Friday, October 26, 2012

I Come to the Garden Alone

What a week! Seems as if I have fallen behind in everything, yet I've been so busy I fall into bed at night exhausted. Priorities keep changing and being flexible is critical. Yesterday being the last really nice day we are expected to have before cold weather sets in, there were a lot of items on the "gotta get the yard work done" list.

Changed into old jeans and a t-shirt, shoes which once were white and now have turned green, a sweat band beneath a straw hat...with a pink flower and pink gloves...well, after all I am a female and I like pretty things.

Armed for battle, I headed outside and thanked God for such a beautiful day. During yard work, God and I commune. I'm reminded of the hymn "I Come to the Garden Alone" and the line: "And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own." Without Him, I could not have accomplished that mountain of chores.

Satan doesn't like our relationship. While mowing the front lawn, suddenly I was seized with a terrible cramping in my toes. They turned under completely and the ligament above my heel tightened. Finally, I hobbled inside and my hubby helped rub my foot to ease the pain, while I called out for God to take this affliction from me so I could finish what needed to be done.

And he did.

I spent the rest of the time outdoors giving thanks to Him for his faithfulness.

Psalm 100: Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us and we are his; we are his people the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (NIV)

It's important that we do give thanks to Him for our answered prayers and all of our blessings. Do you remember to thank Him for little things as well as big things? Do you have a special place where you and God commune?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

God Saw This Coming


This month hasn't exactly been awesome in any way, according to my limited way of thinking. Still, after much groaning, cursing (I confess...teehee), muttering, screaming, and finally some quiet moments with God, I have my reminder. 

God saw this coming, and the same God who pays enough attention to number hairs and give us unique fingerprints must have a plan. 

For me, that plan included lying flat on my sister's bed in the dark and allowing water to squeeze past my eyelids. (Quite the aversion to crying here.) It included getting some much-needed rest and going back to the beginning--Him. In all the busyness and insanity of the past two or so weeks, I've barely had my quiet time with God. I'm not one of those people who can function otherwise. I need Jesus time to be patient and not roll my eyes ... I'm just not that nice all by myself.

I don't know what works for you, but maybe we need to step back for a moment and refocus. Maybe we need to deliberately call to mind the mercies and faithfulness of God. Maybe, before we can take the stories we're writing any further, we need to look back on the stories of our lives and see how God has brought us through worse conflicts than we can ever pen. Maybe we just need to remember. To remember God. To remember the arms that hold us in every season. 

"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:24, 25)

Blessings and love, 

Lori

Guest Blogger Bio: 

Lori-Ann Whyte, is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers

The youngest of six girls from a Jamaican home with parents who bought books instead of toys, Lori prefers reading to all other forms of entertainment. 

She has finally worked her way around to calling herself a writer, and has developed a deep passion for the art form. A proud weirdo, with a four-year-old for a best friend, Lori hopes to grow up one day. 

God seems to be leading the conspiracy to accomplish just that.

Friday, October 19, 2012

My Internal Editor Eats My Dirty Socks


Writing 101: Sit rear in chair and write.

I’m a dreamer. I could spend hours sitting and writing scenes in my head. Actions play out like a movie unfolding in beautiful colors on a panoramic screen. Relaxing, lulling me into total relaxation, and soon drowsing off into eyelid theater.

Oh, to be able to envision these scenes and have them become written words! If I were an inventor, that would be what I’d create. Instead I’m a writer and my job is to create stories. Write stories.

Those beautiful scenes become slow, draw-out torture when trying to paint them on a blank white screen. Finding the right word, the right phrase…fighting my internal editor. I’ve tried stuffing a pair of smelly, worn socks in her mouth but I think she eats them. Don’t laugh! It’s true. She keeps right on yacking and I believe she’s just a head—not a full body—so she can’t remove them herself.

When I undertook this journey to be a writer, I didn’t know all the rules. That’s when the words flowed from the pictures in my head into written words with amazing speed. Some people can forget the rules and pound out the book first, then go back and apply those learned rules. I guess their internal editors don’t eat socks.

But whether by one slow word at a time or by speed writing, one must sit themselves in the chair and write. Begin each session by praying for God to bless your efforts and to give you the words and have faith. He will provide what you need.

James 2:17 “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
 
 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Christian Fiction – Oxymoron?

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We were on our way to a restaurant by a lake in Warsaw, Indiana. Our husbands visited in the front, and we ladies sat together on the bucket seats of our friend’s new Honda mini-van. And that’s another story. . .

But on this day, my friend turned to me and said, “I promised I wouldn’t read anything that wasn’t true for the rest of the year.”

She shook her head and looked down at the boot on her foot. “And then my ankle gave out.” She grinned then. “I could just see God looking down with a chuckle wondering what I was going to do now. But I’ve used this time to really get into the Word.”

And then I shared with her how I’d learned to get more out the Scriptures in my own daily devotions. I was sure the things I had learned were nothing new to her. And I was ashamed that I had to be this old before I learned.

“It’s good to take a break from reading other writing,” I said. “But you’ve made a big commitment to go for half a year.” I half-way admired her for it.

“Oh, I hope by the end of the year I can make it permanent. My mother always told me fiction is just a bunch of lies.” My friend looked at me expectantly. We belong to the same denomination and she knew I was a writer. “Reading got me through the hard times when my children were growing up,” she continued. “But I’ve leaned on fiction too much.”

“I know you need to keep your promise, but what about the stories Jesus taught?”

“And you think those weren’t real stories?”

“I know the parables were based on true principals,” I told her. “That’s what novel writers are taught. Any properly written novel will be based on a true principal.”

We changed the subject after that. But I can’t quit thinking about it.

Is Christian Fiction an Oxymoron?

By definition, Christian Fiction is a story that illustrates a Christian world view in its plot, its characters, or both, or which deals with Christian themes in a positive way.

The novels of Francine Rivers have touched hearts and changed lives. Christian Fiction is not written to replace the Bible, but to turn hurting, seeking people to the Word, to Jesus, and to God.

The combined efforts of many Christian writers have enriched our world. For some of us, it is our mission field. Our way of blooming where we are planted.

The Apostle Paul used the whole chapter of I Corinthians 14 to show me that worship should not just be for my own benefit. That I should desire gifts that benefit the whole church. #1 In ways that they can understand. And #2 in ways that build up the church. Then, the apostle tells us, God will bring the sinners and they will also be convinced.

God may use me to touch just one soul. He may use you to touch another. And he is reaching out to my friend in a different manner.

What are your thoughts?


Friday, October 12, 2012

Relieve Stress...Take a Prayer Break



 
 
It's one of those days. You, know, where everything seems to be going wrong. A long to-do list that makes you tired just writing it. Headache looming...
 
My daughter gave me this little reminder to keep on my desk for days like this.
 
 
 
"Relieve stress...take a prayer break."
Paraphrasing Phillipians 4:6-7: Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything.
 
I needed that this morning! In fact, yesterday I wrote and scheduled a devotional for this morning which overnight disappeared...totally gone...and I hadn't made a copy on my computer.
 
As I was praying for guidance to write a new devotional, the phone rang and a dear friend was on the way to the hospital where her daughter has been rushed for an emergency catherization. She asked for prayers.
 
Down on my knees lifting this woman up to God's throne, I was reminded that everything happens for a reason and at God's timing. 
 
I believe God wanted me to write this particular devotional to remind others to take those prayer breaks, so His hand struck the already written devotional from the scheduled posts.
 
How about you? When you feel overwhelmed do you take a prayer break?

Friday, October 5, 2012

When Pigs Fly

“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” ~~Proverbs 23:4-5 (NIV)

I have a cute little piggy bank on my desk. On the back by the money slot it says “Writer’s Retirement Fund” … right between the pig’s wings. Can you relate?

Sure I’d like to make a little money to help with finances, but the reason I write isn’t for building a retirement fund or being able to live on royalties. If I wrote for those reasons, I’d be chasing an idol.

If God has given you the gift to write, He will provide the rewards. You may not see them in the form of huge royalties or advances. You may not see your rewards in this lifetime. But rest assured, dear writer, the reward will come. According to His will.
 
I love the following verses. Perhaps they should be our writer's motto.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” ~~ Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
 
Dear Father,
Help us, as writers called to share Your love through the written word, to see that our riches do not lie in this world. Keep us from feeling envious of those who chase after false idols. Instill in us the strength to persevere despite setbacks, rejections, and harsh criticism. Grant us hearts to serve You with the gift You have given. Let us be a lamp to light the hearts of our readers and let it all be to Your glory. I ask in the name of Your precious Son, Jesus, Amen.
 
 

Monday, October 1, 2012

52 Writing Tips For New Writers, Part 5

About The Video Presenter 
Alyice Edrich is a freelance writer specializing in helping new writers succeed—on the web. Visit her athttp://thedabblingmum.com for free writing tips on how you can succeed in the publishing world, today.