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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Week Fifty-Nine: Margaret Daley

                                                  Peace

“The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.” Psalm 29:11 (NAS)



When I read this, I thought of the trials and tribulations we have gone through this past few years as a nation and this verse gave me hope for the future. Since September 11th we have feared for our safety and well-being not only as a nation but individually. Terrorists prey on the innocent, but with God’s strength and love we will endure and win in the end. Peace comes in many forms and our belief in the Lord gives us a peace no one can take a way, not even terrorists.

When I write, I want to convey the hope God gives us and the power of His love. His strength will see us through so much. If we start each day believing He is with us, we can do anything.
   




Margaret Daley, an award-winning author of ninety books (five million sold worldwide), has been married for over forty years and is a firm believer in romance and love. When she isn’t traveling, she’s writing love stories, often with a suspense thread and corralling her three cats that think they rule her household. To find out more about Margaret visit her website at http://www.margaretdaley.com.

 
 
 
 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Week Fifty-Eight:Ginny McCabe

             Write On and Remain Faithful


”So God will choose the one to whom he decides to show mercy; his choice does not depend on what people want or try to do. The Scripture says to the King of Egypt: I made you king for this reason: to show my power in you so that my name will be talked about in all the earth.”
Romans 9: 16, 17. (NCV)


I remember the day I met President George W. Bush. I got up at 5 a.m. that morning to go through a Secret Service screening and take my place as one of the media representatives covering his speech, which he gave at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. From the moment I stood in the security line, until the time I was in his presence, the experience was overwhelming and surreal.

When I got back to my hotel room, I teared up. I was so joyful and touched that I had the opportunity to meet President Bush and hear his speech in person. This experience is one of those inspiring, motivational moments that reminds me to be faithful, so that God can display his power in my life.

If someone asked me for advice, I would urge him or her to be faithful in their calling and to allow God to make His purposes known. God knows the desires of our hearts and that He will bring everything to pass when we allow him to do so. Since I was a teenager, one of the greatest passions in my life has been writing. In high school, I joined writer’s club and served on the newspaper staff.

While I was in college I continued to write and, by the time I was a sophomore, I decided to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism. I did all kinds of things related to writing, including working for a variety of publications and newspapers and attending writers™ workshops. I prepared myself through skill and training. However,when I asked God to use me for his glory and when I surrendered my own plan for his ultimate plan for me, things really started happening for me .

If you asked me ten years ago if I thought I would ever meet the President of the United States, I would have said, “No.” Not because I didn’t want to, but because I would have never dreamed I would have that opportunity. Because I have chosen to remain faithful and seek Him through my writing endeavors, God has brought about many things in my life like that. Now I have written thousands of articles and I’m currently writing my fourth book. But, I still have to work hard. There are even days when I get rejection letters and times when I fail. And I’ve learned to praise God in the little victories and live in those special moments. God has a variety of ways he uses us and prepares us for His purposes. For me, the path has been unusual, surprising and difficult at times. But, at every turn, or fork in the road, God has had his hand on my life and encouraged me to remain faithful so that He can reveal his purposes.



Ginny McCabe is a best-selling and award-winning author, writer, speaker, teacher and media professional. Ginny is the author of five books as well as four additional collaborations. One of her latest titles, Secrets Young Women Keep (Thomas Nelson) was honored with an ECPA “Silver Medallion Award” and earned a best-selling status from the CBA Booksellers Association. She has penned countless articles for publications, including Middletown Journal and Journal News, Today’s Pulse, Crosswalk.com, Christian Retailing, Assist News, Yahoo.com and Examiner.com, among others. McCabe is also an adjunct journalism and public relations professor at Cincinnati Christian University and serves on the board of directors as secretary for the Society of Professional Journalists, Queen City Chapter. Contact her and learn more about her writing at www.gmwriteon.com.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Week Fifty-Seven: Donna Shepherd


Writing On Purpose

 

“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever-do not abandon the works of your hands.” Psalm 138:8 (NIV)

 

 We write to tell stories. We search for the perfect rhyme, or research to produce interesting non-fiction. When I create anything, whether it’s a poem, a piece of fiction, or a song I’ve composed, I feel joy. And God must feel joy, too, when He sees His creatures create. I believe God must be pleased when we create something because He instilled creativity in us.

 
Recently I wrote a children’s book where I created a land from a child’s perspective. What fun it was to come up with a new place filled with crazy animals. How joyful it must have been for

God when He created this world. Who doesn’t believe God has a sense of humor when you consider the aardvark? Or a giraffe? Or a toucan with a beak almost as long as its body?

 

When God inspired the Word of God, He literally breathed— by the power of the Holy Spirit—His words into the writers. When I read the Bible, I see the personalities of the writers coming through. God used their own vocabularies, styles, and experiences to convey His truth.

 

Will everything I write be God-breathed, be published or even publishable? How I wish. But whether I write about the loss of a front tooth or the importance of prayer in a Christian life, I believe God inspires the creativity, and in that way, I am Spirit-led.

 

The best seller by Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? urges us to find our purpose. As a Christian and temple of the Holy Spirit, I endeavor to allow God to direct me in everything I do, including my writing.


Does everything I write have to have an overt spiritual message? I don’t think so. God made the beautiful flowers for us to enjoy. Would we only paint images depicting Jesus? If we can
paint for fun we can write for fun while using the talent God has given us.






Donna J. Shepherd, children's picture book author and inspirational writer, has hundreds of articles and devotions to her credit. Her writings appear in Daily Grace for Women, Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms, and The Best Grandma in the World to name a few. Her children's books feature short, playful rhymes and humorous illustrations. Donna is founder of Greater Harvest Workshops and Middletown Area Christian Writers, and in demand as a Bible teacher, conference speaker, and singer with over thirty years of experience. Visit Donna on the web at http://www.donnajshepherd.com.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Week Fifty-Six: Chris Stratton

                       God and the Unsolicited Manuscript




“That’s when we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purposes.”  Romans 8.28 (NIV)


In a cartoon, an aspiring author, holding his manuscript in his hands, is standing before an editor’s receptionist seeking admission to the editor.


The receptionist says, “The editor will be with you in a few minutes. Just have a seat on those unsolicited manuscripts over there.” Turning, the man sees hip high, waist high stacks of papers leaning against the wall behind him.


If God were the editor and your life, my life, were His
publications, how would he deal with unsolicited manuscripts?
 

In the Lord’s publishing House of Life, He solicits some manuscripts; He plans for them and assigns them a time to be published in our lives.


Some manuscripts are unsolicited. To us they might look like accidents, bad luck, insults, fallen dreams, self-aggrandizement,
unmet goals, sickness, even tragedies. At times they seem to be
stacking up against our wall in hip high, waist high stacks.



Unlike human editors, God reads every manuscript. He
Himself edits, revises, rewrites a little here, adds an emphasis, cuts redundancies, lengthens, strengthens; sometimes he slightly changes the direction of the publication itself, until the unsolicited manuscript exactly suits His purpose for the life into which it has dropped.



That’s when we look back and say, “It was a terrible time, but it has all worked for good,” or “I learned so much,” or “grew in the Lord,” or “I wouldn’t change it if I could, although at the time it was so difficult that I wondered how I could live through it.”


That’s when we know we are the LORD’S publication, the product of His House of Life Publishing, and in our
pages the people in our world find evidence of Him, His love and His care.



Chris Stratton, Appleton, serves the LORD in her primary roles of wife, mother, and grandmother.   She is currently working on a novel.  Her writings include poetry, devotionals, short stories, and memoirs. She is locally published.  She is the facilitator of Word and Pen Christian Writers Club.









Sunday, November 02, 2014

Week Fifty-Five: Beth Ziarnik

                           The Fear




“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind”—2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)


Fear gripped me in the pre-dawn dimness. Had I tackled a writhinganaconda?What made met hink I could weave all the intriguing elements of fiction into flowing perfection? What made me think I could capture readers’ attention...entertain them...inspire them...make them feel all my characters’ passions as they pursued their dreams?

I squeezed my eyelids shut and burrowed my head in the pillow. Even if—by some fluke—I managed to do all that, what made me think someone would want to publish my novel? The marketplace grew tighter every day, the competition greater. I was getting older.



I groaned. Was I out of my mind? O God, you gave me this dream. I’m doing my best, but I’m scared to death I can’t pull it off.
*God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.*



Wha...? The words wrapped me like a warm blanket, words I had written on a note card and kept on my desk to remind me that fear is not from God. His enemy uses it, pressing in to squeeze the life from my creative efforts, to stop me from accomplishing the good God gave me to do.
I threw back the covers and bolted from my bed, wielding the words like a sword. “God has not given me a spirit of fear!” I shouted, “but of power! Of love! And a sound mind!” Fear slithered away.


I took a deep breath and marched into my home office, vowing to fight fear with the Word of God every time it showed its scaly head. For “I can do everything through him [Christ] who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13, NIV)” and “with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26, KJV).”
Sitting down before my computer, I prayed and booted up. Time to get to work...with the Lord.




Beth Ann Ziarnik enjoys writing and speaking to encourage Christians to push past the fear and use their writing gifts to further Gods kingdom. Discover more on her Web site at www.bethziarnik.com