and time to understand

 Lord, help us believe you will guide our words. Please give us the confidence in our words and be our guide.

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.

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