Psalm 37:4 ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.’
When it comes to understanding the desires of my heart, I am surefooted about a few and trembling in my flip-flops about those I’ve waited on forever. And not just my longing to earn income writing Inspirational novels. I have an aching desire for my beloved family, friends and faceless strangers to experience the freedom and joy that only comes from knowing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
This weekend I learned to embrace ‘ the waiting’ when I attended my first ‘live’ Beth Moore simulcast event in Green Bay, WI. Her live-feed reached over 90,000 people at 519 sites worldwide. I’m still reeling with the glory of the Holy Spirit’s presence and empowerment. Beth made me laugh and cry. I connect intimately with Beth and other women there, but most noticeably with our MIGHTY GOD, JESUS CHRIST. I feel like a MIGHTY WOMAN!
I needed the nudge of a wise woman of God to recognize, “that beneath the desires of our hearts is the heart of our desires…God. And that God will trump the desires of our hearts if glory and destiny are at stake.” Thank you, Beth!
Most of all, I learned that no matter what uncomfortable circumstances I find myself thrust into, ”To delight in the Lord,’ to give Him the praise and the glory because He delights in little ol’ me and little ol’ you, so much so, that He waits patiently upon us to desire Him above all other desires! How cool is that?!
Please check out Beth’s blog. Oh, some hilarious trivia. This Texan belle was born in Green Bay! She donned a Packer jersey and a cheese head for us Wisconsinites!
Reading a newbie’s historical romance. Great plot, engaging characters, cool subplots, but the writer’s amateurish. She needs mentoring. . . .God’s kick drops me onto my knees. Ya see, that wannabe was me 20+ years ago. Praise the Lord that Jesus keeps His promises and more importantly, His Grace extends beyond yesterday, today and tomorrow–Eternity.
Dusting myself off to salvage the past. . . Hum, that has promise.
On the day after Christmas, this post is spiritually therapeutic and selfish. Another way for me to avoid writing and editing my novels, house cleaning, even talking frankly with my spouse about my deep painful thorn that affects him in negative ways. I’m so sorry, hon.
On the other hand, perhaps hanging out my dirty laundry will touch someone else experiencing the thorns of the flesh. Let’s face it, we all have a thorn, if not a brier patch in our lives–Shameful traits of our sinful natures that as often as we beg for God to free us from them, He wisely says no. Drat!
Oh to know the mind of God! Or not. Perhaps, our problems revolve around the fact that we long to know what we’re better off not knowing, including why God allows believers to struggle. Confused yet?
To this day no one has absolutely defined what was the thorn in St. Paul’s side. Some suspect s it was physical aliments, while others think pride. No matter what caused that thorn of his flesh it never left him. It could also have been Satan consistently attacking Paul’s call by God to evangelize. It really doesn’t matter, does it? The point is that God never removed this struggle from Paul. Because God knew what was best for Paul and how that thorn kept His servant obedient and on his knees.
While researching the apostle Paul, I happened across this excerpt from a Homily by Fri. Josiah Trenham. These are his eloquent words not mine.
“St. Paul’s thorn teaches us that there is always an overriding spiritual purpose to our afflictions. In this sense, they are good. With this in mind we ought to only carefully pray about them. St. Paul says, “Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness’.” (2 Cor. 12:9). St. Paul prayed three times and that was all. He found out that his affliction was God’s will. What a model for us…Pray about your sickness? Yes. But leave it off after a while, and instead seek what you really need: Grace. Grace is where our sufficiency lies and what we really need, not physical health. To the Holy Trinity, Who providentially governs all things for our good be all glory and our fervent praise!”
I’m still learning that no matter how deeply burrowed my jagged thorns are, they are power perfected in weakness.
God’s Grace is sufficient.
A belated Happy Birthday, Jesus, and a very merry Christmas! I wish I had something significant to share writing wise, hopefully in time I will. I’m attempting to blog as the old year ends and the new year begins. Lots of stuff went down this year, especially health wise with my family.
For now, I need to concentrate on God’s words and His faithfulness. And remember that no matter what tragedies befall us in this temporary home, we are just travelers here—Heaven is our home.
OK, so I’ve watched the movie “Grease” one too many times of late. It was either that or my favorite movie “The Wizard of Oz” from which I can recite many of Dorothy’s and Scarecrow’s lines. Don’t even get me started.
What was that, a request to elaborate on the WIZ?
Fine, you asked for it.
Dorothy: Now which way do we go?
Scarecrow: Pardon me, this way is a very nice way.
Dorothy: Who said that?
[Toto barks at scarecrow] Don’t be silly, Toto. Scarecrows don’t talk.
Scarecrow: [points other way] It’s pleasant down that way, too.
Dorothy: That’s funny. . . Wasn’t he pointing the other way?
Scarecrow: [points both ways] Of course, some people do go both ways.
Yep, it’s one of my favorite scenes, perhaps because I identify their conversation with life in general and which way I’m suppose to go with my novel writing. And let’s not forget those lions, tigers and bears along the way? Talk about obstacles and distractions.
Whoops, talk about getting waylaid. I’m there!
Firstly: I apologize to all who gave up reading my blog. My only alibi is that I’m attempting to regain my foothold in the writing world. It’s been a long haul, and that’s includes failure to blog on a regular basis. I fell short of my ambitions and once more, I’m sorry.
Summer’s breezing out the front door, (Hence the ‘Grease’ theme) and so has my family . . . again. I won’t expound upon what a challenging 18 plus months this has been on the home front and that there was very little time to write. To safeguard my loved ones privacy I can only share how watching God mend broken marriages is an awesome privilege. And to be part of such a healing process is one enormous blessing. I’m thankful to Yahweh for restoring my child’s marriage. God is awesome!
Writing wise, I’m excited to be attending the (ACFW) American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Minneapolis, MN this September 18-21st. I can’t wait to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. It will be a blast!
Starting September 15, 2008 I will once more lead the women’s reading group at our local B&N store, called Inspired Readers. Each month we read a different genre of inspirational fiction novels. This is our fourth year. As an outreach group IR is fun, interesting and definitely influencing our community for Christ.
In October multi-published author, Kathryn Springer, will be the Inspired Readers guest author as we discuss the book three of her ‘Prichett’ series, ‘The Prince Charming List.’ Kath, I can’t wait!
Update: I’ve been asked to speak at a 2009 Women’s Spring Retreat on writing and I’m gathering material for that event. Cool Beans!
Presently I’m writing several book reviews for other authors and refocusing on my writing.
Shared Wisdom: At my age, I tend to assume I’ve learned about all there is to know. Hogwash!
I must consistently remember to start and end each day asking God to lead me in all His ways, even when I’m merrily and obliviously skipping down that Yellow Brick Road of life in the opposite direction. Yeah, that’s when I really need Him to direct me onto the narrow path that leads me home to Him.
So, I guess it all comes down to which way we should go, huh? Left or right? Forward or backward?
Or like the Scarecrow said, “Of course, some people do go both ways.”
Somehow, I suspect those both-way folks end up on a dead end road going nowhere.
So which way are ya going?
This is my first go round on the CSFF blog tour and I hesitate to voice my humble opinion too loud. And I warn that I write novels not short stories so grab your beverage and snack of choice and settle in for a stretch of my babble.
First, I want to express how much I enjoy this tour and reading the reviews from those gifted with the art of appraising prose. Sadly, that’s not my strong point. So I leave the story and poetry assessments to you hearty specialists.
Secondly I agree with many reviewers that we must always be discerning in what we read. What might feel right for one person may not feel right for the next. Thus, I’ve been reading the diverse reviews on the speculative webzine MindFlights. No doubt, I’ll get flack for my perspective on this science fiction fantasy site. But that’s okay. I’ve been known to blossom from a wallflower into a prickly rose during my 50 plus years on this God molded sphere, we call earth.
An author of inspirational fiction, I’m often typecast as out of the box, wacko, over the top, blah, blah, blah . And as a die hard romantic with a heart for speculative fiction, I’ve been called a blight on Christian fiction and a sensually, sinfully secularist! Repeat that five times without spitting! Yep, I’m one of those freakish Bible believing authors who write with a Christian world view. Even worse, I love to hang out with lost souls. The more the merrier!
As a child of God, I’d like to believe that we who are called to write for the glory of Jesus Christ do so because He has called us individually. And that He called many of us to write for a specific genre and audience.
Present genres aside there appears to be two major types of authors in the Christian market. The largest and most recognized label is ‘Edification’ and the second but ever-expanding type is ‘Evangelism/outreach’ driven. And yes, I know some are called to do both. Even better! And we all know that edification fiction is put into the hands of nonbelievers everyday. That’s never been an issue of debate for me.
In fact, I’m all for edification. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I need my daily God fix. Someone must preach to the choir and I am thankful for those who have been called to edify the body of Christ. You’re doing a great and mighty work!
However, being outreach I don’t write ‘in your face Christianity’ and unless God changes my call, I doubt I ever will. On my website and blogs, my faith is not hung on a shingle. And no, I’m not ashamed of my faith or God. However, Yahweh believers aren’t my targeted audience. Unbelievers are. And nothing turns an unbelieving skeptic or seeker away faster than opening a website and being smacked in the face with scripture. This is not an insult to edification writer sites. You are called to do exactly what you do and do it beautifully. But as an evangelist I know the statistics and how many unbelievers react when confronted with convicted Christians. They don’t handle us well.
That is why I appreciate MindFlights.
Some stories clearly proclaim Jesus as Lord, while other authors weave their Godly faith in such an intricate manner that I when I read it from an unbeliever’s POV I am convicted by the moral standards the author subtly proclaims. And yes, there are stories that don’t have any Christian basis at all. None the less, most are well crafted.
Unless it’s your calling, I don’t believe that every story a Christian pens or reads needs to scream ‘Jesus.’ If the author is walking with God, no matter what ‘out of this universe,’ plot he/she creates, their Spirit filled heart and values will shine through, even if just a glimmer. For some people that’s all that’s needed for God to bring to them to salvation. And I’ve got friends with such testimonies for backup.
Even though I have the highest respect for every reviewer on this tour, I don’t believe that MindFlights conforms to this sinful world. MindFlights faith statement is sincerely clear, as is their objective. This is an outreach ministry that upholds the universal truth that Jesus Christ is Lord. (My words.)
If like Jesus we don’t eat with the tax collectors, draw a line in sand between the adulteress and her accusers, and meet people where they are, we are like zealous Pharisees believing we are better than those who have not encountered Jesus Christ at the intersection of their yellow brick road.
As for letting our light shine and standing out, I think our everyday actions speak louder than words ever will. Example: When someone first meets a true believer they often recognize something is different. Often without sharing our faith, the person knows we are a follower of Christ. And that’s because they see Him in us. It’s not about us, but all about Him!
Someone commented that many folks read and write speculative fiction to avoid anything ‘God’ based. No doubt those readers exist. However, many nonbelievers who read/write speculative fiction do so for the opposite reason. They want to believe there’s more out there than what can be seen with the naked eye. They want to believe and trust in ‘someone’ other than themselves. Even if they don’t comprehend the why, they are starving to encounter a loving, merciful God. They embrace speculative fiction to stuff the God-shaped hole that our Creator wove into the heart of every man, woman and child.
That’s why I applaud the publishers of MindFlights for their open door policy to non-Christian writers who agree to and respect the terms of publication. To me this is an outreach opportunity to writers and readers seeking the ‘truth’ even if they don’t consciously recognize it. This triggers another sore spot that I have regarding churches that declare their doors are open to unbelievers and seekers, but when the opportunities step into their sanctuaries they ‘preach damnation’ instead of God’s forgiving grace and love. They are clueless of what to do with the unchurched. And they wonder why only like-minded pew-warmers occupy their sanctuaries or why their churches don’t grow. Whoops, sorry. . . . One of my passions got the best of me. That’s a topic for a later debate.
What saddens me nowadays is how some people set ‘their standards’ and not God’s as to what’s acceptable in the CBA market, let alone what God will or will not use to reach and to save that which was lost. How quickly we forget that we don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We writers need to dig deep creatively to get the ‘Good News’ out to a lost world.
I want to step out on faith to reach those who have yet to experience the greatest supernatural experience of their lives, Jesus Christ. I learned the hard way to never underestimate God’s sovereignty or His plan to utilize me for His utmost highest good. And that in Christian Science Fiction Fantasy all things are possible, because God makes them so.
So if you haven’t already noticed, I’m all for the future success of MindFlights. I hope to see more Christian webzines evolve. I also want to see published novel writers step up to the plate and help these webzines be recognized. Who knows, if I can develop a story that doesn’t require four subplots and ten secondary characters I might submit something. Short and sweet isn’t my strong point. But I’m willing to step down and out of my soapbox and give it a try—really.
And Becky and Stuart, stop laughing or you’ll get the hiccups!
First thing on this fabulous web-zine site to snare the Mad Hatter of this attention deficit bard was the name MINDFLIGHTS. When one considers that penning science fiction and fantasy involves straining every minute cell of our creative and flighty right sided brains, the title seems perfect!
Although the option for different skins amuses me, I prefer one skin because I tend to play with skins instead of reading the stories. I did warn you I’m ADD.
That aside, I’m impressed by the professional format. Most of all, the outstanding talent and variety of contributors. Topics rang from the dangerous job of asteroid mining to a soft-bellied dead porcupine, an image provoking sonnet about Martian weather, and a Banshee’s wail in downtown Brooklyn. Amazing!!!
Meanwhile, please stop over and visit the other tourers taking the fascinating trip through the rich imaginations of the extraordinary writers for MindFlights: The MindFlight Blog Tour list can be found in half way down the left column of my blog page. If I knew how to insert the list in this post I would, but I’m a newbie blogger so I’m learning by trial and error. Lots of errors! If someone wants to advise me, just email me at email@example.com.
There’s more to comment on and I don’t want to leave out anyone I’ve read the past two days. More to follow. I promise!
Oh, and I’d so appreciate if you’d take a moment and leave a comment on my blog. It lifts my soul!
In His Grip,
I finally get back into the grove of networking with fellow authors of Speculative Fiction. I will take this leap of faith and participate in the Blog Tour of a cool speculative fiction webzine called MindFlights. The name alone triggers my fertile imagination. The Tour runs from May 19 – 21st. Here’s the link encase your curiosity is peaked. http://mindflights.com/index.html
I will list the links of everyone participating on the tour as soon as I have them.Now, I bid farewell to spend some serious fantasy time over at MindFlights.