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Monday, January 26, 2015

Linda Yezak on The Effects of Fear


The Paralizing Effect of Fear


“For I am the Lord Your God Who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you’” (Is. 41:13, NIV).


In the ancient days, back when concrete swimming pools were newly invented and high diving boards provided the latest adrenaline rush to thrill seekers . . .


Okay, maybe not that long ago, but pretty close. I was nine. Swimming pools had been around for a while.


So, picture it: Scrawny, freckled redhead, mostly elbows, knees, and impulsiveness, climbs the steps of the highest diving board at the pool--an Olympic-sized pool, with an Olympic-regulation diving board. My mind is made up. All my friends have jumped off this board, and they're down below, squinting into the sun at me as I force my feet up another step. Others who want to take the dive are climbing behind me, so I don't dare stop. One more step. One more step.


Don't look down.


I feel triumphant as I hit the top. I survey the terrain around me. It's beautiful. And for a moment, I'm the world's princess.


Until someone complains behind me: "Hey! You gonna jump, or what?!"


The board is wider than it appears from the poolside, so walking it isn't nearly as frightening as I'd thought it would be. But going to the edge . . . looking over the edge . . . at that tee-tiny pool below, that I'm supposed to jump into . . . gulp!


I couldn't do it.


The groans, growls, and outright cussin' that went on while everyone climbed back down the steps so Chicken Little could go run to her mommy are still vaguely lodged in my memory.


Fear can stop you from experiencing a wide variety of thrills. It can paralyze you from being daring. It can glue your feet to the ground and leave you at a standstill. It can force you to back up, to retreat.


And it can stop you from writing what God wants you to write.


Writers face a wide variety of fears: What if I can't do this? What if I'm not good enough? What if my story isn't good enough? What if God didn't really call me for this? What if everyone hates it?


Lesson #1: Recognize where those doubts and fears come from. Whether God called you to write, or you dedicate everything you write to Him, chances are, He's going to bless it. So the idea the doubts and fears come from Him can quickly be ruled out. Whenever we're doing something for His glory, He's interested and engaged. It's not likely to be Him asking us to climb back down the steps.


Lesson #2: Whether God called you to write, or you dedicate everything you write to Him, He's going to bless it. Whenever we're doing something for His glory, He's interested and engaged. It is He who is first in line to be our help if we only accept the offer.


So, what are you afraid of? Give your fear to the One Who takes hold of your right hand, and dive in.






Over twenty years ago, after a decade of life as a "single-again," author Linda Yezak rediscovered God's love and forgiveness when He allowed her a second chance at marital happiness. She is now living her greatest romance with her husband in a forest in East Texas. After such an amazing blessing, she chooses to trumpet God's gift of second chances in the books she writes. Linda's novels are heart-warming hallmarks of love, forgiveness, and new beginnings.


Visit Linda's Amazon page here.





Friday, January 16, 2015

Finishing Your Project? with Pamela Thibodeaux


To Finish or Not…Is it Really an Option?

 

                              "God is the Author and Finisher of our faith”


 
Every time I hear that particular phrase, it strikes a chord in my soul and mind. What, exactly, is in this message? Is there a deeper meaning meant for writers? 

I have heard many would-be authors make the remark that they have several books “in the works.” My question to them is: How many have you finished?

You will never experience that special sense of accomplishment that comes with putting "The End” on something you've poured your heart, soul, and emotions into for weeks, months, or years on end, unless you finish your book, short story, article, poem, or whatever. 

There are many merits and rewards in terms of confidence, experience, and self-esteem when you finish a project.  I believe it's what changes your perspective of yourself (for me anyway) from a wannabe writer to an author.

Don't worry if it's not good, publishable, or even legible. Just get it done! Unless you are one of the blessed professionals who get everything right the first time out and never have to rewrite a single word, believe me, you will have plenty of time to revise, rewrite, polish, or whatever. 

Minister (author, teacher and conference host) Joyce Meyer has a book called Battlefield of the Mind.  In her book, Joyce lists several "wilderness mentalities" that kept the Israelites (and people today) from entering into the Promised Land (blessings of God). One of those listed was fear. Another was procrastination (which is rooted in fear). 

 Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of getting to ‘the end’ and not having any more stories in you. You name it and every writer who has ever (or never) been published, will tell you that they experience that fear at one time or another. Many will tell you (yes, even published authors) that they face fear every time they sit down and look at that blank screen.

However, you cannot overcome, if you don't step out on FAITH and finish what God has put in you! Writing is a talent given to us from God. The Bible says in Hebrews (12:2) that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith.  Isn't it only sensible that we finish what we start?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Precious Lord Jesus, Your Word says in Habakuk (2:2) that we should write the vision and make it plain upon the tablets…give us the grace that we may finish the work you have set before us and then, send forth Your Spirit that we may share that work with the world. In Jesus’ name we pray…Amen.

 

  Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction and creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian message without decreasing the message.

 

Links:

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com  



Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

 


Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The New Year: David Kitz

Something a little different to kick off 2015!




           Saving Grace For The New Year


                          Psalm 40

                       (Verses 11-17)







Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD;    

may your love and faithfulness always protect me.

For troubles without number surround me;    

my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.

They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me.

Be pleased to save me, LORD; come quickly, LORD, to help me.

May all who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion;

may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.

May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be appalled at their own shame. 

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;

may those who long for your saving help always say,

“The LORD is great!”

 But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the LORD think of me.

You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay. (NIV)



Reflection


David begins Psalm 40 by praising the LORD for rescuing him from the slimy pit of the past. But David ends this psalm with a fresh appeal for God’s mercy. Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD may your love and faithfulness always protect me.


As we begin a new year, it is only fitting that we take time to praise God for what He has done for us in the past. Let us never forget that the LORD’s faithfulness has brought us to this point. We are not where we are today because of our own cleverness or ability. Every talent we have is a gift from God; every breath we take is a gift from the Giver of Life.


Yet again David appeals for God’s salvation. Be pleased to save me, LORD; come quickly, LORD, to help me.


By the grace of God I have experienced an initial point of salvation, just like David, but my salvation needs to be renewed from time to time. We all need to experience fresh surges of God’s grace and love. Grace (charis) in the full New Testament sense means much more than just unmerited favour. It means we are recipients of God’s providential gifting and power to live a maximized life under His caring guidance. There’s something supernatural about grace. It goes beyond human ability or ingenuity because it comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. When we call out to Him as David did, we are tapping into an ocean full of help, strength and possibilities beyond fathoming.


May that grace, that charis of God, be with you and upon you in 2015.



Response

 LORD God, I need you as I face the year ahead. Equip me with divine grace for each day through the love and power of Jesus. Amen.



Your Turn: Have you experienced God’s grace in the past year?


David Kitz is a Bible dramatist, an award winning author, a convention speaker and a retired public school teacher. For over twenty-five years, he has served as an ordained minister with the Foursquare Gospel Church of Canada.


David has a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies, in addition to Bachelor’s degrees in both Arts and Education. His love for drama and storytelling is evident to all who have seen his Bible based performances. For several years now, he has toured across Canada and into the United States with a variety of one man plays for both children and adults. Though born and raised in Saskatchewan,


David now lives in Ottawa, with his wife Karen. They have two adult sons, Timothy and Joshua.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas!                                                                                                 Happy New Year!

 Please join us in the new year for more writing inspiration.  Have a safe and magical holiday.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Week Sixty-One: Nancy Richardson

              The Final Chapter Is Not Yet



“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet formed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”  Psalm 139:16  (NKJV)

This particular passage hit home in me one evening as I sat reading my Bible. In it, it says ... in Your book they are written, the days fashioned for me.
I am in God’s book. He know what each chapter that is written is about. It is a story fashioned for me. I became so excited to suddenly realize I am in God’s story. Yes, a character worth writing about. The plot He knows and I get to experience, one chapter at a time.

He knows each one’s particular style. You may be a poem with rhyme and reason. You could be a mystery yet to be discovered. You could be a hero or heroine or one of many smaller characters. You are a part of the greatest book ever written, God’s Book. The final chapter of your story is not yet. It is still left for you to experience.

Ask God to prepare your heart to complete the days He has written for you, with zeal and passion. Give Him the glory. Give Him the praise. And live the story He has fashioned for you. There are still chapters to be completed.



Nancy DuBose Richardson is a born-again follower of Jesus Christ and is living in Camden, Arkansas with my husband and one child, the last of six, left at home. After teaching Sunday School class for many years she wrote and self published a 30 day devotional called "Seek First.." for her class and friends. Currently, she is working on another devotional series called "At the Kitchen Table", and one dealing with choices which is yet to be titled.



Sunday, December 07, 2014

Week Sixty: Janet Elaine Smith

A Mindless Writer, or a Writer Who Can’t Make Up Her Mind?


I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. I Corinthians. 9:22, (KJV)

When I started writing my first book, I hoped to inspire people to find a walk with God. At the same time, I wanted “regular” people to read my books. We hear about preaching to the choir, and I wanted to go out in the highways and byways of life, to the traditional bookstores, not just to the Christian bookstores.
I also wanted to write a lot of different types of books, different genres. The plan God gave me was to share the message of hope not by preaching in my novels, but to do it through character development. If a not-so-perfect person could grow and change, there was hope for my readers to do so too.

Has it worked? I now have 16 novels out. Some of them fall closer to the “inspirational” definition than others do. But even a cowboy rebel can lead a person to God. In Pampas, a very influential man in New York City told me he had returned to church and to God because of one very small statement by my cowboy, Raul Escobar. He told the woman of the house in Argentina, “I…I think I’m a Catholic.” She replied, “That is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. You don’t even know what you are!”

The man in New York wrote to me that he stopped dead in his tracks, realizing that he couldn’t honestly answer what he was, or what he believed. I have spoken with him on the phone and he told me that if Raul had not been forced to question his faith, he probably would never have given it a second thought. As he followed Raul’s quest for returning to a belief in God, he found himself making his own way back. He laughed as he related how he had even been attending church for the first time since he was a teenager. “I even went when there was a blizzard!” Thank God, he knows now.

Did I set out to convert big businessmen through a cowboy book? No, but God knew who needed the message. I was just an instrument in His hands, putty in the potter’s hands. Will I write more cowboy stories? Well, another man, this one from South Dakota, told his wife, after he read Dakota Printer, “That’s the best Western I’ve read since Zane Grey died.” Who knew? I thought I was writing an inspirational historical romance? If God wants to use it as a Western (i.e., cowboy book), I’m more than willing to become “all things to all men.”


Janet Elaine Smith is the author of 16 novels and 2 non-fiction books: http://www.janetelainesmith.com janetelainesmith@yahoo.com