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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week Fifty-Four: Sally Clark

                           Doubt




“Then the LORD replied: Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time….though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.


Habakkuk 2:2, 3 (NLT)


We all know what doubt feels like.
Sometimes, my self-talk goes something like this: I wonder if
I should write this down? Is it a good idea? Will it serve any purpose? It was just a passing thought; it’s probably not even worth remembering.
God asks for faithfulness, not success. He has His own timing and I may never see the effects of the words I record. He asks
only that I write it down and make it plain so that someone else
may pick it up and run with it.
I believe I have my answer.




Sally Clark lives in Fredericksburg, TX. Her Christian stories and poems have appeared in Relief: A Quarterly Christian Expression Journal, A Man After God’s Heart, The Best Grandma in the World, Inspirit Literary Journal, and Life Savors. Her first children’s book, Where’s My Hug? will be released 01-01-15Find her at http://sallyclark.info .

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Week: Fifty-Three: Brandy Brow

Unadulterated Delight




“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and he shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:4-5 (NKJV)


I had prayed much with few results. My writing was still fruitless though I spent most of my energy on it. Attempting to find direction and solace, I opened my Bible to Psalm 37:4-5 and read. When was the last time I had spent any length of time in God’s word? When had I last worshiped with praise music pouring out my speakers instead of tapping away at the keyboard? What was the last Scripture I had memorized and when? I couldn’t answer. It had been too long since I did any of them. I realized, without much feeling, I had exchanged delight in the Lord for delight in writing. The barter left me frustrated, cold-hearted and empty.
Fear of God told me I had to change.


Out of obedience, I asked God to help me restore my delight in Him, yet my heart wasn’t in it. As I prayed, it (my heart) said, “Then He will give you your heart’s desires. You will finally get published regularly and be fulfilled.” What my heart spoke stirred more emotion in me than the thought of delighting in God. With shame I realized I could not use God to get article ideas or arrive at publication. Attempting to delight in Him so He would fulfill my writing desires was adulterated delight that God would not honor, for it was still delight in writing, only cleverly disguised.


We cannot fool God into granting our desires, even if we fool ourselves by appearing to follow His word. May we examine ourselves and do whatever we must to worship Him with true,
unadulterated delight.


Lord, please forgive us for seeking to please You so we can have our own ways. Help us relinquish our agendas and delight in You alone. Thank You, Father. Amen.




Brandy S. Brow lives in Vermont with her husband and seven children. She enjoys entertaining, teaching, and encouraging through the written word, and loves to help writers via freelance editing and mentorship. www.brandybrow.com

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Week Fifty-Two: Chris Duncan

Anxiety


Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.  I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:1b-42 (NLT)


I am a wimp. Oh, not about everything. I’m not afraid of heights or airplanes or water. I am introverted. Social situations can make me incredibly anxious and the thought of getting up in front of a crowd to say something can make my face as red as my hair, no matter how important the message. Years back, I had to go around the Sunday Schools in my church and make an announcement about the need for donations for the food closet. That morning still gives me nightmares.


All of that anxiety was getting in the way of my writing. Writing itself was fine, the problem was showing it to people. That was a problem. I would take writing classes, sit in the back and try not to share. I would send a manuscript into a publisher and be almost relieved when it got rejected because it meant I wouldn’t have to promote. When my first mystery novel was accepted for publication, I had to force myself out of the house to do talks, signings and the usual promo. It was always a struggle. But this verse from Isaiah is such a comfort.


The Lord not only doesn’t want us to be afraid, He promises to be with us. Now, He doesn’t promise that I won’t say something dumb or stammer, but He’ll be there. He’s always there, listening
and helping us through. In the middle of the night when you’re up late worrying where your teen is, in the middle of the storm that sounds like it’s about to tear the roof off, and yes, in the middle of
the retirement home’s book club where I’ve gone to promote my book The Lord is there.





Christine Duncan is the author of the Kaye Berreano mystery series. She resides with her husband in Colorado. Visit Christine online at www.ChristineDuncan.com

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Week Fifty-One: Nancy Richardson

Writer's Block


“Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5 (NKJV)


A Christian trying to succeed without Jesus, would be like a writer with paper and no pen. Or having a printer with paper and no ink. The paper is nothing without the pen. The printer with paper is nothing without the ink. In both cases the paper remains blank. You have nothing.


Why is it that sometimes the words just flow onto the paper and other times nothing?


Could it be, as Christians, that we are trying work apart from Jesus? The writer without an idea can do nothing. It is a fruitless effort to put pen to paper when you have no ideas. The Christian without Jesus can do nothing to make himself bear fruit. Therefore we have to abide Him.


Abide in Christ, stay connected, and when you write you will bear much fruit.




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.