BobHostetlerBob Hostetler here, offering another prayer for writers:

Lord, I lay myself down,
on this page,
in these words,
and dreams.
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Kathy Collard Miller

Be An Effective Mentor.

Hello from Kathy Collard Miller, writing in the very hot desert near Palm Springs, California.

One of the many goals of mentoring is helping our mentee identify her motive for the choices she makes. She may not realize it but all of us react, respond, and choose based upon what we desire and want. Or what we think will prevent some kind of emotional pain, maybe even physical pain. Helping our mentee to recognize what can seem well-hidden is a challenge.

My husband and I are lay-counselors and as we try to help people make wise and godly choices, we’ve seen the most long-rang change when there has been a heart transformation, not just mental assent or gritting their teeth (metaphorically) to force obedience. Because we also received counseling and have been in relationships where we were mentored, we have appreciated the mentor or friend who asked questions that helped us identify our motives and what we hoped to gain when we made a particular choice.

If you’d like to help others discover why they “do what they do,” you don’t have to be a “formal” mentor. Even in casual friends friendships, you can inquire into their heart’s motives. Rather than encourage them to grit their teeth and vow to be better, we want them to have a deep spiritual change where their motives are based upon greater trust in God—not self-effort.

Asking questions rather than giving advice helps your mentee/friend to get in touch with their motivations. If we only give advice, our mentee could depend upon us for their power rather than having a heart for God. But the difficulty is thinking of the questions to ask.

Here Are Some Questions to Use During Mentoring

These aren’t used in any order but can be used depending upon what the mentee is telling you. Then ask more questions based upon what the mentee replies.

What did the other person’s reaction seem to say about you?
What if you didn’t keep doing that? What do you fear would happen?
What is God inviting you into through allowing these circumstances?
What would you like to say to that person who hurt you?
Why do you believe that’s true when other people have told you it’s not?
What were you hoping or longing for?
What do you feel is lacking in your life?
What does that choice provide for you?
What were you saying about yourself during the time that hurtful thing happened?
How does your behavior leave out God in your life?
How does that behavior protect you from some kind of harm or pain?
Everything is a choice. Why are you choosing that destructive behavior: to gain something or protect yourself from something?
What does your choice say about who God is?
What does your behavior or choice indicate is your belief about God, life, or other people?

Kathy’s most recent book.

Learning to use these questions may take time. And asking them may not bring instant change to your mentee. But the mentee’s new sense of self-awareness can be used by the Holy Spirit to reveal wrongly-motivated thinking and choices. That kind of heart transformation will have long-range benefits.


(These thoughts have been adapted from Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today by Kathy Collard Miller and Larry Miller)

Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller

Holiness Feels Like…What?

Hello from Kathy Collard Miller in the Southern California desert near Palm Springs where I’m feeling the heat.

Have you ever wondered what holiness feels like? Malachi 4:2 expresses what God might like us to experience when we see the fruits of holiness that he is producing in our lives: “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.”

Have you ever “leapt” in your spirit after recognizing that your trust in God had expanded to include forgiving someone who hurt you because you recognize how much you’ve been forgiven? Or giving grace by listening with understanding to a friend share a problem—even though she usually ignores you—because you’ve experienced God’s grace? Or resting calmly in a situation that normally drives you over the edge because you know God is in charge? Or being patient when your child spills milk at the dinner table for the third time because you know God has repeatedly been patient with you? We’re no longer fenced in and held in bondage by sinful patterns like worry, fear, selfishness, hate, resentment, and so many other binding things.

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BobHostetlerBob Hostetler here, offering another prayer for writers:

I am a weak writer:
in over my head.
But you chose Ehud because of his weakness.
You used him,
not to mention Moses, David, Jeremiah, Paul, and others
(though I did just mention them; see what I mean?).
So grant me the faith
to believe that you can choose me and use me too.
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Greetings from the Sunny South, where the heat and humidity zap your strength and make you so thankful for air conditioning! I’m C. Kevin Thompson, and I want to welcome Dr. Richard L. Mabry, M.D. to the Christian Authors Network’s front porch! We are so glad you make house calls, Dr. Mabry. Thanks for stopping by.

So, what’s been happening in your writing world? Tell us about your latest book, Doctor’s Dilemma.

Young surgeon Tyler Gentry thought the offer to join the Hall Group of surgeons offered the answer to his problems, but things changed when he received a 3 AM phone call that told him such a move would be hazardous to his health.

I hate getting those phone calls. Don’t you? What inspired you to write this book?

It was a continuing sequence of “what ifs” that began with something I read on the Internet. I was surprised when I learned the amount of debt a medical student accrues during his education nowadays. From that point, I began to wonder what would happen if plans for entering practice blow up in a young doctor’s face so that he finds himself scrambling for a place where he can earn enough to get himself out of debt. Then I decided to have him fall for a beautiful nurse who has no intention of ever making herself vulnerable to another man again. Stir well, and you have Doctor’s Dilemma.

Sounding a little James Bond-ish, there, Doc. Stirred, not shaken. So, why did you write this particular book?

There are two answers here. One is because I wanted to show readers that doctors are humans with problems, such as med school loans and the problem of finding a place they can put into practice what they’ve learned. They, like so many of us, let their relationship with God slide because of the pressures of life—but others can help set them back on the path, and God is right there where they left Him.

The other reason is because I, like some of my colleagues, got caught up in the changes in publishing so that my next novel didn’t get released as anticipated…and I got tired of people asking when they’d see my next book. So I released this self-published novella.

What’s your favorite scene and/or section in this book?

Honestly, it’s hard to pick just one (sort of like a parent naming a favorite child), but I particularly like the first scene. Dr. Tyler Gentry thought that, despite all the obstacles in his path, perhaps this opportunity for practice would be a dream position. Then suddenly, an anonymous phone call at 3 AM makes him think perhaps it’s going to be a nightmare.

Three-in-the-morning phone calls never start or end well, do they? So, when crafting your stories, how do you share Christ in your writing? What themes do you return to again and again?

I don’t recall that in any of my books I’ve included an altar call or laid out the plan of salvation. Instead, I show that God is always there in our everyday life. What I’ve tried to do is demonstrate that Christians aren’t immune from trouble—quite the opposite—but they are able to work through it with His help.

What would be your ideal writing place? And…what’s your actual writing place like?

I read about colleagues who like to take their laptop into Starbucks or find a cozy spot on the back porch. That won’t work for me. I sort of like what I have. My office is so small you have to step outside to change your mind, but once I walk inside I know it’s time to write. I use a laptop, connected to an external keyboard and monitor for that. And I stop working when my wife shows up at the office’s open door. I may be a writer, but some things are more important to me than getting the words down right.

Very interesting. My set up (laptop, wireless keyboard, monitor) is the same. So is my “wife in the doorway” policy. Maybe your “wide in the doorway policy” is one of them, but what is one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?

Non-writers want to know how to get published, thinking apparently there’s some kind of secret I’ve discovered. The only secret I know is to learn the craft, write, revise, write some more, and keep at it. I’m also asked, “When will your next book come out?” That depends on the publisher and a lot of other factors. Indie-publishing has made this go faster, but the fact is that it still takes an author a lot longer to write and edit a book than it does a reader to go through it.

Amen to that. I saw a Facebook post recently that said, “Someone can spend $5.00 on a cup of coffee that’s produced in three minutes, and feel obligated to tip the barista, while at the same time, smile and be appreciative. Yet, while holding that same cup of coffee, they’ll read a book (in the same coffee shop, I might add) and complain that the author is asking for $3.99 for an electronic version or $10.99 for a paperback version of a novel that took six months to create. #allaboutperspective 

But I digress. Tell us about your most touching moment with a reader.

I’ve had several occasions when I was about ready to give up, only to receive a message from a reader telling me how much one of my novels has meant to them. Probably the most meaningful was the email that said, in essence, “I never liked Christian fiction…until I read your books.” That kept me writing for a while.

I’ll bet it did! On that note, what talents do you have aside from storytelling that changes the minds of readers toward Christian fiction?

When it comes to languages, I’m the epitome of the expression, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” I speak some Spanish, a bit of French and Italian, used to be fluent in German, and even learned some Portuguese when I was serving in the Azores, but I still have to look up certain words in English.

I’ve attended church for many decades, and have served a couple of times as interim music minister. I’ve read the Bible many times over, have taught High School Bible Credit years ago, yet I still learn things every time I hear my pastor preach.

Then there’s my athletic prowess. When I played baseball, I could throw a curve but couldn’t hit one. As a golfer—well, it’s nice to get out in the open air, and I occasionally hit a shot worth remembering.

That is a lot of “trades.” What do you read for pleasure, and what are you reading right now?

Most of the reading I do is fiction. I just finished Rick Acker’s latest, The Enoch Effect (great book). Currently on my nightstand is the first volume of the Harbingers cycle, written by Bill Meyers, Frank Peretti, Angie Hunt, and Alton Gansky.

Dr. Mabry, thanks so much for stopping by and chatting with us! But before you go, tell us about your next project.

My next full-length novel is Cardiac Event. The publisher and time of release haven’t been settled, but here’s a bit about it:

Cardiologist Dr. Kirk Martin continually crosses swords with Dr. Cliff Hamilton, so he is surprised when Hamilton asks him to care for him after a heart attack. When he is ready for discharge, Hamilton is found dead in his hospital bed, and Martin is suspected of murdering him.

When another doctor is found shot to death, nurse Janet Rush reminds Martin to be careful because he may be next. Can he save his own life while searching for the identity of the real murderer?

That sounds very interesting…

Thanks again for sharing with us!

Want to learn more about Dr. Mabry and his writing career? You can visit him at his website or his blog!


Until next time,

May God bless you, and may you bless God.