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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.