Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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    • Cinema Saturday-- The 41 Most Unexpected Cat Jumps of All Time
      Why do jumping cats freak us out so much? And why do we laugh so hard at people who are freaking out?I'm one of those awkward laughers--someone who laughs at inappropriate times, such as when my husband does the splits on an icy sidewalk or when my child runs smack-dab into a doorpost. Unfortunately, compassion is not my go-to emotion. I do eventually f […]
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    • Winners at the Barn Door Book Loft
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft.And before we announce our three winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to:JM Downey who offered her Historical Romance  A Time To Overcome. Holly Michael who offered her Inspirational Fiction  Crooked Lines. And Susan Anne Mason who offered her Contemporary Romance  Bet […]
    • Interview with Michigan Author Kathleen Rouser
      Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft Kathleen!Is there a story behind the book, Brave New Century?Lisa Lickel sent out an email to ACFW Midwest, and I believe some other loops, looking for authors who wanted to write romances set in urban areas around the year 1900, to put together an anthology. Since I had looked into Detroit’s history around that time for an […]
    • The Pocket Watch by Kathleen Rouser
      Back Cover Blurb:Stories of four young women who are each braving challenges at the dawn of the 20thcentury in the big city. Will they overcome their hardships and find love?Three Rings for Alice by Lisa LickelLove and respect in 1899 Milwaukee is as close as a phone call.Forgiven by Paula MoweryWhen Henry and Jessie meet it seems to be classic love at first […]
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    • O'Barr's Latest: Tender Shadows
      Author Ann Gaylia O'Barr visits today!She brings with her, in the form of her latest novel, all her experience as a Foreign Service officer in the turbulent Middle East. Tender Shadows is one of seven such novels and will appeal to lovers of foreign lands, culture, adventure, and romance.PURCHASEAmazonAbout Tender Shadows:When Beth Wilhite’s U.S. State […]
    • "A Place in His Heart," a New World Romance!
      Today's featured novel,A PLACE IN HIS HEART is a historical romance authored by Rebecca DeMarino. It's her debut novel and book one of The Southold Chronicles."I hope my readers find pure entertainment! I hope they enjoy the love story, with all of the ups and downs of Mary and Barnabas. I hope they get lost in a time period that was so far di […]
    • June's Hot New Releases Clash of the Titles Champion
      Thank you, voters and encouragers, for a great Clash of the Titles, June 2014 Release Battle.We'll begin our champion announcement with the kindness of the voters....Comments of Encouragement for this Month’s CLASH Authors:They are all stunning... I love though how Tamara writes in the medieval time... Hard to find clean fiction in that time period :)He […]
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    • Taking A Break
      If you are a regular reader you'll know I didn't post last week. We had just gotten home from vacation. Yellowstone National Park is fantastic. You know how things go when you get back. Well, that was the way it was for me. Add in an unplanned dental event and an 8 hour round trip to Chicago for a TV interview about Seeing The Life and you can prob […]
    • Sin Still Makes You Stupid and Your Stupidity  Ripples, Floods, or Tsunamis  
      A couple of years ago I wrote posts entitled Sin Makes You Stupid and The Ripple Effect. It's one of those truths that seem to be forgotten or glossed over. It's a truth we should be aware of and watch for within ourselves and others. The stupidity of sinning overflows into the lives of others. The consequences to ourselves is often increased expon […]
    • What's Next?
      Seeing The Life is off to a great start. It is garnering 5 star reviews and good publicity. Rhubarb Fest this year was good, even though I don't eat rhubarb. I left at noon on Saturday when the radar showed rain coming. I didn't want the books I had to get wet.So, what's next? I keep getting asked that question. When's your next book comi […]
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    • Get on Board and Stay on Board by Pear Nsiah-Kumi
      My friend Pearl Nsiah-Kumi, who is a multi-published Christian Author, has put together an inspiring book for us, Get On Board and Stay On Board. It is a collection of poems, short articles and short Bible studies based on scripture, to encourage non-Christians to place their faith in Jesus, and also to support Christians to have a closer relationship with G […]
    • Christian Writers Conference
      Country  Memories Farm Christian Writing ConferenceAugust 8-9 in Manitowoc, WisconsinWe have wonderful speakers again this year: Becky Melby Ben Wolf  Kathryn SpringerFriday evening critiques by Susan Baganz  On-the-farm networking social "getting writers together" Please check us out at www.countrymemoriesfarm.com.Joy,http://LisaLickel.com […]
    • CrossReads Book Blast with Elizabeth Maddrey
      Hope DeferredBy Elizabeth MaddreyAbout the Book:Christian fiction for women. It's been a tough year. Twin sisters June and July and their husbands spent the last year trying to start a family. Now, as the sisters work with fertility specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, each must determine what treatment is right for them in the midst […]
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    • Book Review: Healing Grace by Lisa Lickel
      When Grace Runyan experiences the loss of her husband, she moves to escape her pain and her past. She rents a home in a small Michigan town next door to a seriously  ill man with a young son. Grace’s personal tragedy and hurts run deep. The  more we get to know her, the more secrets we learn about her. As she begins to care for the little boy, and finds hers […]
    • Book Giveaway: Mothers & Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship
      Here's your chance to win a print or electronic copy of my book, Mothers and Daughters: Mending a Strained RelationshipHere's a bit more about the book.Mothers and daughters. In perhaps no other relationship are our hopes so high, and the dysfunction so disappointing. You feel locked into a hurtful relationship that you must deal with, and it' […]
    • Book Review: The Heart of Thornton Creek by Bonnie Leon
      I expected yet another romance lacking originality but Leon took this Christian historical  in another direction. When independent-minded Rebecca Williams is left without any prospects or means to support herself after her father dies, she has few prospects. Despite the fact that she doesn’t love him, she agrees to marry a young Australian, Daniel Thornton.T […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Five ways to conquer loneliness.

Posted by janeteckles on October 13, 2012

By Janet Perez Eckles

I zipped my suitcase shut. And my 4’10”, white-haired Mom walked in. “I worry about you travel by yourself,” she said. “Someone will be staying with you in the hotel, right?”

I imagine having her blind daughter travel to another country by herself concerns her.

“Sure,” I lie to avoid added worry.

Actually, it’s not a lie. Although I’ll have no human accompany me, I’ll have someone better—the Holy Spirit.

Think I’m kidding? God’s way to make sure we’re never alone and know how to conquer loneliness is true.

How else can I, being blind, navigate through hotel rooms, unpack, find the bathroom, get ready and sing with confidence while doing it?

I admit. Sometimes, temptation to feel lonely tries to slip in. But I have found five ways to conquer it:

1. In the hotel room of loneliness, the Holy Spirit is the concierge to meet all our needs.
2. His presence is certain.
3. His protection is constant.
4. His companionship is sweet
5. His comfort is forever.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16).

Father, sometimes even when surrounded with people, the loneliness is cruel. But thank you for filling the void. For bringing reassurance to every moment. For whispering protection and provision. Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit, for we know you’re present now, and you’ll be present in the happenings of our tomorrows. In Jesus’ name, amen.

• Feeling lonely lately?
• Who fills that void?
• Where do you look for comfort?

Janet
Cheering you on to experience life, harvest its lessons and share their outcome.

Posted in Encouragment, Inspiration | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

“I Know the Plans I Have For You…”

Posted by elainemcooper on October 12, 2012

Posted by Elaine Marie Cooper

Mom and Bethany, December 2000

My daughter, Bethany, passed away from a brain tumor nine years ago this month. She was twenty-four years old.

Her short life was rich with friends whose lives she touched in so many ways. A strong believer in Christ, she continued to be a witness for the Lord up until she died. But even death did not stop the seeds she had planted during her moments on earth—seeds that continued to bloom long after her graveside flowers had faded.

When she was ill and suffering from the devastating effects of the disease, she attended an adult care center twice a week for people with brain injuries. She met a young man there (I’ll call him “Sam”) who had been in a car accident several years prior and was now blind as well as having other injuries.

Bethany had witnessed to Sam, but he wanted nothing to do with her belief in God. Before she died, Bethany shared with me privately how worried she was about his salvation. I don’t remember exactly how I reassured her at the time. I do remember thinking I didn’t have time to be concerned about Sam when I was concerned about her. But I’m sure I told her we would keep praying for him.

The inevitable happened a few weeks later when the cancerous tumor took our daughter’s life. Sam attended her funeral but he was devastated and angry. We lost touch with him for quite awhile, still trying to recover from our own grief.

A year later, I was painting Bethany’s bedroom a fresh new color—bright pink, befitting her personality.

Keeping extra busy helped me while I still recovered from the sting of her loss. A few hours of work would provide some mind-numbing escape, I thought.

There was a desk in the room with a few items on it that I thought I had gone through already. But I found a piece of paper sitting there that I hadn’t seen before. It had Sam’s name and phone number on it, in a handwriting that I did not recognize.

I stared at the phone number a moment, pondering what to do. Our church was having a special service coming up, so I spontaneously called Sam to ask him if we could pick him up and take him with us. To my total surprise, he responded, “yes.”

During the service, he was earnestly listening to the speaker who spoke about confessing Jesus as Savior. The message of the gospel completely engaged Sam’s attention—it was obvious the Holy Spirit had been doing an incredible work in his life.

When the preacher asked for anyone who wanted to make a decision to come to the Lord, Sam seemed anxious as he shifted in his seat. I leaned over and asked him if he wanted to go forward with me to pray. He gave an enthusiastic, “yes,” then clenched my sleeve as I led his blinded path up to the counselor. Sam gave his life to the Lord that day and his spiritual path became filled with clarity of vision.

Ever since then, my husband drives over every Sunday morning to pick Sam up and he comes to church with us to this day. He is still one of the most engaged listeners at every sermon.

When I told my son, Ben, this story, I could practically feel his smile on the other end of the phone line. “Bethany is still having an impact in people’s lives.”

Indeed. Even in her illness, she was still sowing seeds of obedience and love. And in facing her death, she understood in a greater way what one’s life in Christ truly meant.

Her favorite Bible verse was Jeremiah 29:11 and the reference is etched on her gravestone:

“ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (NIV)

There is no greater hope than the promise of heaven.

Posted in Encouragment, Hope, Inspiration, Life Experiences | Tagged: , , , | 17 Comments »

Seven ways to live with confidence when facing spiritual terrorists.

Posted by janeteckles on October 6, 2012

By Janet Perez Eckles

“Nana, she told me it was flab,” my 4-year-old granddaughter said.

Flab? Who could’ve put that word in this child’s vocabulary? I asked and verified. Her great grandmother had informed her of this term.

She had lifted her wrinkled arm in the air. With the other hand, she jiggled her hanging flesh. “See?” she said, “that’s called flab.”

Goodness, that generation has bold honesty. No vanity or masks. They call it what it is.

So does God. He is honest. He doesn’t mask anything and is bold when it comes to unsightly wickedness. Even the sound of the word “wicked” jars me a bit. But the Lord is not known for his pretense or ambiguity, rather… “The LORD is known by his justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. The wicked return to the grave, all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:16-18).

“Wickedness” is alive, attacks are fierce, and terrorism is in action. But those who follow Christ can smile with reassurance, walk with trust and live with hope. Here are six reasons why:

1. God’s protection is certain: “Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.”
2. His protection is near: “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge…”
3. His ways will be your shelter: “His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
4. He will remove all fear: “He will not fear the terror of night, or the arrow that flies by day…”
5. His protection is constant: “…nor the pestilence that stalks in neither the darkness nor the plague that destroys at midday.”
6. All may be attacked, but you’re protected: “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.”
7. He’ll set you apart: “You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked (Psalm 91:3-8).

Father, how can I doubt the clarity of your ways? Hesitate in believing your justice. Or wonder about your love for those whom you protect. In this world that turns more violent each day, I turn to you for you are my shield and my refuge. In Jesus name I thank you. Amen.

• What attacks have you faced lately?
• Who is your protector?
• How well do you sleep at night knowing the Lord is guarding your soul?

Janet
Cheering you on to experience life, harvest its lessons and share their outcome.

Posted in Encouragment, Inspiration | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Creative Process

Posted by Luther D. Powell on September 27, 2012

The past few weeks for me have been spent drawing. Drawing, and thinking of what to draw next. Oh, and getting paid to draw. And doing sketches for future drawings. And finding reference photos for –OKAY, so yeah, it should have been obvious what I could blog about for today, but it wasn’t until my Splickety-writer-buddy Avily Jerome suggested the topic that I decided to blog about this. (Thanks bunches, Avily!)

So, how do I come up with stuff to draw, and what’s the creative process behind everything? I’ll explain how I go about it step by step!

Step 1: Inspiration. I get inspired by lots of things. Sometimes, this step is cancelled out by the motive behind the drawing. If it’s for class, I may or may not have limitations on what I’m doing. If it’s a commission piece, there will definitely be limitations, thus less ‘real’ inspiration. For commissions, I’m often asked to draw very specific things. Other than that, I have to say, “From whence was my urge to draw such things?” and go from there. Life experiences? Bible stories? Pop culture (books, movies, etc.)? Inspiration branches into a number of other sub-steps of making artwork; deciding on the intended audience/viewers, message behind the image, tone of the image, all that good stuff, but I don’t need to delve too much into those details. General idea, once I’m inspired by something, then I can figure out where to get my references.

Step 2: References. Oddly enough, finding references for my art has recently become one of the most difficult steps in my creative process (and not just because I’ve been drawing a lotta werewolves lately, ‘cause Lord knows those aren’t easy to come by). Just like citing sources when writing an essay, picking out the right reference material for drawings is obnoxious. For me, finding references varies from asking friends to pose and let me take photos of them to look at, to Googling a mess of stuff, to straight-up conjuring images out of nothing. The more fun variation is taking pictures of friends. It’s an odd sort of bonding experience when I’m attempting to make small talk with someone and telling him/her to “move your arm a little more this way, yeah, that works, keep it like that.” Once photos are taken, I’ll sometimes edit them to heighten contrast, make them black and white, basically do things that will make it easier for me to draw them as I see the piece in my head.

Step 3: Sketches and composition. This step is sort of two steps in one, because I’ll usually do sketches of individual figures, then put them together in a composition with slightly more detail. The sketches vary widely  in detail, starting with simple geometric shapes then fleshing out the human form (or whatever it is I’m drawing) little by little, layer by layer. Sometimes I come up with 1-3 sketches and I know just what I want, sometimes it takes up to 10 or more sketches. After I’ve decided on my composition, where everything’s going on the paper, then I begin the final step.

Step 4: DRAW. This part is pretty self-explanatory. I start by mapping out where my figures and objects in the background and foreground will be, again, with simple shapes. The first lines are very, very light, because I always erase the most during the first layer of the drawing. Lay the first lines in too dark, and you either gotta work with what’s there or start over on another sheet of paper. Layer by layer, I add details, and most of the time, I’m a huge detail-nut. I don’t strive to make my pieces photo-realistic necessarily, but realistic enough that one can see the image come to life. In some cases, I let the ‘artist’s hand’ show through along the edges of paper. That means, sometimes you can see my pencil-marks on the paper directly, but most of the time, I blend everything together enough to give the image a more natural appearance. A lot of illustrators enjoy seeing the line work throughout a drawing, and I understand why. It’s a matter of aesthetics, and not everybody feels the same way about seeing the artist’s hand in his/her work. From simple shapes, to a contour form, to minimal shading to super-high-contrast-dark-shading, a drawing can take anywhere from a few hours to a few months for me to complete depending on size and detail.

That’s my creative process. Now, take all you just read and try to imagine God’s creative process. What were His references? According to Genesis 1:26, HIMSELF. At least when creating mankind. Aside from that, God literally made everything out of nothing. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Clearly God must have put inconceivable amounts of thought into the creation of all things, but all The Bible tells us is that He said, “I’m gonna make this,” and then it was. It’s a humbling consideration that I try to dwell on whenever I’m drawing something new. I must remember, “I couldn’t make this if God hadn’t made me first,” and because of that, I strive to make what I make for Him, not just for me. God is the ultimate writer and artist.

Here’s an example of a drawing I made using these steps pretty thoroughly. I’ll let you guess who the guy’s supposed to be.

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Inspiration, Life Experiences, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Five secrets when facing adversity

Posted by janeteckles on September 22, 2012

Posted by Janet Perez Eckles

A day at the beach, what lessons it brings! I held my 4-year-old granddaughter’s hand as our feet sunk in the soft sand. We made our way to the water. And the splashing began. “C’mon, Nana,” she squealed, let’s jump over the waves.”

Don’t know which one of us was having more fun. We jumped, swaying back with the force of each wave and laughed.

Then one big one, unexpected and higher than her splashed with force, nearly knocking her down. I held her hand tighter, “You okay, honey?”

She choked, gasped and coughed. “Yeah, I’m holding your hand, Nana,” she said.

A sweet feeling of delight washed over me. Her security was in the fact her hand was in mine.

How many times, when facing adversity, have I said the same thing to the Lord, “I’m holding on to you, Lord?”

In times when waves of hardship, and deep, deep pain nearly knocked me down, I choked with sorrow. And when I gasped for air when the force of anguish was painful, I held tighter.

In the ocean of life, here are five secrets to know when facing adversity:
1. God is bigger than any wave of pain.
2. Suffering is less when we hold on to His hand in anticipation of those waves.
3. We may choke but never drown.
4. Trust that we’ll lack nothing when our hand is in His.
5. Although circumstances may not change, His grip will keep us afloat.

I delighted in my granddaughter’s trust in me. Do you think God delights when you and I say, “Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge. I said to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing’” (Psalm 16:1-2).

Father, those waves of hard times and disappointments keep coming. But your mercy, provision and protection still abound. I praise you because with my hand in yours, I can face adversity and withstand the force. For that I thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

• What waves of hardship are you facing?
• Whose hand are you holding on to?
• How deep is your trust in His power and protection?

Janet
Cheering you on to experience life, harvest its lessons and share their outcome.

Posted in Encouragment, Hope, Inspiration | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Five ways to overcome criticism.

Posted by janeteckles on September 15, 2012


By: Janet Perez Eckles

No way. Could that be true? Book reviews be tainted and slanted for a fee?

The answer is in this New York Times article.

Confession time: Regarding reviews, as an author, a slightly negative comment about my work erases joy quicker than a click on the mouse.

Faced any rejection lately? A bit of criticism clouded your day? Here’s a thought: If our keyboard is on the solid ground of God’s grace, we can ask five questions to overcome criticism.

1. Did we seek God’s wisdom?
2. Are our motives pure?
3. Do our efforts reflect God’s truth?
4. Did we craft our very best?
5. Are our convictions uncompromised?

If the answers are yes, then our soul whispers a sweet, “all is well.” Renewed peace fills our nights knowing others’ reviews or criticism shouldn’t really matter.

When ready to overcome criticism, what will matter is discerning whether our fingers danced on the keyboard to string insights that make the Lord smile with pleasure.

Seeking to please Him covers our writing, changes the focus, and highlights the truth He wrote in our hearts: “He comes to judge the earth He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth” (Psalm 96:13).

Father, how foolish of me to be torn down by what others think, what others say, or by those who criticize my work. The truth of your promise that tells me you see my heart, you know my ways and you alone judge my motives brings me fresh freedom. In Jesus’ name, amen.

• What promise do you hold on to when criticized?
• Where does your reassurance come from?
• Who holds your tomorrows, your future plans and outcome?

Janet
Cheering you on to experience life, harvest its lessons and share their outcome.

Posted in Encouragment, Inspiration | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What to do when your life is a mess.

Posted by janeteckles on September 8, 2012

Posted by Janet Perez Eckles

“We had so much fun,” my dear friend said as she sat across the table at our favorite restaurant. “We spent the day cleaning the light fixtures in our house, we took them apart and, believe me, they were a mess.”

I stopped chewing and stared. Did she say “fun?”

“It wasn’t what we were doing,” she continued, “but it was the fact that we were doing it together.”

She was so right. The chore was probably bearable, kind of fun and even meaningful. Why? Because they were doing it together.

Lesson for me: That’s exactly what God expects from us. He plans for us not to tackle the cleaning-up of life’s messes on our own. The difference between victorious people and victim people is the former teams up with the divine master and the latter tries to do the job alone.

Which one are you?

When we choose to live victoriously, we move closer to God. Together with Him, we take apart the issues that burden us, the struggles that overwhelm us, and the caked-on mistakes that accumulated.

Because we and His power are a team, “I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:7-8).

Father, how often the dirt of life’s battles has piled up in my heart. Times when I tried to clean it on my own, the mess got bigger. Thank you for being at my right hand. Nothing shall shake me, nothing shall soil my peace nor muddy up what you shine for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

• What needs cleaning in your life?
• Where do you find the perfect partner to help with the cleaning?
• How long has it been since you saw your life shine?

Janet

Cheering you on to experience life, harvest its lessons and share their outcome.

Posted in Encouragment, Inspiration | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Three ways to bring color to our message.

Posted by janeteckles on September 1, 2012

 

Posted by Janet Perez Eckles

What happens when we get on that stage, ready to deliver a dynamic message, but way deep in our hearts issues of life weigh heavy?

What to do when inspiring others is our task, but we’re the ones who need inspiration?

Recently, life was going fine, no glitches or major challenges. Then, without warning, no hint it would happen, it did.

I came home from a trip, and eager to sift through the hundreds of emails, I pressed the power button on my trusty computer. Then rather than the usual soft humming sound, a moaning, cracking sound wafted from the machine. It growled as if to say, “bad news.”

And indeed it was bad news. A major malfunction needed a tech rescue. He came promptly, and after trying to get it started he said, “I’ll see what happened, but no guarantees it will be repairable.”

He unplugged and in his arms he took half my brain. The computer with its software to read the screen is indeed part of my brain.

I was left technically naked. No computer, unable to read the Bible for my usual spiritual food. No way to check emails, to write thank you notes to the people who hosted me as their speaker, no way to write blog posts, no possibility to post on Facebook.

But rather than panic, I smiled. A long, long time ago, I learned that each setback, challenge or glitch of life adds power to my talks and flavor to my illustrations.

Here are three applications to the computer glitch:

1. With no computer, silence reigned. God is jealous—for our time, our efforts, our contact, our passion and work. And when we’re too caught up in the wrong things, He makes a way to bring us back.

2. Life’s unexpected glitches are a great contrast to God’s ways–constant, solid and trustworthy.

3. Often life’s setbacks that are out of our control are an effective way for God to regain control of our attention.

As speakers and writers we have the privilege to mold each experience into our message and our writing. But the added bonus is that when crafting the application, the circumstance turns strangely positive, valuable and edifying.

So, what stories that spell gloom in your life ended up shining a powerful illustration for your audiences?

Janet
Cheering you on to experience life, harvest its lessons and share their outcome.

Posted in Encouragment, Inspiration | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Writing Withdrawal of Doom

Posted by Luther D. Powell on August 30, 2012

Aside from these very blogs, I have not written much of anything since moving back to Bowling Green. Not because I haven’t had time, not because I’ve been seeing people and going places, but rather, I just…haven’t. Part lack of motivation, part depression, part watching-kung-fu-movies-with-my-roommates-instead, I suppose. What really blows my mind about the span of time without writing is that, last night, I wrote some. And by some, I mean a lot.

It happened out of NOWHERE. I didn’t even plan on it last night! I was drawing a bit, eating a lot, hanging around the apartment, then BOOM. Thought I’d sit down and take a peek at the ol’ MS. Filled three pages, no problem. Granted, that’s probably way less than the average published-novel-author, but for me, after having gone so long without it, it was like Heaven. Listening to music, admiring my fancy-schmancy new font, lounging with my laptop on the bed. It felt great.

Writing has become my medication. Too long without it, and my mind grows numb. I don’t get writers block too often, I’ll just have phases where I don’t feel like writing. I get plenty of ideas; most of them I grab from my daily life. The parts of my life that I wish I could tell others about but can’t quite vocalize, I write into the characters from my imagination. My experiences bleed into these word documents and journals, and I feel like although I come up with cool and new ideas, I don’t really gain from them until I can see the words in front of me. I learn as I write. So then, how is it that I can just bail out of it suddenly and go a while without it? I don’t understand it, myself.

See, with art, drawing and all that, I don’t even have to feel like drawing to get a nice drawing done. If I know I have to complete something, I do it. That’s not the case with writing. I really need to feel it first, but half the time, I’ll feel like it and be in class or something else that prevents me from separating my conscious mind from body. What are some ways that you, readers and writers, hold tight to the writing-fire? How do you avoid the withdrawal?

It’s so odd to me, that I could get depressed and NOT feel like writing, because most of the times that I feel like writing (sad as it sounds) are spurred on by my more negative emotions. When I’m not enjoying the world I live in or the life I’m living, I invest more into the lives I create in my head (context is EVERYTHING). So, what do I need to do to get myself in the mood without being in a lame mood? Truly, writing horror has always been heavily-motivated by sadness and gloom, (just ask Edgar Allan Poe!… yeah…) but it doesn’t have to be. My writing doesn’t THRIVE on sadness and gloom, that’s just the most ideal state for me to be in whenever I want to come up with something uber-creepy.

Am I the only writer who gets these moments of withdrawal? I can admit, being a Christian and wanting to write for God, part of me believes that the enemy finds much pleasure in distracting me from my writings, though it’s hard to recognize some distractions. When you’re a writer, doing anything other than writing can become a ‘distraction’ if you think about it that way, but one must live to understand how to give characters life. So then, what am I living which has pulled me away from the lives of all my brain-children? How can I replenish my dose, get my fixes consistent again? Advice is much appreciated, readers! God bless!

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Anxiety, Inspiration, Life Experiences, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

My God, the Artist

Posted by April W Gardner on August 29, 2012

*Guest post by Michelle Massaro

ImageI’m sitting drinking my pumpkin spice in the quiet of the morning and watching my guppies dart about in their tank. There appears to be some brand new additions– welcome to the world! I wonder what they’ll look like when they get their color? Right now I have several yellow snake-skin guppies, an ‘albino’ female, and a flaming orange/black male. So bright, so colorful, so artistic! The Lord must have so much fun. He must so delight in His handiwork. Could you imagine the drab world we’d live in if every fish looked the same; every human bore the same fingerprints, skin, or eye color; if the leaves didn’t change color, or the stars didn’t shine in patterns? If Mars wasn’t red or the rocks never held a streak of gold? Creativity overflows from the heart of God!

Don’t ever feel that your expression of creativity- gardening, painting, decorating, or yes- writing, is a poor use of your time. It is not the lesser way to spend your energy. Look how much energy God spends on his creations. He does not deem it wasteful; He called it very good- and thenImage sent His son to redeem that creation when it became stained with sin.

So the next time someone, in some subtle way, makes you feel frivolous about wasting time on creative pursuits when there are souls to be saved… look around you! Then use your gifts for His glory and take joy in the pastime of creativity that you share with your Maker…

Image–Michelle is married to her high school sweetie, Mike, and they have four amazing children. They attend Living Truth Christian Fellowship in Corona, CA where they have taught Jr High studies and where Michelle is involved in the worship ministry. Michelle is also a homeschooling parent and an aspiring author of contemporary Christian fiction. She hosts weekly Story Improvs on her blog, where readers are encouraged to jump in and add to the plot. Above all, she is a follower of Christ Jesus, unashamed to stand upon the Word of God from beginning to end.

Michelle’s Blog  Find Michelle on Facebook.

Posted in Encouragment, Inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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