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Saturday, December 21, 2013




Merry Christmas!!   We will resume the devotionals with the new year.  Be safe and warm!






Keep These Things

 By Robin Bayne


 

 

 

The gifts were many, each a treasure

Some of wealth, more of the heart.

 

The greetings robust, yet hushed

And filled with awe.

 

The star shimmered still, even

As morning neared.

 

Her body drained, Mary sighed, breathing in scents

Of pungent hay, and sheep, and donkey.

Her pulse quickened again at the wonder—

Her new son, her Jesus, who would be Lord.

 

She knew the Scriptures and held them dear.

 

Her stomach clenched, overwhelmed at being chosen.

Her, a common girl, not worthy, not ready.

 

The baby fussed, and Mary hugged Him to her chest. A breeze

Tickled the hairs on her arm, and she smiled.

She thought of the Angel’s words, the shepherd’s words.

The voices lifted in praise.

 

Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.

She held them dear.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Week Twelve: Marilyn Eudaly

What God Gives


For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 ( NIV)



Timidity. Timidity can keep writers from success. That lack of self-assurance that what is written is worth reading can stop us in our tracks. Allowing our work to be critiqued by other writers assures us that we don’t have what it takes. But, God did not give us a spirit of timidity. If not a spirit of timidity, then what did he give us?

Power. The God-given ability to accomplish the task, to reach the goal, to be published. God gave us the power to rise above the critiques, the rejection slips, the editors and agents who have providence over our submissions. We have a power greater even than the writing community to help us over any hurdles.

Love. Love for the written word. A love to write something that will inspire, entertain, or educate others. The writer’s joy when the words are on the page, of having written. Love for fellow writers. God’s love for us, the most divine love of all.
Self-discipline. The ability to set the seat of our pants in the chair and put words on paper. The ability to do what it takes to make a deadline. Will power to persevere to “The End.” God
gives us the self-discipline to do what we know we can do. Self- discipline to get ourselves going whether we write full-time or just on weekends or whenever we can grab a minute between our other responsibilities.

Turning to God removes the timidity, gives us power, showers us with love and provides us with self-discipline. With God on our side, we can write. We can be published. We will be read!



Marilyn Eudaly a writer of devotions, personal essays and Christian fiction, is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, past president of the local chapter, DFW Ready Writers, and the Faith, Hope and Love online chapter of Romance Writers of America She has a personal story published in Chicken Soup for the Dieter’s Soul.


Sunday, December 08, 2013

Week Eleven: Nancy Sonneman

Write It Clearly


Then the LORD answered me and said, Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run. Habakkuk 2:2 (NAS)


Since the invention of the typewriter in 1873, the pen-and-ink folks have become understandably nervous. America’s love of pushing buttons (or in this case, keys) has only escalated over the decades. Now, it’s e-mail and text-messaging. Pen and paper are still being sold, however, and appear to be doing well.

Teachers complain that students prefer to use the “computerese” that is readily acceptable in the chat rooms and telephone screens. Things like “LOL” for “laughing out loud” and the like are making their way into homework across the land. If the teachers can read it, that’s it.


One of the biggest problems around (at least in my humble opinion. Notice that I quelched the urge to say “IMHO” here?) is that penmanship has gone by the wayside. I suppose it is assumed no one writes anymore. At least not the old fashioned way.

That’s where writers like me come along.

A pen accompanies me wherever I go (unless I have a checkbook with me, then the pen gets lost somehow or other. Someday, I’ll have it so “together” that I’ll actually carry both checkbook and pen.), even from room to room in my house.

I write in books I’m reading. Fiction books don’t stand a chance with me as I am constantly writing in the margin what a wonderful turn of phrase or use of sensory image the author has written.
Bibles and non-fiction Christian living books never stay clean, either. Not only do I write the date on which something struck me, but I also underline (I don’t like highlighters, they often bleed through the pages), and in some instances I have underlined the entire page. When the book isn’t mine (from a library or a friend), I keep a notebook beside me.

When I start a new (especially book) project, I get out a file folder and start making notes. I usually fill at least one legal pad with notes such as Scripture references, possible titles, progress reports, etc. I also write “sticky notes” to myself with where I left off, page numbers in reference books to look back at and the like.

Then something strange happens when the next morning comes. I was in such a rush when I wrote some of those notes it is as though a chimpanzee wrote them.
I now have to waste my time trying to decode the mess and trying to think up a believable excuse that the pen actually did it, or was it the paper? Maybe the sun got in my eyes? Some of the notes, however, are not legible at all, and must be crossed out or the liquid correcting fluid that smells like a cross between someone’s gym socks and turpentine used on them. I sigh to myself as I realize I have now lost important data as well as time.

If I had only taken my time and written legibly in the first place, the frustration of not accomplishing anything that day would be nonexistent.




Nancy Sonneman is the author of the book “Patches of Sunshine (A Daily Devotional for Fibromyalgia Patients) January 2002. Visit her on the web: at www.nancyswritingpatch.homestead.com www.freewebs.com/mysteries4him www.samplesofmywork.blog.com



Sunday, December 01, 2013

Week Ten: Kate Dolan

When You Don't Know What to Write


“Sow your seed in the morning,
And at evening let not your hands be idle, For you do not know which will succeed, Whether this or that, Or whether both will do equally well.”- Ecclesiastes 11:6 (NIV)





As the Nike ads used to say “just do it.” For me, writing—or any endeavor involving creativity—usually begins with perspiration rather than inspiration. While many people readily admit that a successful endeavor requires a lot of work to back up a great idea, they expect
the great idea to come first. They wait for inspiration. And maybe it comes, but waiting for inspiration is a lot like waiting to win the lottery. It would be nice, but you can’t count on it.

So while I will sometimes find myself fortunate enough to have a great idea for part of a story or the lead for an article, the reverse is far more often the case. I have no idea what to write, but I have procrastinated all that my extremely lenient conscience will allow. It is time to write.

I look at the blank screen and write...what ever pops into my head.
Sometimes I like it. Usually, I don’t. But when I keep going, when I ignore the little (but vehement) discouraging voice in my head, wonderful words often begin to bloom. In fiction, my characters will sometimes invent solutions, or better yet, new problems for themselves. In my nonfiction writing, I may develop a new understanding of a topic which I thought I’d considered to
exhaustion. And no one is more surprised than myself.

The key to these breakthroughs is to keep going. If I do not let [my] hands be idle, then I come up with a complete body of work, a paragraph or a scene I can evaluate.  And perhaps, on
later reflection, I may decide the little discouraging voice was right. What I wrote doesn’t work at all. Most of the time, however, I’ll find that a little adjustment is all that is necessary to bring the words together in the right way.


And then I have this bit of writing that I can add to other bits of writing to make a a whole. If I had sat around waiting for inspiration, or if I had given up when the words sounded silly, I would have nothing on the screen but a blinking cursor.

Yes, every seed I sow will not come to fruition, and every word I write will not be printed. And I certainly do not take the verse literally and work from dawn to dusk without ceasing. Our lives have many facets, and to remain balanced, we cannot devote too much of our energy to one facet for too long. But when it is time to write or create, it is important to “just do it.” For we do not know ‘which will succeed,’ until we try.


 
Kate Dolan writes historical fiction and romance under her own name and contemporary Christian mysteries and children's books under the name K.D. Hays. When not writing, she can be found coaching jump rope, cooking over an open hearth at a historical site, walking her dogs or riding roller coasters with her daughter. She loves to connect with readers at www.katedolan.com or on Facebook.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Week Nine: Catherine Fox

             Success with Writing


“Only be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your hearts as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”  Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV)

Can we think of anything more important in our journey on this earth than passing on our Christian heritage to our posterity? Whatever we write, whether in our journals, in fiction or
non-fiction stories, in articles about our beliefs or accounts of our own experiences, our writings will become a legacy for our family.

I am now eighty years old and have been writing since age thirty-five. I have several self-published books which are regarded less highly by the professionals than if I had a publisher. A few of my articles have appeared in various magazines—not an impressive number. But I will not lament if “professional” never becomes attached to my name.

Several of my readers have let me know that my books benefited them. This provides great satisfaction for me. Most important of all is the legacy I will leave to my family of the life I lived and my relationship with Jesus Christ.

I pray that some of my descendants who do not know the Lord will be influenced by something I have written, to be united with Him.

So my advice to you fellow writers is don’t be discouraged if you are not a spectacular success in the eyes of the world. You can wield an influence long after your life here is over by the impact your writing can have on your most important people: your family.


                              ~~~Catherine Amands Cone Fox  1924-2011~~~

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Week Eight: Donna Parker

Words


In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” John 1:1  (KJV)



Words. We, as writers, work everyday with words. How important is that?
Words are so important that the apostle John, inspired by God, called God’s own Son, Jesus, the Word—Jesus, God’s ultimate communication with mankind.
Words are so important that in the beginning of the world, God put them into the mouths of only one of His many creations, the only one made in His image: mankind.
Words are so important that God chose to inspire certain men over the centuries to write down

His will for us so that we could have
a solid, unchanging copy of His eternal plan in our Bible.

We, as writers, work everyday with words.   What a
breathtaking and humbling responsibility.
 Even as I write fiction to entertain readers, I can use my words to tear down or build up. I can use them to incite to evil or inspire to good. I can use them as a curse or a blessing. I can let my


Christian light shine or I can hide it under a bushel.
What would Jesus do? What would He expect me to do with this special gift of words?





Donna (D.H.) Parker, a native of the Missouri Ozarks, writes family-rated fiction.  Five books in the "Fiddling With Murder" mystery series and four stand-alone "Fairy-Tale Mysteries" are available at Wings e-Press.  She and her husband of over four decades currently live in Alabama. Website: http://donnaparker.w4aw.org

Check out more of her titles here.



 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Week Seven: Carolyn Scheidies



 
 
Organizing God’s Way
 

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9 (KJV)


Early in my life I felt God’s call on my life to become a writer for Him. I wrote poems and stories for friends and family, and had my own ideas of how I would serve God. Until I got sick. Until I ended up in a wheelchair and didn’t walk again for ten years.

During that time, I didn’t realize as I poured out my heart in writing, my writing was being tempered and honed as was my faith. During those long years, I began to realize my plans weren’t necessarily God’s plans, and I began a journey of faith.

In high school this led me to a published writer who took me under her wings and taught me the basics of writing. I ended up going into journalism, but still non-fiction writing is different from fiction writing (or should be).

I had, and still have, much to learn about writing novels, but one thing I know, I need to continually work at my craft, learn about my craft and not give up. I learned that God has to be an integral part of my writing and writing plans. Writing begins now with prayer and planning.
 


 
 
Carolyn R Scheidies is a wife, proud mother of two, and grandmother of three wonderful grandchildren she loves to spoil. Though her writing career is important, it is not more important than her family or her faith. She is a member of the Hope EFC missions church in Kearney where she serves as a deaconess, secretary of the church board and as a Sunday School teacher.

A graduate from the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) with a degree in journalism, Carolyns' published credits include over two-dozen books, several of which have garnered awards. Her children's picture book was an EPPIE Finalist in 2006. Which was a nice surprise! She's written for a variety of publications, has a regular newspaper column, worked as an editor, speaker/teacher and book reviewer and, early 2013, signed a three-book contract with Harlequin Heartsong Presents. One of her Kearney Hub columns also won her an Amy Writing Award earlier this year.  

Scheidies speaks to different groups, leads workshops, lectured at UNK for several years and has taught adult enrichment writing classes at Central Community College. She has been interviewed on NTV, KHAS and AFR radio as well as in numerous print and online publications and had a monthly book review segment on NTV when she was a regular book reviewer.. http://IDealinHope.com.

Whatever she does, Carolyn’s goal is to share hope, and that hope is found in Jesus Christ. 
 

The Lady's Hero--coming Dec. 1st.
 

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Week Six: Brandy Brow


Prerequisites

 
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I
will guide you with My eye.” —Psalm 32:8 (NKJV)


I used to be scared stiff—literally—in the active sense. I was

afraid I would do something out of God’s will that would make

Him upset with me, so I wound up doing nothing: no jobs, no

ministry, no trips. Then God used a job I didn’t know He didn’t

want me to have to show that He always guides as long as I move

forward looking for His direction. I didn’t have to fear being in the
wrong place so long as I obeyed when I realized He wanted me

to alter course. The catch was, if I wouldn’t do anything, He
couldn’t “steer” me. The same is just as true of writing, but I

didn’t figure this out right away.
 
My writing output came in spurts. Most of the time, I was

stagnant wondering what to work on next. The stagnancy didn’t

stem from fear, though. Rather, belief that Christians weren’t

supposed to write anything of their own accord had caused me to
develop a prerequisite: God had to give me a specific assignment

before I would write. It went against the oft given exhortation
“Just write,” so I spent many days confused and frustrated.

One day I opened my Bible, determined to be in God’s word.

I didn’t know where to begin and had no direction, but I was so
desperate that I turned to a bookmark. Soon, I began to think

about what guidance really meant and looked up specific scriptures
on that topic. After jumping from book to book, I found a verse I

knew right away was the heart of my study, Psalm 32:8. Then I
noticed where it was in my Bible: one up from the first verse I had

read when I opened to the bookmark an hour earlier. I shook my
head in awe of God. There couldn’t have been a more perfect

illustration to emphasize His message. Right then I knew God was
saying that as long as I start, no matter if I begin with my own

desires or not, because I’m looking for His guidance, He’ll pick
up somewhere along my journey and guide me to the right

destination.
 
That day I learned God had already given me a broader

direction I was to follow. He had told me to write. That was the
only prerequisite needed.

It’s good to know we don’t have to wait for specific

assignments from God before we start to write, and that, in fact,
we shouldn’t. We have to begin with the larger command He has

already given us. Write.
If you have been waiting for God to tell you what to work

on next instead of getting down to business, take time today to
begin something—anything—knowing God’s direction is just

around the bend.
 
He could point you to your next project beforehand, but it

could be He is waiting to see how serious you are about writing
before telling you.
 
And no matter how you look at it, if you won’t write anything,

He can’t steer your writing.
Father, if you lead I will follow, but I won’t require You any

longer to prod me before I move. You have already given me the
directive to write. That’s good enough for me. Amen.


Brandy Brow contributed to Writer's Digest's 102 Ways to Earn Money Writing 1500 Words or Less. She loves to help authors, whether it's with freelance editing and mentoring or in her capacities as Executive Director of Christian Writers' Group International (CWGI) or the Assistant Executive Director of The Muse Online Writers Conference.
www.brandybrow.com

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Week Five: Joanne Schulte


 

“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” Mark 16:15 (NIV)

     Sitting at a computer for long periods of time, and enduring writer’s block and rejection notices somehow seem far removed from obeying Christ’s last words to preach the gospel, the good news, to all creation. After all, when writing I’m not sharing the good news face-to-face with anyone. Yet, this “Great Commission” was directed toward all Christians, so that includes me. I know the Lord has not asked me to preach from a pulpit.
He has called me to write for Him, and so I write. But the thought comes to mind. How, then, do I reconcile His commission with my call?

Recently a friend discovered one of my articles in a magazine he found at a bus stop in Southern California. That article had been published in another state. But because the magazine goes to subscribers all over the United States and even into foreign countries, my words are reaching people around the world.
Lee Roddy once said. “Write so heaven will be different.” That, to me, seems to be the answer to combining the gift I’ve been given with obeying Christ’s commission. I can tell others about Christ with my writing. As those words are published, I pray they may have a powerful impact on their readers. As I “preach the good news” on a printed page, seeds are “planted,” or perhaps “watered,” in preparation for Christ to “give the increase.” When this happens, heaven will indeed be different, for there will be people in heaven because of what they have read. Looking at my calling in this light makes me so thankful to be a writer. I’m more determined than ever to search for that elusive phrase, send an article for submission for the tenth time, or hone my craft any way I can. For now I’ve seen it’s through my writing that I’m obeying Christ’s commission to “go into all the world and preach the good news.”



Joanne Wright Schulte began writing for the Lord in 2002 and just recently has begun a speaking ministry too. Her work has appeared in many publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She enjoys, music, reading, writing and speaking.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Week Four: Hilarey Johnson

Put Yourself Out There
 

 
“Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a
clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of
the LORD stood by.” Zechariah 3:5 (NIV)


 

Part of the creative nature of an artist or writer is the sensitivity.

Unfortunately, sensitive people can bruise easily. Something

bubbles within your soul and you cannot contain it. You release it

from your fingertips, it flows into words. Okay, now what do I do

with it? There is an earnest desire to share it, to share this piece of

your heart. The problem is it would be like exposing yourself naked

for all to view. Who wants to stand bare in front of others awaiting

condemnation? Well, fortunately our Heavenly Father is in the

business of covering our nakedness. After all, when Adam and

Eve discovered their nudity He didn’t send them away in shame,

he covered them.

 

Zechariah had a vision he recorded in Zechariah 3:1-5.

Israel’s High Priest, Joshua, was standing before the Lord in filthy

rags while Satan condemned him. If you are standing before the

Lord, who cares who the condemner might be? The Lord took

away Joshua’s filthy rags and clothed him in festal robes. Zechariah

suggested they throw in a turban for his head. The Lord did.

Jesus came to earth to cover our sins, mistakes, and

inadequacies. “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him,”

Revelations 19:7 and 8 “And to her was granted that she should

be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the

righteousness of saints.”

 
Write for the Lord, and put forward your writing. Stand

before Jesus and Jesus only. He will be your covering. If your

writing is rejected with a reason, you can learn to make it better.

It certainly won’t be accepted if you never submit it. If you are

His child, you can rejoice in His covering whether it is accepted

or not.





Hilarey Johnson is a freelance writer and resides in Idaho with
her husband and three children. Hilarey believes that in real life,
romance doesn’t end at the altar, it is just the beginning.
www.hilarey.com


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Week Three: Anita Higman


A Supernatural Embrace

 

 “. . .The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork.”  Psalms. 19:1 (KJV)

 

I believe the first verse in Psalms 19 is a special one for writers to ponder as well as all those who are creative at heart just as David was in the Old Testament. The scripture reads, “The heavens declare the glory of God;…’ Even though there are many excellent reasons to be a writer, hopefully proclaiming God’s glory is the primary impetus in what we do. Even though many of us write in different genres, by the very act of using our gift as He has instructed us, gives Him glory. Think of it. We’re making a glorious declaration along with all the heavens. We certainly are in good company as we declare His majesty.

The second part also has meaning for us as wordsmiths. It reads, “…and the firmament showeth his handywork.” I see
this revealing a facet of God’s brilliant character. He is not
only a God of mercy, love, and justice, but He is indeed an artistic Being as well. He made the lofty peaks, cuddly koala bears, lacy snow and iridescent feathers, the gossamer dress of an iris, sunsets of amethyst, and the entire vast cosmos. Enough magnificence to take our breath away daily. Taking a reflective and genuine notice of these wonders is like a supernatural embrace from the Designer Himself.

What an awesome reality to be made in the image of this imaginative and artistic God. And as Christians, we’ll have an
intimate relationship with this boundlessly inventive and luminous
God for all eternity. For those who are creative at heart like David, these truths can and should play a part in our daily motivation and inspiration.
 
 
 
 



Award-winning author, Anita Higman, has thirty-four books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She has been honored as a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston. She’d love for you to visit her website at www.anitahigman.com.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Week Two: Deborah Raney

          Desires of Your Heart
 
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37 (NIV)
 

For many years, I misinterpreted this wonderful verse of the
Psalms. I took it to mean that if only I could figure out how to
receive my greatest joy through my relationship with Jesus Christ,
that would be the ticket to me getting everything my heart desired.
I thought all I had to do was get happy about Jesus and it would
be like having a magic genie to grant all my wishes.
As I’ve grown in the Lord, and as I’ve studied his Word,
I’ve come to realize that the true blessing of delighting ourselves in
the Lord comes when we willingly allow Him to place within our
hearts the longings and desires that He chooses for us. When that
happens, instead of wishing for things that bring only temporary
pleasure, we suddenly begin to desire things that have eternal value.
 
 
 
 
 
When we open our hearts to God, he begins to work within us,
allowing us to hope for and pray for the very things that are His
will for us.
 
Where my writing is concerned, my desires have not always
been in line with God’s will. There was a time when I wished for
my writing to make me rich and famous, for it to make my life
easier and more exciting. That hasn’t happened. But as I’ve
matured and learned to be less self-centered and more Christ centered,
God has given me far better things…things I never
imagined this writing journey might lead to. And certainly not things
I ever thought I would actually wish for!
 
Instead of wealth, I’ve been given a richer understanding of
God’s word. Even as I study the Bible to find answers for my
fictional characters, I find wisdom for my own life. Instead of
fame, God has blessed me through my publishing houses and
writers groups with some of the dearest friends I’ve ever known.
Instead of the easy life, I’ve gained a new appreciation for the
difficulties and struggles of life. I’ve learned that God never wastes
any experience in a writer’s life! And instead of excitement, I have
an incredible sense of peace as I’ve learned to rely on the Lord in
every single aspect of my life.
 
I’ve learned that it never pays to compare myself to others
who are selling more books, winning more awards or getting more
attention from the media. They are each where God has placed
them, for reasons that have nothing to do with me. I can’t see the
larger picture or understand why God works the way he does,
but I am learning to trust His guiding hand one day at a time, as I
embrace the things that are His desires for my life.


             ---Deborah Raney
 

 



 
 
Silver Bells, my new Christmas novel, part of Summerside Press/Guideposts "Songs of the Season" series started shipping this week! It was a fun and nostalgic story to write, and it's always special to have a Christmas book out. The holidays will be here before you know it and Silver Bells would make a fun early Christmas gift for the reader on your list.
 
 
 
 
 
DEBORAH RANEY's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched her writing career after 20 happy years as a stay-at-home mom. Since then, her books have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Deb's 23rd novel, The Face of the Earth, released from Howard/Simon & Schuster in May and her new Christmas novel, Silver Bells, just came out from Guideposts. She is currently working on a five-book series for Abingdon Press Fiction. Deb enjoys teaching at writers' conferences across the country. She and her husband, Ken Raney, recently traded small-town life in Kansas ––the setting of many of Deb's novels––for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deb on the Web at www.deborahraney.com.

 
 


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week One: Robin Lee Hatcher

Battle Experience


by Robin Lee Hatcher


The LORD left certain nations in the land to test those Israelites who had not participated in the wars of Canaan. He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle.” Judges 3:1-2 ( NLT)


Beginning on January 1, 2006, my church began the Bible in
90 Days reading challenge. I’ve read through the Bible many times
during my 30-plus years as a believer in Christ, but I had never done anything quite like this. I was amazed at what I learned by getting the “big picture.”

On Day 17, I was struck by Judges 3:1-2. I felt like the Lord was telling me (reminding me) there are “certain nations” in my life that were left there by God so He could teach me the art of [spiritual] warfare. Okay, the truth? I’m not crazy about warfare. I don’t much care for battles and confrontations. I would much rather be w-a-a-a-a-y in the back of the army, maybe working as a cook or a water carrier. And God knows (and I have often told Him) that I get weary of the warfare. I’m ready to move in and occupy the promised land in peace.

So here I am, back at a truth I learned long ago and have used in more than one of my novels: Nothing enters my life that isn’t caused or allowed by God, nothing happens in my life that isn’t first filtered through His loving hands. He causes or allows it to chip away another flaw, to continue to make me more like Christ. Like thousands and thousands of believers before me, I can say that I am not yet what I want to be, but thank God, I am no longer what I used to be. I can press on toward the goal.

So I’m showing up again, wearing the armor of God and wielding
the sword of the Spirit, to get a little more battle experience.





Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of seventy novels and novellas. Her books have won numerous awards, including the Christy and the RITA. To learn more about Robin and her latest releases, visit her web site at www.robinleehatcher.com.





"Beloved" 
Diana Brennan came west on the orphan train and was given a home with a loving couple who cherished and spoiled her. At 17, she fell hard for Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, Tyson took off for adventures around the world, including fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Receiving no word of him for seven years, Diana's infatuation with her dashing husband died an ugly death, and she is ready to move past the old pain and marry again, just as soon as Tyson is declared legally dead.
But when her husband returns, supposedly a changed man, he wants to reunite with his wife and run for the senate. While Diana suspects the election is his real reason for wanting her by his side, she agrees to maintain his home and to campaign with him, but when it is over, win or lose, she wants her freedom. He agrees with one condition----she must give him a chance to change her mind about him.


 
God was going to save her marriage, Allison was sure of it. But neither her husband nor her marriage had been saved.
What had become of His promise?

Tony Kavanagh had been Allison’s dream-come-true. They were in love within days, engaged within weeks, married and pregnant within a year. Her cup bubbled over with joy . . . but years later, that joy had been extinguished by unexpected trials.
The day Allison issued her husband an ultimatum, she thought it might save him. She never expected he would actually leave. She was certain God had promised to heal; it was clear that she'd misunderstood.
Now, living in the quiet mountain cabin she inherited from her single, self-reliant Great Aunt Emma, Allison must come to terms with her grief and figure out how to adapt to small town life. But when she finds a wedding dress and a collection of journals in Emma’s attic, a portrait of her aunt emerges that takes Allison completely by surprise: a portrait of a heartbroken woman surprisingly like herself.
As Allison reads the incredible story of Emma’s life in the 1920s and 1930s, she is forced to ask a difficult question: Does she really surrender every piece of her life to the Lord?

Drawing from her own heart-wrenching story of redemption, A Promise Kept is Robin Lee Hatcher’s emotionally charged thanksgiving to a God who answers prayers—in His own time and His own ways.
 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

About the Series. . .

Each day I receive devotional writings by e-mail, and read them on desk and wall calendars. I often wonder how to apply that day’s “lesson” to my writing, and how to share my own favorite verses with other writers.

Many writers keep a favorite quote or Bible verse taped to their computer monitors, or as part of their e-mail signature or website theme. Why do they do this? For the inspiration, they might tell you. Or, as a constant reminder of a principle or value which aids their writing production or their sanity. The words can serve as task-master, guidance counselor or just plain comforter.

I find this practice fascinating, and have many quotes and verses tucked under the laminated covering on my desk. Each one reflects a bit of my personality and beliefs, as do every writer’s choice selections. In the original paperback, some of the finest writers in the business shared their inspiration, their favorite words of wisdom, and explained why they find them so special.

So stop here weekly, see how many of them also speak to you. The majority of the anthology's authors have agreed to share their devotional here, and tell you about some of their other recent projects.

Print out the pieces that inspire you, or even better, create or find your own special quote or verse. Feel free to share them in "comments."


~~~What words do you write by?~~~

Friday, September 20, 2013

Coming Soon! Inspiration for Writers!

Well hello there!

Words to Write By is making a comeback with freshly updated devotionals from your favorite Christian authors!

Stay tuned--we will be kicking off the series soon with the beloved Robin Lee Hatcher!

Don't miss a thing. Sign up for emails today, and be sure to tell your friends!

In His grace,
Robin






Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Heavens Roll Up Like A Scroll

Great post today over at The End Times.

"All the stars in the sky will be dissolved and the heavens rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree." (Isaiah 34:4)

Makes me shiver.


Photo by Lincoln Harrison. Check him out here.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: Bargain Basement Miracles

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: Bargain Basement Miracles: "Devote yourselves to prayer...praying at the same time for us as well that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may ...


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Monday, September 09, 2013




Beautiful sunset over Ocean City, Maryland this past weekend. God's artwork.


Thursday, September 05, 2013

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: Don't Look Before You Leap

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: Don't Look Before You Leap: What do the following people have in common:  the boy who gave his lunch to Jesus at the feeding of the 5,000, the woman with the issue o...


Tuesday, September 03, 2013

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: Prepared to Share

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: Prepared to Share: I am unprepared for hurricane season.   While most people focus on first day photos, cooling temperatures and falling leaves, Floridi...


Monday, September 02, 2013

Labor Day

Today's Verse for 09/02/2013 --from Heartlight.org



I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. — Psalm 9:2





Thought
When was the last time you made up a song? The last time you made up a song of praise to God? Worried that you can't do it? Don't think it will be good? Don't worry, your only audience is your Abba Father who longs to hear your heart sing regardless of your voice's perfection or your melody's tune. He wants to rejoice and be glad with you. So open your heart and raise your voice to praise your God.

Prayer
Holy and Merciful God Almighty, I praise you for the sun rising and setting in glorious splendor. I praise you for the gift of grace. I praise you for the miraculous preservation of your people, even though they have repeatedly been under attack. I praise you for sending Jesus, the Son of Abraham and the Son of David, my Messiah and Lord. I praise you for raising him from the dead. I praise you for your promise to send him back for your children. I praise you for your work in my life. I praise, O LORD, and I am glad to be your child. In Jesus' name I offer my praise. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: GOLF BALLS AND NUGGETS

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: GOLF BALLS AND NUGGETS: By Richard Barnett I live on the edge of a golf course in a rural community, just above the fourth hole. Like many residents, ...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: It's About the Quality. . .

It's my turn up on the blog today!

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: It's About the Quality. . .: “Be still, and know that I am God. . ." Psalm 46:10 Imagine. . . You are working feverishly on a novel, and in the mail comes an ...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: KEEP THE CREATIVITY FLOWING

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: KEEP THE CREATIVITY FLOWING: Dianna T. Benson www.diannatbenson.com Don’t get bogged down by the business side of the publishing industry. Yeah, way easier...

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Words To Write By--revisited!



If you were a contributor to my 2008 anthology of writer's devotionals, please email me or leave a comment here.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: It Ain't Chicken Soup, Honey!

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: It Ain't Chicken Soup, Honey!: " For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles o...

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Today's Verse for 08/11/2013
from Heartlight.org

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. — Romans 8:11

Thought
Romans 8 reminds us again and again of the blessings of the Holy Spirit living in us, God's children. The Spirit in us is our guarantee that we will be raised from the dead! Because the Spirit that gave Jesus life and raised him from the dead is in us, we can have confidence in our resurrection. Mortality will not claim us. The Holy Spirit's life-giving power is stronger than death. We will live! Even though our bodies may die, the Spirit of God animates, inspires, and empowers us to victory.

Prayer
Holy Father, thank you so much for the gift of the Holy Spirit. To know that the power of the same Spirit who helped create the universe and who raised Jesus from the dead also lives in me takes my breath away with wonder and awe. You have chosen to live inside me, to bless me, mold me, develop me, and conform me to the goal of Jesus. Thank you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: He Got up and Went to His Father

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: He Got up and Went to His Father: By   Richard Bennett Read Genesis 46 for context. Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father ...

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Sunday, August 04, 2013


Today's Verse for 08/04/2013


For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. — 1 John 5:4



Thought
This is the companion passage to 1 John 2:17 -- "The world and its desires are passing away, but the one who does the will of God lives forever." Our destiny and future are not limited to the boundaries of existence tied to our little blue planet. Our future and our hope burst the boundaries of mortality and are tied to our faith in a resurrected and victorious Savior who is coming back to bring us to his eternal home. This faith is displayed by doing God's will even when the most in our contemporary culture choose to chase what is fleeting and transient.

Prayer
Thank you, dear Father, for the assurance of victory, immortality, reunion, and joy. In Jesus' name. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Fiction

"I’ve been floored by the truth of grace in the redemption of made-up people."-- Paul Anderson

Interesting article about Christians and fiction reading.


http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/books/why-christians-should-read-more-fiction


Today's New Post

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: Go and Tell: By Ann Knowles     Nixon as a member of the Boston Red Sox in 2005 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizi...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: FEAR OR POWER? YOUR CHOICE

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: FEAR OR POWER? YOUR CHOICE: By Bonnie Doran For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. – 2 Timot...

Sunday, July 28, 2013

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: AHH CONTENTMENT!

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: AHH CONTENTMENT!: By Carol Howell Here I sit waiting on my Honda Fit to get its oil changed and rear tail light replaced.  The waiting room is c...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: OVER THE TOP

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: OVER THE TOP:  By Paula Mowery Do you ever get the blahs? You know those times when going through the motions is all you can do. Nothing is t...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: The Power of Story

LIFE TO THE FULLEST: The Power of Story: "Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith..." (Hebrews 12:2). I love a good story, don’t you? Skilled...

Sunday, July 14, 2013


This is the hubby (waving) and his golf buddy on the course yesterday. It's too hot and humid for me this time of year. What is everyone doing for fun this summer?

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Thought for the 4th



Today's Verse for 07/04/2013
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. — Galatians 5:1



Thought

Grace and freedom are not a license to sin (Jude 4). In fact, sin enslaves us; sin is addictive (John 8:34). As those who have died and buried the old person of sin with Jesus in baptism, we are not to let sin reign over us or become our master because we have been liberated by grace (Rom. 6:1-14). So let's seek the power of the Holy Spirit to cleanse us (Heb. 9:14) and powerfully liberate us from sin (Rom. 8:10-15). Let's use our freedom to bless and build others up. Let's use our freedom to offer our hearts and lives to the work of God!

Prayer
Holy and Righteous God, my Abba Father, thank you for freeing me from the guilt and power of sin! Please empower and transform me by your Spirit so that I can leave my sinful past behind and live a life of character and blessing in my family, in my work, and in your world. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware for Heartlight.org

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!



Today's Verse From Heartlight.org




This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, `We will not walk in it.' — Jeremiah 6:16


Thought
Temptation is a choice between the old path (God's will for us) and a new path provided by Satan. So often Satan's path is presented to us as a shortcut to happiness, prosperity, and accomplishment. However, this path leads us away from God and the blessings he longs to give us. Let's not be like the people of God in Jeremiah's day who refused God's way and said, "We will not walk in it." The outcome of their choice was their own destruction.

Saturday, May 25, 2013




Today's Verse for 05/25/2013
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. — Jeremiah 29:13



Thought
God wants us to seek him. In fact, he made us to seek him! Unfortunately, however, we often seek God along with the other things that draw our eye for a moment or two. We must never let anything detract from God having first command of our heart. Only God is worthy of our full devotion.

Prayer
Righteous God and Holy Father, please bless me with an undivided heart, one that seeks you as the first and ordering priority of my life. Forgive me, dear Lord, for letting other things distract my focus from you and interfere with my service to your Kingdom. Fill me with a holy passion for Kingdom matters above all other concerns and interests. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.


The Thoughts and Prayers for Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware. (for Heartlight.org)


Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Dreaded Synopsis

Great post on Paperback Writer today---




......It would be great if there were a Craftsy.com-type site for writers (Writsy!) where you could sign up to learn how to write a proper query, what needs to be in a submission package, how to efficiently edit a chapter or even the real nuts and bolts of how to put together an e-book when going the indie route. There are a couple of obvious problems with that idea; the primary one being that writing does not translate as well to video as something like crafting. Writing happens in your head and on the computer and the page, and even the most basic screenshots quickly become tedious (or incomprehensible) in video's rapid delivery of visuals. Filming writing workshops like the kind put on at conferences might be a solution, as long as the instructor is a gifted speaker and does something besides talk.

The other big problem is that there is no one go-to, this-is-how-you-do-it standard for everything professional writers do. I think it would be tough to get everyone to agree on a standard as well -- a good example is simply how you write a novel synopsis. I learned first what synopses were and how to write them via my subscription to Writer's Digest magazine -- until an editor asked me why I wrote such odd synopses. Once I explaining that I was following examples from WD article, the editor informed me that my synopses were in fact too short, that I should not put every character's name in all caps and I wasn't detailing my plot twists or my endings. I asked for an example I could follow, but the editor wouldn't give me one, so I began blindly writing longer synopses, ditched capping the character names and revealed all -- until another editor complained that my synopses were too long and too detailed.

The editor after that one wanted to know why I didn't write out the relationship arcs (and then had to explain to me what those were.) Another asked for chapter summaries to go along with the synopsis. The one after that, who started working with me in mid-series, asked for one-paragraph synopses for all the previous books (and if you want a real writing challenge, try to condense a novel series that contains hundred of characters and settings and plot lines and over a million words altogether into just nine paragraphs.)

To this day practically every editor I work for has a slightly different opinion about what should or shouldn't be in a synopsis. Some want a lot, others just want bare bones, and still others want something I've never before done. That's why I put together a synopses bible on all the books I've sold so I can at least review what I've done in the past that worked. When I teach writing synopses, I also use for examples only the ones which have resulted in contract offers.


Read the rest here.